Impact of the UK leaving the EU (Brexit) on student travel, homestay & residence accommodation

On Thursday 23 June The United Kingdom’s voted to leave the European Union bringing a 43-year association and trade agreement to an end… or did it? We at thought we would look at the impact of Brexit on students traveling to the UK, and what might happen next.

Do EU students have to leave the UK?  

Absolutely not! The process of the UK leaving the EU is going to be a long and slow one. New trade and travel agreements have to be made, until then everything will continue as before. Conservative estimates say the process will take at least two years. Even once the UK leaves the EU, the UK will not become a North Korea-style closed country with limited contact with the rest of the world and even fewer visitors. The UK welcomes visitors and international students. Those already in the UK studying courses will be more than welcome to stay.

Will EU students still be able to come to the UK to study?

Yes of course! As above, the process of the UK leaving the EU is likely to last until at least 2020 students from EU countries will be able to come to the UK as they do now with just their passport or ID cards. There will be no need for visas and they will be welcome to work (as now) to support their studies.

But what about in the future?

Even before the creation of the EU, Britain had a close and friendly relationship with Europe. The main objective for the ‘leave’ campaign was not to move further way from Europe or to become a closed country, it was to leave the European parliament and for the UK to be able to set its own laws independently. With this in mind we firmly believe that even once Brexit is complete, students from EU member countries will still be able to come to the UK to study very easily.

There are a number of powerful associations and trade bodies that are already lobbying the UK government to not only maintain student visitor numbers to London and the UK, but also increase them. Universities UK (UUK) UUK president, Julia Goodfellows recently “Our first priority will be to convince the UK Government to take steps to ensure staff and students from EU countries can continue to work and study at British universities and to promote the UK as a welcoming destination for the brightest and best minds.”

Taking the above into consideration, it looks very likely than even after Brexit is complete (approx. 2020) travel and study in the UK for EU citizens will still be very easy. Our best guess is that students will receive an automatic student visitor visa for a set period upon arrival.

Will it be more expensive to study in the UK?

No the opposite, it will be cheaper! Straight after the referendum results were announced the pound fell to its lowest value for over 30 years. In less than a few hours it fell by between 10% and 15% against most other countries including the Euro. This effectively means that travel to the UK is 15% cheaper than it was before Brexit. This means that as an EU student you are not only still welcome to stay, work and study in the UK and London, your stay will be cheaper. This means you can stay longer, study more or even shop a little more 🙂

We know what you are thinking, won’t the schools put up their fees to cover their losses? Well firstly, your accommodation fees will not going up. Whether you are booking a homestay through or a student residence through, they price will remain the same as now. Offering the usual great value and now a little extra for your Euro.

The indication from the schools also looks bright. University College London released the following statement : “UCL can confirm it has no plans to change the tuition fees for EU students that have already been published for 2016/17. EU students who are registered at the university in 2016/17 (either as a new or continuing student) will continue to be charged the home rate for tuition fees for all subsequent years of their programme.” We expect a number of language schools are set to follow suit.

The overwhelming message is that #londonisopen and welcoming all international students, especially those from EU countries!

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