IMPORTANT: Please be aware that we will be NOT be able to accept cash payments for fees. Find out more about different ways to pay your fees.
Opening a bank account
Most students find it necessary to have a British bank account. You may open an account with the bank of your choice.
In Reading town centre there are a number of other banks which you may wish to consider, you can find information on these in this list.
In order to open a bank account in the UK
- You will need to take your passport showing your current visa
- A letter from the university confirming details of the course you are studying and your local address in Reading. More information on how to do this can be found on the Registration page.
- Please check with the bank of your choice exactly what information they require from you in order to open an account with them. Different banks may have different documentation requirements. It may take several visits to the bank to open an account.
For out more about opening a UK bank account.
You will not be able to open an account without the official bank letter from the University.
British coins come in the following denominations: 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 (100p), £2 (200p). Banknotes come in denominations of £5, £10, £20, £50 and £100. Note: £50 and £100 notes are not widely used and some shops/restaurants will not accept them. The University is a predominantly cashless campus and we do not accept cash at our University-owned cafes, restaurants and bars.
When you obtain your British currency, ask if you can have some small denomination notes and coins. Try to buy something at the airport (for example a newspaper) to break one of your notes into smaller change. This will make things easier if you need to use buses, trains or taxis.
Normal banking hours are from 09:00 to 17.00 Monday to Friday. Some banks are open on Saturday mornings.
You can change currency and cash travellers' cheques at 'Bureau de Change' offices, which are open for longer and are often located in stations and airports. Try to avoid changing very small amounts of money as there is often a minimum commission charge which makes it expensive. Shops and services in the UK will accept payment in UK currency only. Credit and debit cards are also widely accepted.
You are strongly advised to buy comprehensive travel insurance before leaving home to cover you for your journey to Reading.
For students living in halls, a basic contents insurance policy is included in the rent. Details of the policy and how to add any additional items to the cover is included in the halls e-induction and halls A-Z handbook.
Students staying in the UK for more than six months are covered by the UK National Health Service and do not normally need to take out any additional health insurance.
Students staying for six months or less should be sure that they are covered either by the European Union (EU) reciprocal arrangements (for EU students), or by their home university, or by private insurance arrangements made before they arrive in Britain.
For any student staying less than six months, emergency medical cover in the UK can be bought. One option is to contact Endsleigh Insurance by telephoning 0800 7832801 (from overseas 0044800 7832801.
Further details can also be found on Endsleigh's travel insurance pages.
You may also want to familarise yourself with current arrangements in the UK post-Brexit for European Health Insurance Cards.
The University does not endorse or recommend this insurance but gives this information as advice only.
Personal possessions insurance
The University has agreed a special scheme with Endsleigh Insurance for students resident in University owned halls. The annual premium will be automatically charged along with the first term's accommodation charges.
You are strongly advised to check the insurance wording of the Endsleigh scheme to ensure it meets your needs. If you are staying in private accommodation you will need to make your own arrangements for insurance cover.