Learn A Student Guide to the UK
About the UK
The United Kingdom is classified as the largest island in Europe, formed of four countries (England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland) and numerous tiny islands.
Furthermore, Britain is one of the world’s most prominent countries, primarily due to its notable benefactions to the global economy. And subsequently, it is a great nation with abundant history and experiences, where the cultures and rituals of British civilisation are among the intriguing customs for international tourists and visitors.
Additionally, its cultural exports have become attributed globally, including their literature, theatre, film, and television. Before all, we shall not forget the UK’s greatest and most influential export- English linguistics, which has grown to be one of the chief means of social and commercial trade universally.
This has undoubtedly influenced its institutional practices and has made its academies a universal example and reference in excellence, leadership, and superiority.
Applying to a University in the UK
UG (Undergraduate) applications to UK universities are usually made via UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). PG (Postgraduate) applications usually are made straight to the university, commonly through the university website.
If you’re an international student, be certain to submit your application way before the deadline, mainly if you aim to enroll yourself at one of the UK’s best academies. Properly go through university website course pages for details of how to apply and the eligibility criteria.
If you acquired your degree from outside the UK, you’d need to research your preferred university’s course entry conditions. Few universities have articles about this on their websites, or you can contact their administration for guidance.
How to Apply for UCAS?
It’s quite simple; you’ll have to fill in your details on the UCAS website. Double-check all the information you provide, input everything correctly.
Pick a course you desire to pursue. Once you’ve chosen a course, note down its unique UCAS code, as you’ll require it while filling the application form.
Look for a university which is perfect for you. Examine the location, league table position, accommodation, and departments. Once you’ve shortlisted the universities that suit you the best, pen down their unique UCAS codes.
You can only fill in 1 UCAS form, but you’ll get five choices with it. You can apply to 5 separate colleges for the same degree course or five various programs at the same university. The UCAS allows you to write only one personal statement for all five options.
The Cost of UCAS
The UCAS applications cost a reasonable amount, so scrutinise everything while applying for the same. In 2020, the costs were £20 for a single course and £25 for multiple course choices, respectively.
While in 2021, the application cost has risen to £26 for multiple choices, with a single choice remaining the same at £20.
The Universities of the UK
Universities of the UK
The UK homes some of the world’s most prestigious universities of all time- The University of Oxford (1096), The University of Cambridge (1209), and The University of Bristol (1876), etc.
The UK now has over 140 of the world’s top-ranked universities and other higher education institutes in the UK. Renowned worldwide for their academic quality and research abilities. Graduating from a UK university is highly esteemed, notably because of the rising importance given to employability besides experience and talents.
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Every academy delegates external examiners to ensure that educative criteria are met. Their stringency is also exhibited in their requirements, compact and concentrated study programs, and high-grade completion rates (suggesting adequate student support). Many universities also have ‘career service networks’ to assist with selecting a better path after graduation. UK graduation programs are concentrated and shorter compared to several other countries. This serves a substantial economic benefit- not just for the educational and living expenses but also because it’d be possible for students to enter the employment market promptly.
The UK Student Visa
UK Student Visa
As an international student, you’ll be required to have a visa with sponsorship from their chosen university to study in Britain, called a Tier 4 visa. Your visa shall have a permit for multiple entries into the nation. PG students may also bring dependent family members (your partner and kids under 18).
Since January 2020, the Student route visa has been turned to a points-based system where you’ll be required to satisfy three chief principles:
Confirmation of a seat granted on a course from your university (sponsor)– it’s known as a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).
Verification of adequate funds needed for you (and your household, if applicable) to reside in the UK.
Proof of your fluency over the English language- speaking, reading, writing, and comprehending.
International students might be asked to attest they have sufficient capital to study in the UK without demanding access to the public funds. You shall have enough money to fund your tuition fees for a year, plus an amount of £1,334/month for the first 9 months if your destination is London or £1,023/month for other cities in the UK.
If their family accompanies a PG student, he/she will be obliged to prove they have enough funds for them. Students from many nations are excluded from this obligation, even though the UK Visa and Immigration may still urge some students to prove their financial prowess.
It would be best if you appealed for your student visa at least a month (but not more than 6) before arriving in the UK. If you already reside in the UK, your earliest appeal is 3 months before your course begins. Guidance on Student route visas is provided on the UK Government website.
Student Accommodation in the UK
Student Accommodation in UK
Now that you’re briefed about the UK universities and student visa programs, it’s essential for you to look for student accommodation that meets your standard before moving in. After all, any place you’d choose will be your home for the next few years.
Although the traditional university halls still remain the favourite for many first-timers, there has been a significant rise in Britain’s private student accommodation sector.
Below are the few options you can pick from as a student in the United Kingdom.
Normally, the freshers favour residing in the university hostels. It can be a comfortable stay as you’d be living inside the university campus (in some cases, the university dorms may be located away from the campus), making it easier to get to the campus and access all its facilities.
While most uni hostels provide meals, some don’t; in such cases, you must fend for yourself. You’ll also get to know people from various ethical backgrounds and may even have to share your room with another student. It majorly depends on the prices, as students unable to afford a private room generally live in sharing.
Staying with Family
Homesickness is a common sentiment for all of us when we’re far from home. Only a few can match a family’s warmth. The only way to feel that affection in a faraway land is by living with another family. And homestays offer you this possibility.
Staying with a family can be really delightful, and you won’t even need to fret about miscellaneous bills because everything will be included in your rent. A local household will help you upgrade your knowledge concerning their history, arts, and customs and help you form new connections.
However, living with a family also, you might have to follow specific rules and regulations. Initially, it might get challenging, but you’re bound to have a memorable stay with proper communication and discipline.
Private Student Accommodation
Private student homes in the UK are more popular due to their high-end facilities and independence compared to the university halls. Generally, students prefer living in shared rooms, also sharing the amenities. But it depends on your budget and comfortability- if you enjoy being on your own and have adequate funds, you can go for a luxurious private studio.
Private student accommodations in the UK usually are positioned conveniently- within a stretch from significant colleges and public transports. Almost every private student housings are equipped with high-quality WiFi, a gym, top-notch cinema rooms, game rooms, etc.
Many private student properties in the UK also arrange year-round events and contests, where you can get in touch with different people and build new contacts; some may even endure for a lifetime.