London, besides the regular studies brought a lot of learning to me even in the world of banking. I needed to open a bank account in order to get a debit card to make my life facile. Going to a bank near the campus and then the Barclay Bank situated at a distance, and speaking to the branch manager inquiring about the student accounts, asking for details and making a decision after the understanding of the charge per transaction was in itself a good experience.
My experience :
When I realized that opening a bank account in London was like hula hooping while eating chicken biryani. I had assumed it would be a walk in the park but I was so very mistaken. There are plenty of banks to choose from and number of accounts and schemes being advertised, its easy to get confused and go for whats being advertised. DO NOT MAKE THAT MISTAKE !
Bank accounts are serious things don't be in a hurry. Always carry enough in Forex to last you one month. Yes one entire month, It takes that long mostly....
Things to consider :
1. Bank University Partnerships
2. Bank branch and proximity to Uni
3. Services and accounts provided
4. ATM charges
5. monthly rent for debit accounts
6. online & mobile banking
7. Are they student friendly - " do they charge you for every transaction"
8. International transaction rates
Reality Check :
No student accounts are free. You either pay a monthly five pound rent or a six pound transaction fee every time you receive an international money transfer
# Never pay your entire tuition fee from an international debit or credit card
( they have exorbitant secret charges)
# Its more convenient to pay a tuition fee deposit from your home country before arrival.. my cards wouldn't work in the UK :(
# Transfer a large sum of money once. As this would save you from the 6 pounds transfer charge every few months. ( this applies to banks that charge you per transaction. Its so much better than paying a monthly rent for your bank account, when you might not even need to transfer money internationally that often.)
I was as if dropped in the middle of the ocean to swim back to the shore with ores of knowledge and I must say that I have succeeded.
Post sponsored by London Universities International Partnership #LUIP