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Money matters

How can I bring money into the UK?

You can bring money into the UK in:

  • sterling notes;
  • travellers' cheques;
  • bankers draft; and/or
  • letters of credit.

The Euro can be used in some shops in the UK and can easily be converted into Sterling.

New legislation on the controls of cash entering or leaving the EU came into effect in all Member States on 15 June 2007. Any person entering or leaving the EU has to declare the cash that they are carrying if this amounts to 10,000 euros or more. This includes cheques, travellers' cheques, bankers' drafts etc.

You could face a penalty of up to £5,000 if you:

  • fail to declare cash/travellers cheques/bank drafts/etc you are carrying; or
  • provide incorrect or incomplete information.

If HMRC (customs) officials have reason to doubt the legitimacy of properly declared cash, then they have the power to seize it.

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. You should also check if there are limits imposed on foreign currency transactions by your home country.

How much cash will I need on arrival?

You will need some sterling cash for expenses during the first week – about £250 should be enough. We do not recommend bringing or carrying larger amounts of cash with you.

If possible, make arrangements to transfer money to a UK bank account. In case there is a problem in transferring money, it is also a good idea to have a further £350 available in travellers cheques and a credit card for emergencies. You will also need money for items such as:

  • food;
  • local travel;
  • books;
  • equipment; and
  • clothes and other necessities.

If you will be living in private accommodation then you may need more than this to cover any deposit or rent in advance.

How much money will I need in my first year?

We will send you details of the fees to be paid in the first year of your course. The fee rate may change for subsequent years – please do not assume it will remain the same for the whole of your time at Kingston.

We recommend checking with your faculty as to what the course fees cover. They do not include accommodation and other living expenses.

All students classified as Overseas or Island for fee purposes must pay 50% of the tuition fee for that academic year at or prior to enrolment. Failure to make the 50% payment may cause disruption to your studies.

How do I set up a UK bank account?

It is a good idea to try and set up a UK bank account in advance. This is because some important financial matters, such as payment of tuition and accommodation fees, will need to be settled soon after you arrive.

You will need to contact your own bank to check if this is possible and how it is best done from your home country. If possible, open an account with a multi-national bank so that you can use ATMs in the UK. You will need to check with your bank first if this is possible.

Make sure you bring the unconditional offer letter sent to you by the University, plus any other ID that you may have that confirms your home address (eg driving licence, credit card bills etc).

Most international students will be able to open a basic bank account. This allows you to pay money in to the account and withdraw money with a cash card. A basic bank account does not allow credit or for you to become overdrawn.

All the main UK banks have branches in Kingston:

  • Barclays Bank plc
    6 Clarence Street
    Kingston upon Thames
    KT1 1NY
    Tel: +44 (0)20 8250 6644
    Bank sort code: 20-46-73
  • Lloyds TSB Bank plc
    83 Clarence Street
    Kingston upon Thames
    KT1 1RE
    Tel: +44 (0)845 0723 333
    Bank sort code: 30-94-77
  • HSBC Bank plc
    54 Clarence Street
    Kingston upon Thames
    KT1 1NP
    Tel (within UK): 08457 404 404
    Tel (from abroad): +44 12 2626 1010
    Bank sort code: 40-26-12
  • National Westminster Bank plc
    Market Place
    Kingston upon Thames
    KT1 1JX
    Tel: +44 (0)845 6101 201
    or +44 (0)1634 890 882
    Bank sort code: 60-60-02

Contact us

International enquiries
Tel: +44(0)20 8417 3411