If you’re unsure if your child is eligible for home or international fees, discuss this with the university or college.

International student fees vary, so make sure you check this carefully if you think that your child will be in this category.

Most universities will take payment in lump sums throughout the year, but if you need to pay in instalments, check with them about payment plans

Living costs

Living costs vary between cities – most universities will have a general budget calculator on their website so you can get a feel for this.

If your child needs a visa, there is a minimum monthly amount you must show you have in your bank account for ‘maintenance’ (on top of tuition fees) – find out more on GOV.UK.

There is also a charge for:


International students can work to support themselves while studying, but they must adhere to the UKVI guidelines about maximum hours – information about will be clearly provided with the student visa documentation.

For some courses, such as medicine, students are unlikely to have time to regularly work part-time as well as study and attend placements.

Loans and sponsorship

Some countries offer an official education loan system:

  • such as FAFSA in the USA
  • or sponsorship options, such as the Saudi Cultural Bureau

These can often be used overseas, including in UK universities.

Certain funding options can only be used for selected universities or courses, so check with the organisation providing the sponsorship/loan before deciding on where to apply. There may also be conditions attached, such as returning to work in the country issuing the loan in a specific post for a set period of time.

Other countries have private loans specifically for the purposes of education available through banks.

Please check the terms and conditions of any loan, as some may have specific conditions linked to academic performance.

Scholarships and bursaries

Scholarships and bursaries may be available for international students and are normally applied as a tuition discount. Check terms and conditions carefully, as sometimes there are conditions such as becoming an ambassador for the university, or being featured in promotional materials. There may also be requirements for the student to maintain a certain level of academic performance.