Forget home brand beans on toast; a handful of international students in London are opting for a more luxurious lifestyle by joining a private members club specifically tailored to students.
And for many, it comes at quite a cost. For a top-tier membership at Luxury Student, members are paying around £7,200 (US$9,750) per year.
The Luxury Student website states “the majority” of its 500 members are international students. More specifically, most of them are from Europe, the Middle East and the US, The PIE News reported.
Founder Aileen Gilani told The Independent this is because international students “like to spend more on luxury” than their peers.
‘I Founded a members club to help students live their best #luxury lives’ Our Founder Aileen Gilani speaks to The Student Highstreet on offering London’s elite #students the most exclusive #experiences!🌟💫 pic.twitter.com/S1AkB4Td1e
— The Luxury Student Magazine (@luxstudent) March 8, 2018
Gilani set up Luxury Student after she found “typical” student nights with cheap booze and “budget customers” did not fit her lifestyle.
She claimed, surrounded by “a lot of wealthy international students”, she realised her ambitions to promote luxury living as a student.
“I loved the luxury industry and I knew many others who did too, so I was curious to see how I could create a career out of it,” she told The PIE News.
“The majority of members are international students, and we have a large number of fashion students, PR students, and even economics students and student nurses – it all just depends on what they want from their student life.”
International students in UK flock to join ‘luxury’ members club
— The PIE News (@ThePIENews) May 4, 2018
She claimed, however, students are not accepted based on how rich they are:
“It’s aimed at anyone who isn’t interested in those typical student nights and instead they want to enjoy those private in-store luxury events.
“We hope to expand to even more countries and we want to show that regardless of money, status or background, any interested student should have the right to enjoy a taste of luxury.”
Cheaper packages are available at as low as £5 (US$6.70) per month but some students pay over 10 times this amount for the package promising “intense luxury” and to be taken care of “in every single way”.
Your very own #nightclub concierge, our team can book you in at ALL of the most exclusive hot spots in town. Get it in touch and we’ll make the arrangements, so you enjoy your night fuss free! pic.twitter.com/aDQIEihVl6
— The Luxury Student (@luxstudent) March 30, 2018
One of the biggest challenges for Gilani was convincing luxury brands students were a market worth targeting, The PIE News reported.
“I had to show the brands that many students are not on a budget or trying to save money,” she said.
Recently, however, more light has been brought upon the wealthy international student market with a string of internet memes cropping up earlier this year donned the ‘rich international student memes’.
rise and shine, international students pic.twitter.com/WFU5rJOwMm
— andy (@arrystyle) April 3, 2018
Find it so funny when I see tweets about rich international students, cause when I was studying abroad I was probs the only one living off bread and water lool
— NICS (@nicss_lm) April 3, 2018
The Twitter-storm which followed argued the memes were insulting to the many international students who work incredibly hard to make ends meet.
Gilani claimed she was not surprised to see outrage as “luxury is not something that people are always proud to talk about openly.”
“We have had people come to us who are very against the fact that yes, some students enjoy luxury. I think there always are going to be people who won’t enjoy our platform,” she said.
The club is open to undergraduate, postgraduate, mature, and part-time students as well as bloggers and influencers.