The UK hosts over 500,000 international students each year for study abroad. As an international student, choosing to study in the United Kingdom opens up a world of high-quality education and thrilling opportunities.
However, moving to the United Kingdom requires numerous measures. This guide provides essential information on applications, visas, housing, finances, and more to assist international students in preparing for study in the UK.
Identifying and Applying to Universities for international students
With over 150 universities to choose from, it is essential to conduct research to discover the best fit. Among the considerations are:
- Rankings: The UK has top-ranked universities, including Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London, and University College London.
- Choose bustling cities such as London, Manchester, or Edinburgh or smaller historic villages such as Durham or St. Andrews.
- Courses: Verify that your desired programme is offered and accredited.
- Tuition fees are typically between £10,000 and £38,000 for international students.
- Scholarships: Many universities offer international students scholarships and bursaries.
- Once you have a list of prospects, check entry requirements, such as English language proficiency, academic grades, admission exams, and application deadlines. Prepare a compelling application that highlights your accomplishments, skills, and potential.
Obtaining a Student Visa
International students require a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa to study in the UK. Key prerequisites include:
- This document certifies your acceptance into a UK university.
- You must demonstrate sufficient funds to cover tuition and living expenses.
- English language proficiency: Take a recognised exam, such as the IELTS, and attain the required score.
- TB test: If you are from certain countries, you may be required to undergo a TB test.
- Provide your biometrics and a photograph at the visa application centre.
- Immigration health surcharge: This surcharge must be paid to access NHS services.
- Applications may take up to three months, so plan accordingly.
Contact Visa-Applications.org if you require any support on UK student visa applications.
It is essential to apply for university housing as early as possible, as spaces are limited. The majority of universities provide the following:
- Residence halls – Shared or private accommodations on or near campus. Less expensive with shared facilities.
- Apartments with fully outfitted kitchens for cooking your own meals. Greater independence.
- Homestays – Cultural exchange through living with a host family.
- Private housing – Rent apartments/houses off-campus independently.
When deciding, consider costs, contract terms, facilities, and location. Private rental properties may require an upfront security deposit. Upon arrival, transient housing options such as hostels, hotels, and short-term rentals are available if necessary.
Budgeting International scholars should account for the following:
- Depending on the university and course, tuition fees range between £10,000 and £38,000.
- University halls and private rentals cost between £800 and £1500 per month.
- Food, transport, literature, and entertainment will cost between £800 and £1200 per month.
- Annual health surcharge of £470 for NHS access.
- Flights and visits home must be budgeted for.
You will require approximately £24,000 per year, excluding tuition costs. Be prepared with at least nine months’ worth before applying. Consider financial aid, part-time employment, and family support. Once in the UK, open a bank account to manage your finances.
Coping with Culture Shock
University study abroad can result in culture shock. Some useful advice:
- Make acquaintances through university groups, societies, and your residence.
- Communicate: Feel free to ask inquiries or seek university personnel’s assistance.
- Explore the local area and engage in social activities; try new things.
- Cook familiar dishes, speak your native language, and maintain ties to home.
- Be patient: Adaptation requires time, so be kind to yourself during the transition.
- Seek assistance: Counselling services aid many international students in navigating difficult situations.
Enjoying College Life
Prepare for an incredible student experience in the UK! Here are some key points:
- Try out new sports, interests, and causes through student organisations.
- Build skills and relationships in the local community through volunteer work.
- Attend events, including guest speakers, concerts, and festivals.
- Take excursions throughout the United Kingdom and Europe during breaks.
- Create memories: Experience unforgettable moments with diverse international companions.
As an international student in the UK, you can earn a prestigious, internationally recognised degree while living, learning, and exploring a fascinating new country. With meticulous planning and an open mind, your time abroad can be of immense academic and personal benefit.
As an international student in the UK, maximising employment opportunities can also enhance your experience. Many pupils opt to work part-time during the academic year and full-time during the summer. This helps to cover living expenses while developing valuable skills.
International students can work up to 20 hours per week during the academic year and full-time during the summer. Student employment opportunities include retail, hospitality, tutoring, internships, and on-campus positions. The UK also offers a Post-Study Work Visa to graduates eligible to acquire work experience after completing their degree.
Gaining part-time and post-graduate work experience in the United Kingdom allows international students to maximise their post-graduation prospects. A well-planned international education in the UK can commence an exciting international career.