Hey guys, congratulations for making it all the way to Southampton, UK. Yay! As MSA we would like to provide you with some advice and tips about living here in the UK, specifically Southampton.First off, we have the most common question that everyone asks – What should I bring to the UK?, What should i do in UK?, What should i EAT in UK! Fear not, as I have compiled a list of important information!
Things to bring to UK
Stationery here in the UK is a tad pricey, so remember to pack your favourite pens!
Malaysian Sauce/Curry/Soup Packets (E.g. :Curry paste, Bah Kut Teh mix….)
Malaysian food is always the best and here in the UK there aren’t that many chances for you to eat Malaysian Food so this is the next best thing that you can probably get.
Although they sell Milo powder here in some Asian Supermarkets, many claim that it just doesn’t taste the same as the ones in Malaysia. (Apparently the Milo here is imported from Singapore 😏)
Sweaters, Heat Tech undergarments
Ok, so when you arrive here in the UK it’s probably during September which is Autumn,and it’s just starting to get cold, so my advice is to bring a nice thick jacket and wear some Heat Tech if you’re sensitive to the cold. Don’t worry if you don’t have a winter coat or any winter garments, as winter apparel sold here are definitely cheaper here in the UK.
Things to do when you first arrive in UK
- Collect your student ID card and Biometric Resident Permit
This is very important as you are unable to create a bank account if you do not have the BRP and without your student ID you unable to enter the library 🙁 Be sure to book your BRP and student ID collection date online! For more information please visit this website.
- Set- up your Bank Account
Here in the UK is that you need to book appointments for everything from haircuts to bank appointments, so be sure to book a date for your bank appointment (be sure it’s after your student ID and BRP collection date!) before coming to the UK to save yourself some effort. Not sure which bank to choose? Click here to see how we breakdown all the pros and cons of the banks for you!
- Register with your local NHS GP(General Practitioner)
NHS is the National Health Service which is a Government-Funded medical and health care services that everyone living in the UK can use. As an International Student, you need to sign-up with your local GP before you start using their services. You can register with your local GP by either by filling up a form that can be obtained from the University Health Service or you can sign-up online using this link.
- Get your Mobile Sim Card
Once you arrive in the UK, we highly recommend you to get a Pay As You Go Sim-Card at first, once you have gotten a bank account, then only can you set-up a mobile plan with your preferred Sim-Carrier of choice. Click here for more info about Sim-Card plans.
- Collect your student ID card and Biometric Resident Permit
Where to buy stuff
- Asda (Halal) Location
Asda is a big supermarket that sells almost everything and is usually cheaper on average compared to other supermarkets and they also have a halal section as well.
- International Foods (Halal) Location
They sell various Asian cooking ingredients and they have also have a butcher corner which has a selection of various Halal meats.
- Sainsbury’s Location
There is a Sainsbury’s in Portswood which is neat because it’s usually closer to some of the student halls, although some of their stuff is a tad pricey.
- Lidl Location
One of the cheaper supermarket stores in West Quay, they sell mostly cheap stuff and the in-store pastry selection is pretty decent as well!
- Aldi Location
They sell alot of cheap off-brand products and is located in Portswood so its quite close to students staying in Wessex Halls.
- Wang Store Location
This shop is located along Burgess Road and they sell various Asian stuff(mainly Chinese groceries, but they have Korean and Japanese ingredients as well!)
- Primark Location
This place is a must go as they sell all sorts of assorted clothing. From 2-pound t shirts to formal attire, this magical clothing department shops sells literally any type of clothing and it’s so cheap as well!
- TK maxx Location
TK maxx is a department store that sells branded clothing and house-hold goods at a cheaper price compared to other retail stores. This store is a must-go if you are looking to buy good quality goods at a cheaper price.
- IKEA Location
Well I’m pretty sure everyone knows what IKEA is so I’ll skip the explaining on this one.
- Amazon (Free student prime etc)
Well Amazon is like the biggest online retail store, and what’s more, as students you get a free 6-month student prime, if you register your university email to your account.
Where to eat
- Unikebab (Halal) Location
One of the best Kebab houses in Southampton, and if you’re an MSA member you can get a special discount! They have also won the best Kebab House Award in Britain 2 years in a row!
- Star Fried Chicken (Halal) Location
Your typical fast food joint, I can say with absolute certainty that they sell the best fried chicken wings along Burgess Road.
- Chef China (The chicken meat used is Halal and you can opt for no pork and no lard in your dishes) Location
Your typical chinese take-out place, one of my favourite dishes there is the Japanese Katsu Chicken Curry.
- Chan’s (The chicken meat used is Halal and you can opt for no pork and no lard in your dishes) Location
Your typical Chinese take-out place, one of my favourite dishes there is the black pepper beef.
- New World (The chicken meat used is Halal and you can opt for no pork and no lard in your dishes) Location
Your typical chinese take-out place, one of my favourite dishes there is the salt and pepper squid.
- Seven Seas Fish and Chips Location
Your typical fish and chip shop, the store owner is from Hong Kong, and if you can speak Cantonese, the store owner will be even more friendly to you!
- Masala Madness Location
This Indian Cuisine restaurant recently opened and is already a favourite among my friends, they usually cater take-outs but there are few tables inside should you wish to dine-in.
- Supreme Location
One of the rare Malaysian cuisine food restaurants in Southampton, give this place a shot if you really miss Malaysian food.
- Shanghai Bay Location
Craving for some dim-sum? Don’t worry this place sells dim-sum as well as your typical chinese dishes.
- Garden Restaurant Location
This place has a nice ambience and is suitable for events like birthdays and such, they have also have a karaoke room! Although the food might be a tad pricey compared to your typical chinese diner.