There are lots of things to share about living in Guildford but I prefer to go over the most essential ones first. In previous blog, I mentioned about where to stay and where to shop and now I would like to give some tips about other primary needs such as mobile operator, bank and other useful infos.
Lets start with most needed one; mobile operator. When you first come to UK, you may use free Wi-Fi on airport but then there is urgent need for cell operator. So beforehand it is good to know which one to use and it might be the important choice because your mobile number is kind of your identity here when registering to any place. There are some alternatives such as Vodafone, GifGaff, Three, Voxi and O2 but most of Turkish students prefer Voxi which is sub brand of Vodafone and quite cheap and useful. The price is only 10 pound for 12 GB.(https://www.voxi.co.uk/plans).
Three is also one of cheap operators but it is not working properly in Guildford s not recommended. GifGaff is another alternative but majority of students around me use Voxi and they are quite pleased. So it is highly recommended. Voxi > GifGaff > Vodafone
The second important choice is banking. Especially during pandemic &lockdown, most of the shops and restaurants do not accept cash so it was troublesome at the beginning and opening a bank account is crucial. You may heard some of them beforehand such as HSBC, Barclays, Santander, LLoyds, Natwest… There are a lot variety but most user friendly is Barclays which has most branch in UK and quite good but since demand is high, you may need to wait too long for an appointment. When you come, it should be your first thing to book a date. Check Barclays website for more up to date info. Santander has branch in campus but it takes 1 pound per month. Other alternative is Natwest and for me it is quite straightforward, has branch in town center. Lloyd is also good but what I heard is, receiving a payment can be one day delayed. So my recommendation is Barclays > Natwest > LLoyds then others. One more important thing is Barclays is good for transferring your money from Turkey by using TEB. These two has an agreement between and you can receive your money from your TEB account by using Barclays ATM.
The last advice from me is for transferring money from outside is via Transferwise. You can use this platform to send money or receive money from abroad which they claim they are the cheapest option for this since there is no cambio fee. You can open a bank account over there but they do not have actual branch to top up your card you need to use post office etc. so not quite useful for banking.
Another important things are registration of your address (Police registration, NHS). Those are very important and you need to do these registration in one month after you came. Since university is guiding and directing you to do these, I will not mention about details, you just need to book a date when uni arrange these events.
Please keep updated yourself, I will share more about social things but just wanted you to know essentials. I am here for any help, anytime you need. Just type an email.
Until next time, stay safe. Saglicakla kalin…