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Have Spending Habits of Overseas Students Changed Since Their Arrival in the UK? Essay Sample

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Introduction of TOPIC

In recent years, studying abroad is a new trend for most young people all over the world. There are many destinations for overseas students such as the USA, Australia and the UK. It seems the UK is one of the best choices for most international students to study abroad.

There are some advantages for overseas students who wish to study in the UK including facilities, the modern method of teaching. Beside the educational opportunities, overseas students are also face to face with the changing lifestyle and especially in spending habits.

In a study by Vickers and Bekhradinia (2007), they found that overseas students spent about �181 per week. They also discovered that the number of overseas students has been increasing during the years 1995 – 2005 from 200,000 to over 300,000 overseas students in UK universities. However, as the research by Lightfoot (2009) there were 513,570 international students studying in the UK.

In the others research, they also found the average amount spent per week in 2007 – 2008 was �182 (The cost of living and studying in the UK, 2009). According to the latest research by the University Of Edinburgh (2009) the estimated living costs 2009 – 2010 was about �186, it depended on which types of accommodation that students chose.

The aim of this research is to find out how the spending habits of overseas students changed since they arrived in the UK. It will also look at what changes they have made in money spent on socialising.


The research was carried out on 22nd April, 2010 to find out the changes of spending habits of overseas students since their arrival in the UK. The instrument for this research was a questionnaire which was distributed randomly to 100 international students. The respondents included 71% males and 29% females studying at HIBT in Hertfordshire, England.

The most of respondents were Saudi, Chinese, Pakistani, Vietnamese, Srilankan, Nigerian and the other subjects come from ten other different countries in Asia and Africa. Most of them at the age 18-24(59%) and have been in the UK for less than 6 months (49%).

The questionnaire contained 14 questions which were divided into three parts. The first part asked for general information, and the other two parts were about spending habits of overseas students in their home country and in the UK on accommodation, foods, transport, communication, and entertainment.

The results were gathered and changed to percentages which shown in the tables and graphs on the result section.


Graph 1 show the sample group in percentage between gender and different countries. The first pie chart illustrate the percentage of respondents come from different countries; the majority of subjects were Saudi (29%), Chinese (19%), Pakistani (13%). As can be seen on the second pie chart, it shows that most of sample is male with 71%.

Graph 2 shows the weekly expenditure of overseass students on food. Respondents were

asked how much they spent per week on food and to note their answer using one of the answer categories shown in the graph 2. In contrast, 42% of students spent from �35 to �70 per week in the UK compared with 44% respondents spend less than �35 in their hone country. It indicated that students spent much more in the UK than in their home country.

Graph 3 shows the changes of spending habits on transport and accomodation. As can be seen on grahp 3, there were a big changed on accommodation, 65% of students spent nothing on accommodation in their home country, while only 5% of respondents spent nothing in the UK. On the other hand, weekly expenditure on transport were recorded for the double changed 39% of repondents spent from �20 to �40 on transport in the UK compared with only 16% in their home country.

Graph 4 shows the weekly expenditure of students on entertainment. The answer indicated that there was not any change on entertainment between in the UK and their home country. The entire trend shown on graph 3 was almost the same.

Graph 5 illustrates the different of spending habits on food between male and female. A very clear trend is indicated that male spent more than female for both home country and in the UK. There were 45% of male spent from �35 to �70 in the UK and 34% spent the same in their home country compared with only 21% and 35% of female.

Graph 5 show the different of spending habits on entertainment between male and female. There was a little change and different on entertainment for both male and female as recorded. Graph also indicated that male have a trend to spend more than female. There was the same percentage at 18% of male spent more than �30 for both home country and in the UK.


The purpose of this research was to find out the spending habits of overseas students changed since their arrival in the UK. On the other hand, it will also look at what changes they have made in money spent on socialising. The results show that there was a huge changed when overseas students came to study in the UK. This investigation found that spending habits of overseas students changed a lot on food and accommodation.

As can be seen, 44% of overseas students spent less than �35 per week on food in their home country, while they spent from �35 to �70 in the UK, approximately 42%. Furthermore, there were 65% of overseas students spent nothing in their home country, while only 5% spent nothing in the UK. The research also find out the different of spending habits on entertainment between male and female, but it seems there is no different in this survey.

These findings are different to the results if previous research (Vickers and Bekhradinia, 2007; the cost of living and studying in the UK, 2009; university of Edinburgh, 2009) that found the average expenditure of overseas students was around �182 including �140 on essential items and �41 on non essential items. As this research, most of overseas student spent more than previous research on some items such as accommodation and entertainment.

On the other hand, this research shows clear that overseas students spent more in the UK than in their home country. It can be caused of so many reasons such as they still lived with their family in their home country, so their parents can supported to them everything that they needed. The other reason can be the costs of living in their home country are cheaper than in the UK.

Although, the findings are quite clear, but there are some weakness need to be aware that this survey was carried out with a very small sample group who were all students come from Asia and Africa. Another weakness is the questionnaire does not investigate the average expenditure overseas students per week in the UK and it also has some defect need to be improved. This research does not answer the question “what changes have they made in money spent on socialising.

The research can improve the quality and reliability of findings by conducting the same research with larger sample come from nay different countries. The questionnaire should be contained items ask for more details to make the results much better in the next research.

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