It is more important than ever to open a bank account before you arrive in the UK.
The UK Government's list of countries from which travellers need to self-isolate or quarantine upon arrival could change shortly before your planned arrival date. We strongly recommend you arrange an international account or bank card to facilitate your self-isolation or quarantine period upon arrival, even if you currently are not required to do so.
In the UK many places accept card payments only, due to the pandemic. Therefore, you should arrange an international bank account or bank card to be able to make card or online payments for basic necessities, such as food shopping, takeaway meals, and paying tuition fees, when you arrive in the UK.
Mastercard and Visa are widely accepted in the UK - you should avoid bringing a large amount of cash with you as opening a UK bank account may take a little while, depending on which bank you choose.