You can't open a bank account until you're in the UK and have registered on a programme of full-time study. It's not possible for students staying less than six months to open a UK bank account so this won't be possible if you're a study abroad student studying for only one semester.
It can take up to two weeks to open a bank account. UK law requires banks to make detailed checks on customers to establish proof of identity (signed passport), proof of address in home country and proof of new address in the UK. You should therefore make sure that you bring enough money to cover your expenses for the first few weeks in the UK. You might consider bringing traveller's cheques or a credit card with you. Please do not carry large amounts of cash with you or keep large amounts of cash in your room.
Once you arrive at London Metropolitan University you will need to decide which bank you want to open an account with and there is some useful information to help you decide here on the Which? website. In order to open an account you will need to complete an application form from your preferred bank.
In addition you will need to provide the following evidence to them:
- proof of your identity (usually a passport)
- proof of your address in the UK
- confirmation that you are a full-time registered student at the University – this may be confirmed by getting a bank letter from your School Office at London Met after you have enrolled. You may also wish to take your tenancy agreement as evidence of your current address if you are in private rented accommodation.