Managing Money

Managing Money

Read the following frequently asked money-related questions before you arrive in Manchester.

Can I bring money into the UK from my country?

You can bring money into the UK in:

  • sterling notes;
  • travellers’ cheques
  • banker’s draft; and/or letters of credit.

If you are entering or leaving the UK and you are carrying 10,000 euros or more in cash, this must be declared. This includes cheques, travellers’ cheques, bankers drafts etc.

These controls will not apply to anyone travelling within the EU or travelling via the EU to a non-EU country, as long as the original journey started outside the EU. For further information and contact details, visit the HMRC website. It is also a good idea to check on any regulations in your home country regarding taking money in and out of the country.

How much cash will I need after I arrive in the UK?

You will need some sterling cash for expenses during the first week. However, we do not recommend bringing or carrying large amounts of cash with you. If possible, make arrangements to transfer money to a UK bank account. If you do not have access to a UK bank account, it is also a good idea to have a further £350 available in travellers’ cheques and a credit card for emergencies. You will need money for items such as food, local travel, books, equipment, clothes and other necessities.

You may also need extra money for accommodation, for example for a deposit or the first month’s rent.

Can I set up a British bank account?

If you are staying in Manchester for a longer period of time (six months or more), it is a good idea to try and set up a UK bank account. Students who are here for a shorter amount of time may find it more difficult to open an account due to restrictions by the major banks. If you wish to set up the account before you travel, you will need to contact your own bank to check if this is possible and how it is best done from your home country.

When setting up your account, you will need to show your Letter of Acceptance sent to you by The Essential English Centre, plus proof of your address in the UK. Because of this requirement, you may not be able to open a bank account immediately after your arrival, and you should ensure that you have sufficient money to cover your expenses.

Manchester is an affordable option for both British and international students, making the city an ever- popular destination in which to live and study. The cost of living is cheaper than many other big cities in the UK.  The following gives you some useful information when thinking about your budget before you arrive.

Cost of food

Like in any town or city, the cost of food will depend on your lifestyle while you study with us. With a large number of low-cost supermarkets and fresh food markets, it is possible to eat well and cheaply on a day-to-day basis. However if you want to dine out while you are here, Manchester has a fantastic and diverse range of restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets!

Cost of travel

The public transport system is very regular and reliable in Manchester, and it is very easy to travel to Manchester city centre by bus, train, tram or even taxi. Taxis of course are the most expensive option, with buses being the cheapest mode of transport in the city. If you are studying with us for a longer period of time, consider buying monthly, or longer-term bus, train or tram travel passes to benefit from lower prices.

Cost of accommodation

In terms of cost of living, this will likely be your biggest expense during your studies, and it is important to consider your options carefully when choosing where you would like to live. If you choose accommodation arranged by The Essential English Centre, the price will include all bills and internet connectivity. If you arrange your accommodation separate to the school, other bills may be included.

If you organise your accommodation on your own, we will be happy to advise you on this before or after you arrive in the city.

NUS Card!

Remember – The Essential English Centre is a member of NUS (National Union of Students). Apply for your NUS card when you arrive, and benefit from a wide range of discounts across the city, on travel, food, shopping, cinema and more.

If you have any other questions related to money matters, contact us today and one of the team will be happy to help you.