Cambridge Overseas Tuition (USA) Watch

ustocambridge
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Hey everyone! I'm an American starting at Cambridge (King's for HSPS) in the fall and I was wondering if there were any other US students that could give me some advice/info on how they set up bank accounts in the UK for tuition payment in particular - what bank, how they transferred the money, etc. Thanks so much!
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Claree
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(Original post by ustocambridge)
Hey everyone! I'm an American starting at Cambridge (King's for HSPS) in the fall and I was wondering if there were any other US students that could give me some advice/info on how they set up bank accounts in the UK for tuition payment in particular - what bank, how they transferred the money, etc. Thanks so much!
Hey! I'm a dual UK/US national but have many international friends. International students tend to open basic UK bank accounts. It can take a while to set up. You can make an appointment in advance with a bank to set it up. I'd recommend doing this shortly after arriving (and go early in the day when you do go) as banks can have long waits for appointments at the start of October and long queues in the banks themselves, due to lots of new international students all wanting to open accounts.

I assume most UK banks will have an account appropriate for international students. You will need to bring proof of your address in college - typically people got their tutor's secretary to write a letter for them to take to the bank, to confirm that you are studying here and reside at your college address. You'll also need to bring ID e.g. passport.

Opening accounts in the UK can be a bit more complicated now for US nationals due to FATCA. This means UK banks have to feed back details about your account to the US for tax purposes. A few smaller banks/building societies therefore don't let US citizens open accounts, as the admin is too much effort. But you'll be fine with most the big name banks. You'll just have to tell them that you are a US citizen when you open the account. They will ask you for your Tax Identification Number (TIN), which will be your Social Security Number. There are several branches of large banks in Cambridge city centre e.g. Barclays, Santander, Nationwide, NatWest etc. I'd recommend opening an account with a bank that has a branch in Cambridge, as then you can always go in person if you want to sort something out.

I assume you then transfer some money from your US bank account to the UK one. This may have a charge. At my college you can pay fees by either cheque or bank transfer. It may be different at other colleges though - your college will tell you how to pay when you get the bill.

I assume it's fine to do this from a US bank account (you may need to if your UK one is not set up in time), but international transfers usually cost money. Once you have a UK bank account, you could instead transfer the money by "faster payments" online for free to the college account (they will give you the bank details), or go into your bank branch and get them to do it for you, or you can write a cheque and hand it into college.

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ustocambridge
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(Original post by Claree)
Hey! I'm a dual UK/US national but have many international friends. International students tend to open basic UK bank accounts. It can take a while to set up. You can make an appointment in advance with a bank to set it up. I'd recommend doing this shortly after arriving (and go early in the day when you do go) as banks can have long waits for appointments at the start of October and long queues in the banks themselves, due to lots of new international students all wanting to open accounts.

I assume most UK banks will have an account appropriate for international students. You will need to bring proof of your address in college - typically people got their tutor's secretary to write a letter for them to take to the bank, to confirm that you are studying here and reside at your college address. You'll also need to bring ID e.g. passport.

Opening accounts in the UK can be a bit more complicated now for US nationals due to FATCA. This means UK banks have to feed back details about your account to the US for tax purposes. A few smaller banks/building societies therefore don't let US citizens open accounts, as the admin is too much effort. But you'll be fine with most the big name banks. You'll just have to tell them that you are a US citizen when you open the account. They will ask you for your Tax Identification Number (TIN), which will be your Social Security Number. There are several branches of large banks in Cambridge city centre e.g. Barclays, Santander, Nationwide, NatWest etc. I'd recommend opening an account with a bank that has a branch in Cambridge, as then you can always go in person if you want to sort something out.

I assume you then transfer some money from your US bank account to the UK one. This may have a charge. At my college you can pay fees by either cheque or bank transfer. It may be different at other colleges though - your college will tell you how to pay when you get the bill.

I assume it's fine to do this from a US bank account (you may need to if your UK one is not set up in time), but international transfers usually cost money. Once you have a UK bank account, you could instead transfer the money by "faster payments" online for free to the college account (they will give you the bank details), or go into your bank branch and get them to do it for you, or you can write a cheque and hand it into college.

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Thank you so much!
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