Traveling for International Students

Traveling for International Students
As a student, regardless of your location, you are likely to need to travel a distance that is un-walkable at some point during the duration of your studies. Luckily, the United Kingdom has one of the best public transport systems in the world - whether you choose to travel by bus or train or even getting a taxi. There are hundreds of buses running throughout the country and wherever you are (unless you are in an isolated country house!) it is unlikely that you are more than just a few minutes walk from your closest bus stop which would provide you with cheap access to all the local attractions/towns etc.

In London, alongside the buses, the “tube” is the most common form of public transport. Similar to most UK cities the tube is a series of underground trains that provide quick, easy and cheap access to all the areas of London. In the rest of the UK, the use of trains is generally above ground and usually only used for longer distances from city to city or town to city rather than just from one area to the next. With fewer stops and quicker speed, the trains can usually get you to your destination in just few minutes as opposed to the half an hour it may take on a bus.

The other common choice is to drive. You may expect that because you are a qualified driver in your home country that you will then be able to drive in the UK with no problems. However, before driving any vehicle (whether that be a car, motorbike, van etc) in this country you should check that you meet all of the legal requirements which affect both you as a driver but also the vehicle you are driving, not to mention ensuring you are aware of all the rules of the road and the relevant laws as they can often be very different to what you are used to in your home country. It is not a case of a slap on the wrists if you break these rules, the British police are famous for their “ignorance is not an excuse” policy meaning that being unaware of the rules for whatever reason, would not be an excuse. In fact, failure to comply with these rules can lead to criminal convictions which can lead to large fines, criminal records and even, in extreme circumstances, jail time.

If you do not have a licence that you would like to try and transfer to the UK but rather want to learn to drive in the UK you are required to apply for a provisional licence which will allow you to undertake lessons but not go on the roads alone. Once you have completed the two-part driving test successfully, you will then be able to drive on the roads alone. However, any car that you drive must be insured to allow you to drive it. A common mistake is thinking if a car is insured you can drive it when in reality it must be insured for YOU to drive it - either with your name on the policy or for that particular policy to state that it may be driven by a third party (you).

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