Monthly Archives: July 2014

What’s the best way to travel in the UK?

This week’s blogpost is in answer to students’ questions about how to travel in and around the UK.

Living in a different country for an extended period is a great opportunity to travel and explore a new part of the world. You may already be planning some sightseeing trips in the area where you will be studying and further afield in the UK. During the holiday periods, you might plan to travel to other places in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Their respective tourist board websites will help give you an idea of what there is to see and do in each.

As a full-time student, you can take advantage of a discount travel card that gives a large reduction on the price of coach and train tickets around the UK. Both the National Express coach service (long distance bus) and the train service offer these special travel cards. Find out more about student travel cards by comparing the Young Persons Coachcard and the 16-25 Railcard.

For information about the best way to travel to your institution when you first arrive, you will probably need to check directly with your destination institution by looking on their website. Many institutions offer a ‘Meet and Greet Service’ at the airport where you will be arriving. The UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs) website also has useful information about how to travel on to another destination from various entry points in the UK: Travel to your Institution

If you have a question related to academic life and study in the UK and you can’t find the answer in the Prepare for Success learning resources, write it on the Question Wall and we will try to answer it here in the blog next time.

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How can I stay in touch with my family cheaply?

Communication tools - Two mobile phones, a landline phone and a laptopThis week we have a guest blog post provided by Dean Reilly, Deputy Editor of Ofcom-accredited comparison site www.cable.co.uk, suggesting ways of staying in touch with friends and family cheaply while you are in the UK:

Keeping in touch with your friends and family while you study in the UK is essential for your general wellbeing. Luckily there are lots of great ways for you to stay connected to your loved ones that are fast, simple and cheap.

Not all communication needs to be conducted over the phone, but if you want to keep your handset, or have a landline, there are a number of ways to save on your telephone bill. Many landline providers have packages that offer cheaper rates for international calls, and mobile phone providers usually offer additional international packages, SIMs or bolt-ons that reduce the cost of international charges or give free international minutes.

If you’re considering purchasing an international call plan for either a landline or your mobile, you can find more information and prices from cable.co.uk’s guide to making cheap international calls.

Another way to cut the cost of calling home is with an international calling card. These are pre-paid phone cards that can be topped up with credit and, in general, offer cheaper rates to international numbers than a standard landline or mobile. Calling cards are available in most phone shops and even some newsagents, especially those in communities with a large student population.

If you have a good broadband connection, making calls over the internet might be a cheaper method. Using a VoIP service, such as Skype or Rebtel, is free if the person you’re calling is using the same service. Skype can also be topped up with credit and used to make international mobile and landline calls. Another great feature of VoIP services is the ability to make video calls, so you can have face-to-face chats.

Staying in touch doesn’t have to cost a lot, especially if the majority of your conversations can be conducted over a VoIP service, or you find a cheap international calls package.

If you have a question related to academic life and study in the UK and you can’t find the answer in the Prepare for Success learning resources, write it on the Question Wall and we will try to answer it here in the blog next time.

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