Financial culture shock while studying in the United Kingdom

By Edith R.

Sept. 30, 2021

Finances might be a very tacky subject for some, but if you are thinking about studying abroad, it will be something you will have to face. Before coming to the United Kingdom, I did not truly understand that the U.S. dollar did not go very far in the U.K.

For example, I can go to Spar (grocery store on campus) and pay 27.99 British pounds, which might seem cheap at first but when converted to U.S. dollars, it can be around $39. This might not seem like a major difference, but a recent invoice I received was for the amount of 205 GPB which equates to $275, a big difference.

After each purchase, my credit card company will notify me about my purchase and list how much I spent in U.S. dollars. Each one of these notifications hurts my pocket and soul. So, if you are going to study abroad in a country where the USD does not go far, please save up and budget your money wisely.

Now, I know I might be scaring you but there are definitely some other factors to consider. If you are a wanderlust individual who is studying in the U.K., you can easily purchase a university student railcard that will allow you to travel all around the U.K. on a train for a very reasonable price. An even cheaper way to commute to different cities is to buy a bus ticket.

Another factor to consider is that the United Kingdom is in Europe, which will allow you to travel very cheaply. If you want to travel to another European country, you can certainly find a cheap plane ticket. For example, I found a very affordable roundtrip plane ticket from Manchester to Amsterdam for only $110. So if you are a wanderlust individual, do not be afraid of the cost of studying in the U.K. The cheap methods of traveling here will make up for the initial financial culture shock.

Learn more about this blogger’s study abroad program: Lancaster University