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Prepare for your visit to the UK

Plan your visit to the UK by thinking ahead of the costs you will incur while you are away on exchange and planning your budget and accommodation.


London is a very expensive city to live in. Plan your finances from the beginning by working out a realistic budget for the money you will need while you are here.

Please note that you will not pay any registration fees at UAL but small fees may be charged (such as photocopying, artists’ materials, etc.) on the same basis as these are charged to local students. You will need to cover all other costs, including travel, subsistence and accommodation.

All grants and scholarships are managed by your home institution. The European Union’s Erasmus grants help fund students to study and work in Europe as part of their course.

Please contact the International Office at your institution to check whether you can receive Erasmus grants or other funding.


All incoming students have the ultimate responsibility to find and arrange accommodation during their stay in London.

Students are strongly advised to start arranging their accommodation very early on and to plan a sufficient budget as accommodation in London is very expensive.

There are two possibilities for accommodation: university and private.

University accommodation

Incoming exchange students can apply for accommodation in one of UAL's Halls of Residence, and special arrangements can be made in some Halls for a one or two term rental agreement.

Please note that places in UAL's Halls are not guaranteed and students are advised to book a place very early on.

Please visit the Accommodation section of the site for more details on how to book and contact information.

Private accommodation

Private accommodation (through agencies or private owners) is sometimes the easiest way to find accommodation.

You can find a lot of information on private accommodation on the Accommodation pages. Students are always welcome to get in touch with questions and queries, including on a private contract before signing. Please don’t hesitate to email the team at

Please also check the London Student Housing Guide published by University of London Housing Services, which is a very detailed guide to renting privately in London and includes a section with adverts
(“Find a flatmate”).

The important thing to stress is that you MUST come to London first in order to find accommodation; it is imperative that you go and view any room you are interested in before you pay any money and/or sign a contract. This means that you will need to arrange temporary, tourist-style accommodation so you have a base.

Finally, here are some agencies/websites that have been helpful to other students. Please note that they are not associated with the University and UAL cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of accommodation found through these sites:

Passport and visa

It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that their travel documents, including passport and visa, are in order and comply with immigration requirements in the UK.


Make sure you have a passport, valid for the entirety of your planned time on exchange plus an additional six months after your planned return.


If you hold a passport outside the European Union you should check with the British Embassy for student study visa requirements.


UAL has a basic insurance policy covering all students, but it is not comprehensive.

Note in particular that students are not insured for any activity that is not related to their course or the University. It is therefore recommended that students take their own insurance for the period they are abroad or check with their home university if they are adequately covered.

It is also the case that non-EU students must take full health coverage as they will not be covered during their stay at UAL.

Prior to travel, all students must read the Travel Cover Summary, which outlines cover and procedures necessary to ensure all medical emergencies are handled smoothly. Remember to always retain invoices/receipts for all expenditure incurred. You will need to produce these to support your claim.

For more information on UAL Insurance, check the UMAL website.