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Information for International Students

In order to help students coming to the University of Sunderland from overseas countries outside of the European Union, we have set up this page specifically with as much information as possible to help you prepare financially to study in Sunderland as well as to budget for expected costs while you are here.

It can be difficult to work out a budget when studying in another country, as you may not be aware of how much you will need to pay for essential living costs. This section gives some advice on what to expect and how to manage your money whilst studying in the UK.

Don't forget that the University of Sunderland also has an International Student Support Team - which can help you with any Visa and Immigration enquiries, as well as making your arrival and stay in Sunderland as easy as possible.

You will also find the UKCISA website (UK Council for International Student Affairs) a fantastic resource of information and guidance for students planning to study in the UK.

Cost of Living - What to Expect


This is likely to be your largest outgoing. University-managed accommodation costs from around £3100 for 40 weeks, or around £3900 for 50 weeks, although you will pay more for a larger room and/or en-suite facilities. This can be a good choice financially as you will be close to your lectures, therefore should not incur additional travel costs, and fees are usually inclusive of water rates, gas/electricity and broadband internet. Further details can be found on the Accommodation website: http://www.sunderland.ac.uk/studentlife/accommodation/

Another option would be to rent privately, perhaps sharing with other students. Rents can vary, depending on the location and size of the accommodation. You can use the Studentpad website to search for local accommodation, to get an idea of how much you would need to pay: http://www.sunderlandstudentpad.co.uk/Accommodation

Again, some landlords will include water and energy bills with your rent, which can help you to plan your finances.

The following website also gives detailed advice on choosing accommodation: 


Again, living in University accommodation or private accommodation close to the University can remove the requirement to pay for day-to-day travel costs. If you do choose to live further away from the campus, a monthly travel ticket can be a good idea as this may be cheaper than paying per journey. See the following website for further information: http://www.nexus.org.uk/bus/tickets

Utility bills:

These may include gas, electricity and water charges, plus TV licence and telephone/internet connection. Prices can vary depending on the provider. As stated previously, University accommodation fees usually include these charges, and some private landlords will charge rent which is inclusive of certain bills. If your rent does not include these charges, you may need to arrange to split these bills with your housemates and plan these costs into your budget. The following website can help you to search for the best deals: www.moneysavingexpert.com


Contents/personal possession insurance can be good idea. This is also included in the cost of University-managed accommodation. Websites such as www.moneysavingexpert.com offer an overview of insurance policies for students.

Food and other household expenses:

This can vary greatly. It may be possible to eat for as little as £10-£15 per week, but this can take a great deal of planning. It may be wise to budget £20-£30 per week for food costs.

Books and other course materials:

Can vary depending on your course. The library is free to all students, although you may be advised to purchase several ‘core’ textbooks each year. Certain courses may also require you to purchase specialist materials or software. The programme leader for your chosen course should be able to give more information on what you will be required to purchase - so you could ask them in advance for an idea of what your course materials costs are likely to be.   


In addition to the above, you may incur additional costs, including socialising e.g. eating out/cinema/sporting activities. These costs can vary, and it may be a good idea to budget for the priority expenses such as rent, bills, and course costs first of all. You may also need to buy certain large/bulky items when you arrive, instead of bringing them with you e.g. bedding and kitchen utensils (bedding packs can be included with University accommodation).

Managing Your Money

The 'Money Matters' section of our website gives you guidance on how to manage your money as a student and keep track of your finances: 

In addition, the UKCISA website is an excellent resource for International students. Among other useful information, it contains money management advice and an online calculator, to help you plan your budget: UKCISA Managing Money  


You may already be aware that the University of Sunderland offers a scholarship to International Students as a reduction on their tuition fees if they are studying full-time with us. This is £1500 fee reduction for undergraduate study per year, and a £1000 fee reduction for postgraduate study. However, you may wish to look for a scholarship for other costs, before coming to study in the UK. Below are a few scholarships that you may wish to investigate:

British Chevening Scholarships:

UNESCO Fellowship Bank Scheme (apply via local national commission):

Marshall Scholarships: 

In addition, you may find the following websites useful when looking for information on scholarships: 

You could also see if your government offers grants or student loans to students studying abroad.

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