Cost of Living in the UK

Cost of Living in the UK


During a semester abroad or study in Great Britain and especially in London, the cost of living is incurred in combination with the tuition fees. On average, British students spend around £ 12,000 per year in addition to tuition, according to the UK’s National Union of Students (NUS). Anyone who lives and studies in London must also calculate at least £ 1,500. It goes without saying that the cost of living depends on the individual lifestyle.

Accordingly, when financing a stay abroad in Great Britain, it is helpful to calculate foreseeable costs in advance. While the cost of tuition and living costs collected may seem high, British students complete their university studies faster than other countries thanks to an efficient study system. These saved costs are therefore definitely relevant for exchange students.

Cost of rent in the UK

As the biggest cost factor, students from Germany have to factor in the rental costs while studying abroad, because rents in Great Britain are comparatively twice as high. However, students can already save when choosing the type of housing. In almost all cities, cheap accommodation is a room in a private shared apartment. The student residences also offer rooms in a wide price range. Students are the least likely to choose host families for accommodation while studying in the UK. To learn more about United Kingdom and Europe, please visit diseaseslearning.

The shared room

In Great Britain, sharing a flat is not only the most popular form of living during studies, but also the cheapest on average. For example, students pay from around GBP £ 400 monthly rent for a room in a shared apartment in Manchester (near the city center). If you want to study and live in London, on the other hand, you can only find such prices in the suburbs of the metropolis.

In addition to the cold rent, as in Germany, additional costs are also due. In Great Britain the costs for electricity, water and gas are bundled under the term ” bills “. When looking for an apartment, students should pay close attention to whether the additional costs are already included in the rental price and whether there are costs for Internet access (WiFi).

Attention: In Great Britain the rent is usually calculated per week, abbreviated pw.

The dorm room

Dormitories offer a variety of advantages, especially for short-term study visits such as a summer session in Great Britain. The following applies: the more central the dormitory is to the university and campus, the more expensive the rent is usually. Due to the capped costs for renting a dormitory room, which already includes all additional costs, the students do not have to pay any additional costs.

The proximity to the university enables freshmen or gap year students to quickly find their way around in everyday university life, as all contact persons are nearby. In addition, some of the dormitories have their own cafeterias or bars, where snacks and drinks can be purchased at student prices.

The room with the host family

It is far less common for students to choose what is known as a homestay program during their semester abroad. Anyone who chooses this type of accommodation must of course be open to the British host family and their usual daily routine. The costs and the availability of homestay programs depend on the location. The price also usually includes a continental or traditional breakfast and a lunch box or dinner.

Average monthly rental costs Average base costs for electricity, gas and water per month Average monthly internet costs (flat rate)
Student residence (1 room on campus) GBP £ 360-800 Usually included Usually included
Shared apartment (4-room apartment) GBP £ 115-325 Part of the total amount of GBP £ 60-140 Part of the total £ 20
host family GBP £ 700 – 1,000 Usually included Usually included

Roundtrip: UK travel and transportation costs

Who doesn’t know them from film and television? The black cabs on the British Isles. Taking a taxi is a common means of getting from A to B in the UK. The taximeter usually starts at a base price of £ 2.20 up to £ 2.40 and increases by around half a pound per minute. This means of transport is recommended, especially when arriving during the semester abroad with heavy luggage, which is already included in the price of the cabs. The British usually round up tips to the nearest pound.

Attention: In London, additional fees may apply if a black cab is called on public holidays or with a pre-order.

In the larger cities, students can also use a well-connected bus and train system. In London, of course, the means of transport of choice is the famous tube. A monthly travelcard for zones 1-2 costs £ 86 in London.

Students get a great way to explore the whole country with the inexpensive Megabus and Megatrain tickets. If you book in good time, you can, for example, cover the distance from Manchester to Edinburgh for £ 10.75. But students can also travel cheaply on the regular train lines with student train tickets. Early bookers can save up to 50% on the fare.

Spending on groceries

As in Germany, students can consciously save money by comparing offers. For example, ” 3 for 2-offer “, which offer three products for the price of two, are extremely popular in Great Britain. Those who buy from discounter instead of traditional supermarkets can also save money every month.

Food prices are generally fairly uniform across the UK. In the cosmopolitan city of London, as with all services, students must of course expect higher costs for meals in restaurants, cafes, bars and take away food.

As an example, the average price of everyday groceries in Great Britain is listed in the following shopping cart.

Product Average price
1L water GBP £ 1.00
1L milk GBP £ 0.90
12 eggs GBP £ 2.00
1 white bread (500 g) GBP £ 1.00
1kg of bananas GBP £ 1.05
1 porridge GBP £ 1.65
Pint of Beer (0.5 liter) GBP £ 3.30
1 fish and chips GBP £ 3.50
1L ginger beer GBP £ 1.35

UK leisure and entertainment costs

During a semester abroad in Great Britain you have the unique opportunity to get to know the country and its people better. Sufficient money should therefore be planned in the budget for going out to eat, going to concerts and other leisure activities.

Type of undertaking average price
1 pub meal GBP £ 8
1 cinema ticket (student reduction) GBP £ 7.50
1 festival day ticket GBP £ 60
1 Premier League match GBP £ 30

Communication in the UK: save costs

Calling and sending sms across Europe with your mobile phone has never been cheaper than it is today. As soon as students use their mobile phone in Great Britain with a contract or a SIM card from Germany, roaming fees are due. These are now an average of EUR 0.06 per SMS, EUR 0.20 for a data transfer of 1 megabyte and EUR 0.19 for every minute of the call. If you want to avoid these roaming charges, you can get an inexpensive SIM card for studying abroad.

In the medium term, there will be no more roaming charges in the entire European Union. As of spring 2016, cell phone providers will presumably no longer be able to charge their customers for roaming charges when using their mobile phones abroad. Exceptions to this, however, are special services such as “ video on demand ” or other data-intensive Internet services.

The alternative that is already free of charge for making long calls at home is still free voice chat services on the Internet such as Skype, iChat or Google Talk.

Sick while studying abroad? Treatment and medication costs

If students fall ill during their stay abroad, they are well looked after in Great Britain. In principle, medical treatment in the NHS walk-in centers, at the doctor’s or in the National Health Service hospitals is free of charge for students insured in Germany. You will be automatically treated through the UK health insurance. Nevertheless, it is recommended that you take out adequate private health insurance before you start your stay abroad.

There is no need to bring a first-aid kit with you to study abroad in the UK. The prices for over-the-counter drugs are usually at the German level. In the UK, students can get non-prescription drugs and expert medical advice from pharmacies – known as pharmacy or chemists. In addition, many supermarket chains offer over-the-counter drugs such as aspirin at Tesco for £ 8.40 (30 tablets).

Cost of Living in the UK