From my own experience, I replied from most of universities regarding my applications before Easter break. By the time now, you should consider not solely on selecting a university but living in the U.K seriously. In practical terms, I strongly recommend you to open bank account after your arrival. To do this, you need an official bank letter from the school to confirm your student status. Generally, majority of banks accept HTS(Highly Trusted Sponsor) institutions’ bank letters without any problems(you should consider that some universities could be excluded from HTS list such as London Metropolitan University). After you open a bank account, literally you could do flawlessly about transferring your home country’s bank account into U.K contracting Mobile phone (usually 24months), TV licensing and proceeding Monthly payments regarding your purchases etc. Personally, I changed my phone by changing ownership, if you interested in I will reply it in detail.
If you arrive earlier than 1st semester, definitely you should consider going travels for other famous cities such as Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh. Luckily, 16-25 Railcard allows you save 1/3 on standard fees. Although you are above 25, you are still eligible to get this as a full time student by getting confirmation letter from a University. In Aston, we have a specialized department to help international students(HUB). If you request specifically about your needs(Bank letter or Confirmation Letter) earlier than your visit, you will get it less than a minute!