In the wise words of Louis Pasteur, “chance favours only the prepared mind.” A UK Master’s degree doesn’t only provide world-class education but living in the UK will undoubtedly enrich your life experience by miles. But how? You may ask. Well, you’ve come to the right place because in our Study your Master’s in the UK series, we’ll cover everything that you will get to experience and enjoy during your time in the UK as a Master’s student.
1. It’s not as expensive as you think!
Surely you have heard horror stories about the expensive London living standards, right? Guess what? As long as you’re prepared to think outside the box, it doesn’t have to be expensive: work out a flat share with your fellow students instead of paying for student accommodation, or better yet, stay with a host family. It’s a great money-saver and an effective way to gain insight into local living. It’s a no-brainer really.Alternatively, many cities outside London like Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh, etc. are relatively inexpensive and offer comparably exciting city life at a fraction of the London price tag. As shown in the figures by Numbeo, London is more than twice as expensive as the cities listed above in rent, public transportation and leisure centre membership. As a student, you might need a monthly bus pass to travel to campus, which you will pay £130.00 for in London, £52 in Manchester, £47.50 in Glasgow and £50 in Liverpool. Don’t be fooled by the little differences in other departments too like groceries, dining out and entertainment, you’ll be surprised by the sum when you’ve totted up all the extra little costs.
Let’s talk about what’s cheap-er. Many popular, currently hip brands in Malaysia are British, or at the very least European, think Topshop, Topman, ZARA, Mango and H&M. It is no myth that they are cheaper here, especially during sale seasons, we’re talking the summer, mid-seasons, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and after-Christmas as well as all the tempting permanent sale rack fixtures…this could be you. If you prefer to do your shopping online, ASOS and many items on Amazon and eBay offer free delivery straight to your doorstep.
2. Jet-setting opportunities
Ahhhhh the lifestyle we all desire. Let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to live life jetting off everywhere? While you may be thinkingin the UK, it’s possible to travel like an A-list globetrotter, with an M-list budget. Take note of these airlines and websites, and use them religiously:-All these cities and sights are within reachable distance:You don’t have to travel far because there’s plenty of fun things to do in the UK itself. We recommend you mustor at least witness some of this in action…
The football culture here is unlike anything you’ve seen. The Brits live for the sport, a craze you can’t fully appreciate until you have experienced a match or two first-hand. Imagine being in the stadium to spectate the match of your dreams! Wouldn’t that be the most amazing experience ever?
Should you need tips and tricks to save even more money and travel safe, check out our Student Traveller’s Handbook.
3. Feel at home in the UK
Show of hands, who likes food? Yeah, me too. As a fellow Malaysian, I understand this national obsession of ours and there’s nowhere better to venture out to the some foreign cuisines than the UK:If you miss the food back home, the multiculturalism in the UK is very much reflected in its variety of cuisines, indeed, some of the nation’s favourite meals originate from Asian dishes, such as:Perhaps you like to cook, then you’ll be pleased to hear that UK supermarkets are some of the best. Popular choices include Aldi, Lidl, Asda, Sainsbury’s and the Tesco, if that doesn’t cure your homesickness, I don’t know what will.
Quick tip: look out for the “yellow labels“,these are items on the verge of expiration reduced in price, but are still perfectly safe for consumption or use.
Albeit low key, many international festivals are celebrated in the UK within small communities, but that doesn’t mean you can’t join in! Chinese New Year is the most festive time of the year in Chinatowns up and down the country while street parties are thrown in a number of cities during Deepavali (aka Diwali), not to mention Ramadan is also widely practiced by the Muslim communities in the UK. You can almost hear the music looking at these pictures and while we’re on the subject of music, London is a popular tour destination for many internationally-acclaimed artists, from classical to traditional to pop. You can usually find the dates and ticket fares online or advertised in a local ethnic grocery store. Furthermore, the summer here is when some of the biggest music festivals take place. Glastonbury, V Festival, Parklife, T in the Park, Reading and Leeds Festival, BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend, the list goes on and on…This is the perfect time for students and adults alike to go all out to enjoy the music and bask in the sun!
4. No more summer all year long!
Speaking of the sun, unlike parts of the US, Australia and Malaysia, the UK has four seasons that we have grown to associate with many western festivals; Easter is the first sign of spring, Halloween trick-or-treating reminds you half the autumn has flown by and there’s nothing quite like a white Christmas – the gatherings, the feasts, the roaring fireplaces, the wooly jumpers, the lights, the extra warm and snuggly blankets…and think of all the snowmen you can build…
and how cool you would look in all that ski gear when you go skiing in Scotland…We’ll take that over exchanging Christmas gifts in BBQ smoke under the scorching Australian sun any day. Thanks.
5. You’re just like family
We cannot stress how important our students’ wellness is to us. While we’re unable to guarantee total Safety, we do have the next best S-word, Statistics. According to Nation Master, the UK is perceived to have significantly lower crime rate by its general public than the US, Australia and Malaysia in recent years.The UK is also much more tolerant of diversity of all kinds, in the sense that people from minority groups feel much safer here than the aforementioned countries. Let’s hope these numbers and figures can convince your mother to let you fly the nest indefinitely… well, it’s only one year but for them, it sure does feel like eternity…
That’s all we have for today! Be sure to stay tuned if you’ve enjoyed reading this post because we have more for you tomorrow on why we think the UK is the best option for your Master’s degree venture. In the meantime, give us a shout on social media if you have any questions about studying in the UK in general, as we love to hear from you, always.