It can be a daunting prospect when you are all set to attend a University in a different country. Students often speak of the culture shock – the United Kingdom is a highly-multicultural nation and therefore can be easier to adapt to than some, but it is still useful to be prepared. This guide provides crucial information for international students attending Universities across the United Kingdom. Browse around our site for more informative articles which should help your preparation. Read on for more.
It is first worth noting that the vast majority of institutions will hold welcome events, dinners or social events to welcome the international community. It can be recommended to visit these early events – where it is likely you will meet like-minded individuals. Also, many countries have their own societies at University, you could join it. This would enable you to meet other students from your home country – something that can always help with the adjustment phase. Students from outside the European Union (including the UK – for now!) account for 14% of total students – so you are far from alone.
Read Next: 14 Things that will Happen in Student Halls
Read Later: University Profiles
As for the actual requirements to attend a UK University – each course will have different entry requirements. Remember some courses, especially at prestigious Universities such as Oxford and Cambridge, will require interviews. While UK students will have A-Levels, please note that you won’t be required to have attained this. International students will often have the well-renowned International Baccalaureate qualification. You can apply to UK Universities through UCAS – details can be found here. Key dates for your application can be accessed here.
Ensure that you do your research on selecting a University. Check out our guide on how to choose a University here. UniEel has also produced University profiles, which include key information such as the number of students, league table positions and more. It can be recommended to look at the location you are visiting, and if possible, visit the institution so you get a feel for the University.
Funding is an important element of coming to University. To make matters more complicated, each country within the United Kingdom has different rules. England has the majority of Universities, and will charge European citizens a maximum of £9,250 per year. Unfortunately for International students, tuition fees are typically around £15,000 per year, but can rise up to £35,000. In Scotland, thanks to a subsidy from the SAAS, fees are free for Scottish and non-English, Welsh and Northern Irish EU students. International rates still apply, as it does in Wales. It is always worth looking at scholarships available, these are normally open to any student.
For the foreseeable future, EU students studying in the UK will not need a visa. Due to the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union, this could change. Students from outside the EU will require a visa. This visa is known as a ‘Tier 4 Student Visa’ – UniEel has put together a helpful article here on Visa’s for international students. Alternatively, information is available at the Government’s website here. Remember, applications for visa’s can take time, and therefore it is recommended that you plan for this well in advance.
Obviously accommodation is also an important consideration. It is best to use your University’s service for this. It is always a good idea when you visit your University to see some of the accommodation on offer. Remember you will be staying there for at least a year, so it needs to be somewhere suitable! Also consider the location of the accommodation in terms of its proximity to your campus.
As for support, there is a lot available. If you want to view a checklist of what you need to take to University, click here. The British Council’s website provides details of support services for international students. Areas like bank accounts and phone contracts should also be considered. Ensure you bring identification such as your Passport, confirmation of your student status and proof of address. Many things can be arranged once you are in the United Kingdom, so don’t worry too much!
So as shown in this guide, there is a lot to consider when moving to the United Kingdom to study. However, they are all largely simple steps, and shouldn’t put you off coming here. The United Kingdom offers world-class education and should provide years of fun. If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments below or contact us directly. Good luck!