Cost of Living in The UK: Living Expenses in The United Kingdom for Students

A student can gain knowledge in diverse ways. One of the most prominent ones is studying abroad. Students have the opportunity to gain a lifetime of invaluable experience. It not only gives students the exposure to connect with a distinct culture in their day-to-day life but also makes plenty of cherished memories. Students gain many benefits while studying abroad as it helps them develop personal skills, discover new strengths, conquer challenges, and devise effective solutions to problems. Most of all, it enhances employment opportunities. 

A student who has completed their studies abroad is believed to be self-motivated, independent, and able to cope with different problems and situations. One of the greatest benefits of studying in a foreign country is their outstanding academic standards, which help students to develop professionally. Being a part of a different country forces students to come out of their comfort zones and explore various opportunities which can help them in their future careers. While considering so many advantages, one drawback of studying in a foreign country like the United Kingdom is the cost of living. 

In this article, we will look at the cost of living in the UK and further discuss the expenses such as university fees, everyday travelling costs, and other miscellaneous expenses.

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Living Expenses in UK for International Students: An Overview

It is estimated that a student’s cost of living in the UK is generally INR 89,000 to 1,29,000 per month. However, it can vary on the factors like the student lifestyle, accommodation and other basic expenses. Some of the various monthly expenses in UK are discussed below:

  • Accommodation 

Students in the United Kingdom have a wide range of housing options. Various universities offer a residence hall, usually near the main university campus. The students who come to the UK with their parents can also request accommodation. You should apply for accommodation on an early basis as the places are often limited. University accommodation varies, but it generally includes utilities like electricity, water, internet, and council tax in the rent. If you wish to live in private accommodation, most cities offer a good range of rates. 

Usually, private accommodation rates are cheaper than university rates, but utilities like internet or council tax are often not included. The average rent of a private apartment is INR 79,000 to 99,000 per month, and halls of residence can range from INR 39,000 to 59000 per month. Apart from the accommodation type, your monthly cost of living in the UK depends on the city you live in. The cost of living in London or Brighton can be expensive compared to Aberdeen or Manchester.  

  • Food and Groceries 

The cost of food is an indispensable part of monthly expenses in UK. The cost of the food can be well managed if you cook your own meals rather than eating at fancy restaurants. Eating out regularly can increase your expenditure. For instance, the average cost of procuring fruits is INR 169, vegetables are INR 109, rice is INR 110, and a single meal at an affordable restaurant is INR 1300. There are plenty of grocery stores in the UK providing all kinds of Indian as well as other cuisine foods and ingredients that students can easily cook. 

  • Transportation

The living expenses in UK also include travelling around the city, especially when your apartment is far from your university. In such a situation, students receive plenty of benefits, including the student discounts available for international students, making travelling cost more affordable. International students also have the option to use public transport like a train or bus, or they can simply cycle around the city, which can be both affordable and convenient. For instance, the ticket fare of a bus is INR 99 to 198, the average train fare is INR 1200, and the average cycle fare is INR 198 for 30 minutes. 

  • Household Bills

Household bills are another aspect when you are living in the United Kingdom. Bills for internet, water, etc., should be paid on time. The average cost of an internet bill is INR 1500 to 5000, a water or electricity bill is around INR 4500, and insurance is around INR 4900. In most cases, these utilities are included in rent, but if it is not included, then it’s considered to be an additional cost. On the other hand, health insurance bills are also part of living expenses in UK.  

  • Entertainment Expense

As we all know, university life is not just about studies, books, and exams. Leisure activities are also important for exploring the country and different people with different cultures. Hence, adding these activities’ costs is important while calculating your living expenses. The most common entertainment activities with an average cost are movie tickets at INR 900, concert tickets at around INR 4500, and sports activities at INR 1500 per month. 

  • Miscellaneous Expense

Miscellaneous expenditures contain any extra expense, including shopping, household items, stationary and many more. These expenditures vary from person to person depending upon their personal lifestyle. Therefore, you should plan your monthly budget accordingly. Miscellaneous expenses can range from INR 40000 to 50000.

Saving Hacks for International Students in the UK 

Living in the UK and maintaining a good lifestyle is expensive for a student. However, there are different ways through which students can save money. Some of them are as follows:

  • Scholarships

Scholarships are the best option for students who want to manage their cost of living in the UK. There are multiple scholarships offered in UK colleges that either cover tuition fees or a student’s living cost. Hence, students must do proper research and then apply for the scholarship that suits them the best. Finances can be much more feasible for students who obtain admission to UK colleges with scholarships. 

  • Student Discounts  

Students studying in the United Kingdom enjoy amazing discounts on everything, be it shopping at a supermarket or buying movie tickets. Eventually, these discounts can help the students manage their monthly budget, so make sure to do a quick Google before entering a store. 

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  • Part-Time Jobs

To earn extra income, part-time jobs are an excellent option in the UK. A student can work only twenty times a week and earn approximately INR 1100 per hour. While these jobs offer you ample funds to sustain your monetary needs, they also provide you with diverse life skills such as communication skills, money management, and customer service, among others.

  • Transportation Cards 

If you are a frequent public transport traveller, it is better to take a transport card with offered student discount. Transportation cards help save up on buying a single ticket for every ride. 

  • Cheaper Alternatives 

Using cheaper alternatives to pricey services or products is one of the most common and important tips you should follow as a student if you are maintaining a tight budget. You can choose a cheaper product when shopping in a supermarket and avoid luxurious items. Similarly, you need to chart a budget that aligns your monthly spending with the cash accessible.


Managing monthly expenses in UK for a student needs effective planning as well as budgeting. When students keep track of their expenses and save money, it significantly helps them in long-term finance management. While the UK is a welcoming place filled with various exciting opportunities for students, studying and balancing living expenses can be a tough nut to crack.  The cost of living in London or Brighton is more expensive than in cities like Manchester, so make sure you research well about your destination city before heading over to kickstart your new college life!

While many students dream of enjoying a life outside of their country, many learners hope to obtain a degree from international colleges without leaving the comfort of their household. Fortunately, upGrad makes it possible!

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What are the living expenses in the United Kingdom for international students per annum?

The living cost in the UK for students is approximately INR 11,50,000 to 15,40,000 per year, which may differ from student to student.

Is studying in the United Kingdom cheap for international students?

The living cost in the UK depends on various aspects, such as the city you decide to live in, the lifestyle you maintain, and most importantly, how you plan and implement your budget. Multiple cities in the UK are expensive, such as London, and there are affordable cities like Manchester, Aberdeen, and Nottingham as well.

What benefits does an international student get from studying in the UK?

The multiple benefits students gain from studying in the United Kingdom include a lifetime of invaluable experience, becoming independent individuals, developing personal skills, and discovering their new strengths while bagging exceptional career opportunities.

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