The prospect of applying to study at a university in a foreign country can be daunting to say the least, so we’ve put together this series of articles to offer some crucial guidance and support to international students looking to study in the UK.
First off, we look into the reasons why you might want to study in the UK before taking a look at some of the troubles you might encounter, such as getting a Student Visa in time or finding good accommodation, and how to deal with them.
Step by step, this series hopes to offer comprehensive answers to the questions and problems you might face in the process of coming to study in the UK.
Why Study in the UK?
While looking to complete your academic studies in your home country, you should bear in mind one of the top destinations when it comes to studying abroad: the United Kingdom. Below you can find a few reasons which reinforce this belief and highlight what the UK can offer in terms of opportunities.
The Unique Culture
The UK is a multicultural society with an even more diverse student population. With more than 400,000 international students welcomed on a yearly basis into the UK, the country definitely knows how to treat its students and offer the right support to the student community. The UK prides itself with the variety of scenery that it offers, from the cosmopolitan cities of London and Manchester to more traditional, smaller cities like Brighton and York; all of them reflect the British lifestyle and the modern touches of what makes the country an international destination. This makes the UK excellent for any student with a love for travelling.
However, what makes it unique is that the UK does not pride itself only with its history and the traditions it promotes, but also with how it is currently in the process of making history. From sports (Premier League matches, Wimbledon, or the Rugby World Cup), to world-famous festivals (Glastonbury, Shambala), the UK is a global front-runner in terms of culture. It is safe to say that no matter what you are interested in, you will always be able to find it and fit right in with British culture.
The Application Process
When it comes to studying in the UK, you will find it rather easy to apply for any of the degrees that are of real interest to you as everything can be done electronically, by uploading the required documents, personal statement, and references online and submitting the application form. As far as undergraduate studies are concerned, the application process is even easier, with the UCAS platform distributing your application to the universities you have selected, and keeping you up to date with the progress of your application.
The English Language
English is considered to be a global business language and many universities in the UK have a minimum requirement when it comes to your ability to communicate in English. However, studying in the UK also gives you the great opportunity to become a fluid speaker of the language: immerse yourself enough in British culture and you could well end up thinking in English by the end of your stay.
It is perhaps the reputation of the British universities that could best convince anyone to come and study in the UK. With Oxford and Cambridge considered the Ivy League of the UK and many other universities ranking in the first 50 universities worldwide, it is at a British university where you are guaranteed the quality of teaching and facilities.
The UK is certainly known as an expensive country, especially for international students coming from somewhere with a much lower cost of living, and this can add no small amount of stress to a student’s life. However, British Universities have a variety of bursaries and scholarships on offer to those who need help with any of the costs involved in studying, in order to help them achieve their dream of studying in the UK.
One thing that is worth noting is that no university would accept a student dropping out based on lack of funds, and they would always offer financial advice and help for them to overcome this struggle.
This aspect of studying in the UK is tightly related to the one mentioned above. Aware of the financial struggles that an international student can encounter while studying in the UK, universities encourage students to find part-time work which is why they allow students to work a limited number of hours, usually between 15 and 20. Even if the student does not require the extra money, it is still highly advised that they do some part time work during their studies as this improves their skillset and offers them better career prospects after university.
Overall, the UK considers itself as a top destination for international students and based on the reasons mentioned above, its belief is very much justified. It definitely offers the prospect of a unique lifestyle to those deciding to come and study in the UK.