What to Know Before Studying in the UK

Studying overseas is becoming more popular than ever. The Institute for International Education of Students (IES) explained why based on a survey they conducted to explore the long-term impact of study abroad on the personal, professional, and academic lives of students. Here are some interesting findings:

95% of the students who were surveyed admitted that studying abroad served as a catalyst for increased maturity

96% reported increased self-confidence

95% said it had a lasting impact on their worldview.

Ask a Tech Teacher contributor, Ryan Hill, has an interesting discussion on how to study in the UK if you don’t live there:

First, if you’re interested in studying abroad in the UK, you’ll want to know the process before coming to the UK. As with any country, there are certain etiquette rules that you should be aware of. You should also know the differences between pants and trousers, but we will leave it up to you to figure this one out. The UK is a highly diverse country with many countries represented among its citizens. In addition to the vast cultural diversity, the UK is home to many unique landmarks and experiences.

There are many amazing places to study in the UK such as Reading, Oxford, Cardiff and many more cities. The UK has become a hub of amazing universities and student accommodation for them. This is unrivalled amongst many countries, and a top destination for international students.

How to Apply to Study in the UK

To begin the application process, you’ll want to find out if you qualify to apply for UK student loans and grants. UCAS provides guidance for searching for courses and will give you a unique reference number to keep safe. The next step is to choose a university. Choose a university based on location, accommodation, and the amenities it offers. Remember that you can apply to five different universities on one application form. Then, you can take a gap year if you’re unable to secure a place at a university straight away. In the UK it is far more common for students to take a year out and reapply for university, so do not feel you are missing out by waiting a year.

Once you’ve chosen your university, you’ll need to start planning for your finances. Although moving to a new country is an exciting time, there are a lot of expenses that you need to plan for. It is important to start a budget so you can keep track of your costs. Think about the costs of studying and living in your new city. Remember to include regular expenses like food and healthcare. Check out the UCAS website for estimated costs. It will also depend on which city you decide to live, as locations such as Reading, Oxford, and Cardiff are popular amongst international students. Once you’ve done on the location, you can start building a budget and get a better idea of how much you can afford.

Apart from living costs you need to think about the university course cost as UK universities typically charge tuition fees, which vary greatly for EU and international students. Fees vary by course, unfortunately the fees for EU and EEA students are no longer around £9,250 as the UK is now out of the EU. Students from Switzerland and non-UK EU countries may have to pay much more. However, you should be aware that if you don’t have enough money to cover your costs, you may not be eligible for grants and bursaries.

If you’re an international student, you must also ensure that you are fully immunized. You should pack your immunization record in your hand luggage. Other important documents include academic certificates, proof of finances, and evidence of accommodation. In addition, you might have to register with the police within 7 days of arrival. And don’t forget to check the country’s visa requirements. If you meet these requirements, your application is almost guaranteed to be accepted.

Student Accommodation in the UK

The UK has a range of student accommodation on offer for international students wanting to live and study in the UK. Many students decide to live in the university halls, but many opt for private student accommodation. For example, Reading Student Accommodation has a variety of housing for international students. Many cities such as Reading offer great accommodation, such as London which offers large purpose-built housing for students, but this does come at a high cost, due to the location.

What to expect from the University?

It’s important to remember to refer to the educational institute as a university and not a college, as in the UK, a college refers to students studying pre-university, typically aged between 16-18. The academic calendar is different in the UK. The academic year has an Easter break that lasts for a month. This means that there is a period where there are very few classes or unstructured time. Exam timetables vary by subject and university policies. You’ll need to be prepared for the long hours of studying during this time. You can also take a test or two in the UK.

Universities typically offer large campuses such as the US, but not universities have this option. An example of a typically university campus in the UK is the University of Reading, which offers students accommodation, sports facilities, and classes all within walking distance.

Moving to the UK to study does take some time and planning, such as knowing where to study, the costs and student accommodation; however, there is a lot you can gain from studying abroad, such as new experiences, more opportunities to learn and make amazing friends.

–images courtesy of Deposit Photo


Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

Author: Jacqui
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