25 Things You Didn’t Know About Studying In UK
The United Kingdom has the second largest population of international students in world, after the US. This makes the UK a top study destination. But what are those things you should know before going to study in the UK?
In today’s video, you will learn 25 things you probably didn’t know about studying in UK. This video is brought to you by After School Africa. If you are new here, welcome. Be sure to subscribe to this channel to continue exploring opportunities.
1. To begin with, UK is not the same as Great Britain
In fact, the full superscription is ‘United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’, commonly known as UK. So when you mention UK, you are actually talking about four constituent countries; England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. So bear in mind that some of the points mentioned here may apply more in one constituent country than the other.
2. You can study without IELTS or TOEFL if…
In most cases, you need the test of English language proficiency to study in a UK university. But if you are from a few select countries where your education was in English language, you can be exempted from this English language requirement.
3. Work study options are limited
Most work-study jobs are limited and many students who work part-time end up doing jobs that they are either overqualified for, or that are totally unrelated to their field of study or interests.
4. Post-study work opportunities are severely limited
Presently, in many cases, students have to return to their home countries within 30 days of graduation. The only exception to this is when certain employers take interest in certain students, offer them jobs after graduation, and help them to secure a permit to remain and work in the country.
5. British people drink a lot
Firstly, the drinking age for Britons is lower than that of other countries, so they start drinking relatively early here. They drink tea a lot, but, strangely, they also love warm beer! Especially in Scotland!
6. GRE is not a common prerequisite for admission
Here’s one advantage the UK education system has over other countries. For graduate admissions, a first degree with good grades and in a relevant program is usually enough to fulfill the minimum academic requirements for admission. Only in a few exceptional cases and programs is the GRE requested.
7. Many Scholarships are available for international students
There are many scholarship options to study in UK compared to most other countries like Chevening scholarship, commonwealth scholarship and so on. In fact, it is very possible to find fully-funded scholarships to study in the UK for the entire duration of your program. Watch our video for top scholarships in UK and visit the links to list of scholarships in UK in the description below. Also subscribe to www.afterschoolafrica.com to explore more UK scholarships.
WATCH: Top 10 Fully Funded Scholarships in UK for International Students | Top 10 Series
8. People in the UK have different accents
The lingua franca in the United Kingdom is English Language; but, there are different variants of the language. The English spoken in Wales, Northern Ireland, and England can be distinguished by the distinct accents in each of these places. Among all, the Scottish people have the most distinct variation.
9. Living in the UK is expensive
Living expenses in the UK are high. The UK currency, Pound sterling is one of the strongest in the international market, despite the impact of Brexit. Without strong financial support by way of scholarship or assistantship, many students struggle to finance their studies in UK.
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10. Get to understand the grading system
Grading and exams might be a bit different depending on where you are coming from; grades go from ‘First class’ (the best grade, equivalent to an A in the US) to a ‘2:1′, ‘2:2′ and a ‘Third’ which means you’ve passed but gotten the lowest grade. Essays, assignments, final exams and your degree will all be graded like this.
11. From 2020, the UK Government plans to grant 2-year post-study visas to international students
Well, following Brexit, plans are already in place to ameliorate its effects on the economy and migration. The UK government has announced that 2-year post-study work visas would be available for international students who desire to stay back and work in the UK from 2020, bringing an end to decades of limited work options for international students.
12. Accommodation is provided
The least of problems new student face in the UK is that of accommodation. As long as the requisite fees are paid on time and insurance is obtained, UK universities and colleges offer accommodation facilities to their students, both on-campus and off-campus. This is much unlike what is found in countries like Germany, where securing accommodation can be a herculean task.
13. Police in the UK do not go about with guns and live ammunition
Well, as a rule, UK police are typically gentle, and their approach to crime occurrences (in many cases) is to try to reduce the possibility of harming another individual, including the criminal(s). For this reason, they normally do not go around with guns. They only bear batons.
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14. Lots of tourist attractions
The UK is most certainly a top tourist destination! There are several places in the UK that would light up your holidays as a tourist, or even a visiting student. Buckingham Palace, Westminster Bridge, Stonehenge, Lake District, and Cliffs of Moher, or the breath-taking Scottish highlands are a few places you should visit and explore.
15. You’ll need to apply through UCAS
Foreign students applying to undergraduate courses in the UK, need to apply through UCAS which regulates and organizes applications for all students across the UK. UCAS works out your score using the grades you’ve achieved in your own country and you’ll also have to write a personal statement.
16. Lots of student discounts
Student vouchers give you incredible discounts off everything from clothes to travel to furniture. Many universities run fresher’s fairs for new students during the first few weeks of school with lots of freebies on offer. Although it’s harder to get deals on books, you can always chase up second-hand textbooks, share them with your classmates or sell your new books when you’re done. Also many textbooks can be borrowed from the library.
17. The longest running scholarship programmes
UK has some of the longest running scholarship programs for international students. The oldest of which is the Rhodes Trust Scholarship, founded in 1902 by Cecil John Rhodes.
18. You can get a scholarship before applying for admission
Yes. You can apply for some of the scholarships in UK like the Chevening scholarship and be awarded a scholarship before applying for admission. This makes it easier to guarantee source of funding before applying.
19. Visa rules varies
If you’ll be studying in the UK for less than six months, you’ll need a short-term student visa. But you won’t be able to work in the UK, including work placements as part of your course and part-time jobs. If you want to work, you need a Tier 4 visa instead. If your course lasts for longer than six months, you’ll need a Tier 4 (general) student visa.
20. You can easily find students from your country
Culturally, the UK is diverse and welcoming of people from all around the world. You’ll find plenty of fellow international students at all universities, and most will have societies to help you meet like-minded people, and those from similar backgrounds. You can also search for Facebook groups related to your university to make some friends before you arrive!
21. You must obtain Health Insurance
All international students, from both inside and outside the EU, need to prove they have health insurance to cover them for any healthcare need while in the UK. If you’re a student from a country outside the EU, you’ll have to pay a health surcharge as part of your visa application, giving you access to the NHS during your stay.
22. You cannot rely on working to fund your living in UK
If you’re from a non-EU country, you’ll be able to work up to 20 hours per week while studying; and full-time during the holidays. But, you shouldn’t rely on a part-time job as your main source of income to fund your living costs in the UK. While they’re a great way to boost your finances, you’ll unlikely be able to earn enough to live off.
23. You need a UK bank account
When studying in England, a bank card and English bank account are necessary to avoid foreign transaction fees and to get a SIM card. Paying with a UK bank card is easiest. And you can withdraw cash for free at most UK ATMs.
24. Have an international debit or credit card and some cash
For foreign students studying in England, it can take a few weeks to get an account set up. This is because there will only be a select few banks that allow international students to create accounts, and these banks require that students get a bank letter from their university, book an appointment, and then wait usually 1-2 weeks for their card and banking information to arrive by mail. Before you leave, make sure that you have sufficient cash and at least two international debit or credit cards to keep you going before your bank account is ready.
25. The weather is unpredictable
If you have ever seen a UK movie before, you’d probably have noticed that there is at least one scene that was captured in the rain. This is true about the UK – it can rain anytime! The UK climate is very diverse, unique and unpredictable. If you are planning to study in the UK, you should prepare for occasional weather surprises.
There you have it. which of these points interest you the most about studying in UK? Let us know in the comment section. If you are yet to subscribe to After School Africa, now is a good time to subscribe. Until next time, YOUR SUCCESS MATTERS!