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UK

Why Study in UK?

study abroad blog uk

Under one government, the UK is made up of four countries. Each of the country distinct in terms of culture and have specific feeling of their own. The countries are Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales. Over a long period of time UK has been regarded as the most honorary place to study.

College Fit

When we talk about higher education, they have a long number of courses and universities to choose from. They have many options for Undergrad and also postgrad. They have the most unconventional courses in all the other countries with international influx of students.
Master’s and doctorate students are given chance to work under important researchers which makes the UK the most preferred study destination for students all around the world.

Considering the range of subject they offer, it is safe to say there is something for everyone. The colleges are ranked based on the GPA of students. So alongside the extracurricular activities, study is given special attention.

Popular student destinations

World’s most important universities are situated in the UK. Including, but not limited to – University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, London School of Economics, and University of Durham.

While majority of the colleges are situated in London, other most important student destination are Manchester, Oxford, and Cambridge.

Popular courses

The most popular programs among Indian students are Social -studies and Sociology, Business Management, Law, Communications/Media, Computer Science

Safety in UK
  • UK is known to be extremely safe. The students both international as well as local are very helpful. They take it upon themselves to make you feel safe and welcomed. The blend of cultures in UK will make you find the tribe based on your authenticity and interest.
    Weather
  • UK is known for its unpredictable weather. It will change thrice in a day or stay the same for a week. They see snowfall in the wintertime, but the season of summer is not as hot as Indian summer.
  • England – Though the gust of winds could be stronger than the rest of the areas, England is comparatively warmer and also sunnier. The rain, however, could not be predicted, it could fall any time of the year. The most popular English cities are Manchester, London, and Birmingham.
  • Average summer temperature – 25°C to 15°C
  • Average winter temperature – 7°C to 0°C.
Scotland

Weather-wise the story of all the places in UK would remain more or less same. Scotland can see rainfall pretty much randomly. But the eastern part of the country sees less rain than the western part. The most famous cities are Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Edinburgh.

  • Average summer temperature – 19°C to 10°C
  • Average winter temperature – 6°C to -1°C
Wales

Wales has uniform rainfall compared to the other countries in the UK. October to January is the rainy season. The regions that experience snow have much shorter days. Warmer cities of country are Newport, Cardiff, and Swansea.

  • Average summer temperature – 23°C to 12°C
  • Average winter temperature – 8°C to 1°C.
Northern Ireland

This is the mildest region strictly in terms of weather. However summers are cooler, but winters are milder. The area sees less sun comparing to the countries in the UK. Newry, Lisburn, Belfast are the most famous cities.

  • Average summer temperature – 19°C to 10°C
  • Average winter temperature – 8°C to 0°C
Lifestyle tips
  • For the international students to open a bank account, they will need a letter from their respective universities. This letter will be handed over by the college to the student during the time of registration.
  • Based on the suggestions by the international student who have been to the UK for studies, you must register yourself with one good local doctor. The college will help you in doing so.
  • You will see a number of societies and clubs at the universities. If you find anything that piques your interest do participate.Alongside sharpening the skills and talent you already have, try new things which you will not find anywhere else. There will be many events even during the period of study – spend time in learning new things there.
  • English people are known for being nice. Alongside that, they are very proud of their diverse culture. When you visit UK, this is what the people will expect from you
  • Punctuality. Be it social occasions like festivals, parties, or professional commitment, they are always on time.
  • Always be polite. They are very respectful people and they expect the same from others.
  • Canadians believe in equality between genders, so show respect to the opposite sex
  • Refrain from sexist jokes. Show respect to the opposite sex.
  • Refrain from jokes on gender, disability, race, disability, religion, sexual orientation.
  • Refrain from asking a personal question like salary, age and others.
Indians living in UK

In UK, among all the international students, Indian community is the largest. Birmingham, London, and Manchester are the most common destination among Indian students. Other cities will a large Indian population are Glasgow, Cardiff, Belfast, and Edinburgh.

The most important thing that you will need to decide as an international student is where you want to live. Whether it is going to be the university campus or you will stay in privately owned place. There are several options even in the university-managed accommodation – they have self-catering option in which you will have to look after your food yourself. The option is catered, where they will provide you with the food. The cost varies a great deal in self-catered and catered options, but the latter one is much more convenient and allows you to focus more on your studies.

If you want to stay at a privately owned place, we recommend you to stay as close to the university as possible. There are many benefits of staying closer to the university like – you can be a part of the student community, socializing, group studies with other students, easy to commute, freedom to explore the city and so on.

Students must ensure, before taking up a private space, that they are aware of their contractual rights.

Types of accommodation available in the United Kingdom :

Short-term accommodation – Hotels and hostels. Some institution helps the student to find shelter in short-term stays. Ask the organization and they will tell you the options in your vicinity.

Rental – You can rent private property. Indian students rent apartments with their friends. After university accommodation, this is the most popular options among international student.

On-Campus – There are dozens of benefits of stay on-campus. You save the commuting time, better community experience, immersive university experience, deeper friendships.

Orientation

Make sure you reach before the orientation begins. That is time you will be introduced to universities, your classes and their services. Do read your guidebook given by the college for a smoother first few weeks.

Activities

Other than sports the universities offer various activities options like drama, music, literary societies, and many more outdoor activities. If you want to make the most of your time in the UK participate as much as you can. There is a long of historical sites that will stimulate your creativity and help you understand the country.

Admission process
Requirements
  • You need to know when the application process starts, the deadline, and the intakes. There are a lot more important things students need to be mindful of. The requirements are not standard – they change depending on to subject and your program level. But one mandatory requirement is proficiency in the English language.
  • Different universities may have different requirements, it is suggested that you thoroughly research on the university website.
You need to take care of the following documents
  • 10th, 12th, UG mark sheet.
  • Two academic reference letters from recent teachers or professor (the more the better).
  • LOR from the employer if you have worked.
  • SOP
  • Resume
  • Essays (depends on the university)
  • Score of GMAT / GRE / IELTS / TOEFL
  • Portfolio
  • Relevant certificates (if any)
  • Proof of funds
  • Timeline
Follow these steps to complete the admission process –

12-18 months prior to the enrollment –

  • Put on your research. Do thorough research based on your needs. Pick 10-12 universities. Go through their website, make a list of requirement, as well as deadline.
  • Read about different ways you can fund your education.
  • Make strategies for different universities. Remember – one size does not fit them all!

10-12 months prior to enrolment –

  • Shift gears. Preparation mode is done, now we are on to application creation mode. By this time you should be well aware of your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Time to get all in now – start preparing for the mandatory tests like IELTS, TOEFL, GRE, and GMAT and so on.

10 months before enrolment

  • This is the next step in your process. Start it off by downloading university brochure from the official website.
  • UCAS admission form and application should be next on your to-do list.
  • Search for and begin applying for external scholarships (if applicable). There is number of external scholarships that you can apply for. Look it up!
  • Take standardized tests like GMAT and TOEFL.
  • Contact your professors and direct managers for at least two reference letters.
  • Begin drafting your SOP and essays.
  • Alongside your admission applications, plan for your expenses like applying for an education loan.
Enrolments
  • Apply before the deadline!
  • You may have to appear for a video interview in front of the admissions committee.
  • You will get your rejection letter via e-mail by April-June (the months may vary). The acceptance letter helps you attain a student visa.
  • Gather paperwork for your student visa.
  • Depending on the deadline, you will need to notify the universities of your decision, pay a non-refundable deposit, and apply for your student visa.

Application fee: All the colleges charge a nominal application fee while you apply. The fees are not standard and do vary from college to college and course to course.

Essay: The topics try to evaluate the students based on strength, weakness, experience, skill, career aspirations, and most important – the reason for picking the particular school. You will need to submit different essays as the university demands. It is a part of the admission process.

SOP: Make sure that it is written in the first person and mentions all the right reason that why you want to apply for that college. SOP is how to introduce yourself to the admission office of the university. Keep the SOP casual, but at the same time, do not make it look like you are boasting or you do not care enough. It should be the right balance that reflects how your personality vary objectively. The SOP should also mention why you right fit for them and why you should be accepted to the college.

LOR: The purpose of the letter is to let the college know the qualities 0f the students from an authentic source. LOR is written by a third party mentioning the students’ qualities, capabilities, striking characteristics. It could be your manager, employer, teacher, or professor who write it for you.

UCAS

UK has adopted an order called UCAS which stands for through Universities and Colleges Admission System. It is a central UK organization that manages the undergrad application and forwarding of the application to their respective institution.

UCAS charges £13 for applying to one course and if you are willing to apply to multiple courses you will be charged £24. Through one common form, the Universities and Colleges Admission System allows to apply to as many as five universities.

The UCAS is particularly created to manage the September/October intake. For the other (January or February) intake, you can apply directly with the university.

Intake seasons

There are two major intake season in the United Kingdom –

  • September/October
  • January/February

You can use UCAS to apply for the September/October intake. For the other (January or February) intake, you have to apply directly with the university.

Top 10 Universities in The United kingdom

Top Scholarships in The United kingdom

Language exams

All the tests differ in their way, most colleges just need one of the results of either of the test. It is safe to say that it depends on the student which tests they want to take. One of these TOEFL, IELTS SAT, GMAT, GRE is mandatory if you want to get admission to any college in the UK. These tests have various structure, formats, band of the result.

Repetition of exams: The test of IELTS can be taken as many times as the student wants, but on the other hand TOEFL has a cap on the times it can be taken and retaken. The rules of PTE are the same as the IELTS, as there is no cap on the number of times it can be taken.

Note – One rule that applies to each of the tests is that you will have to wait for the test to apply for the retest.

Fee: The standard fee for all these exams is between 13000-14000 INR.

Time to apply: To prepare for these tests takes somewhere between two to four months. At times, they also give you an option, in that case, the result of the test you want to submit depends on you. The college and university have rules about which test they accept.

Is IELTS enough to study in the UK? The answer is no, here is the list of exams required for different courses.

General exams

GMAT – This test evaluates English, reason skill, and also math. This is the exam taken by the MBA aspirant or the students who want to study management or business courses in the United States of America.

GRE – In recent times, business schools have started to accept the score of this test. This test is taken by the students who want to pursue MS or MA.

SAT – This tests the literacy as well as general writing skill of the students. Problem-solving skills are also a significant part of the test. SAT is taken by the school students who want to go abroad to do their undergrad.

If they give a choice to go for either of these, then the choice depends on you.

The university you will be applying to will mention which exam results will be applicable to the course of your choice.

Repetition and Fee: GMAT retest price is 1800 INR, GRE is INR 14,965, and LSAT is INR 3,800.GMAT does have any cap on the retests, but it cannot be more than five times a year. 30 days gap must be taken before the retests

Average Scores: The accepted GMAT scores is 547, 155 for Verbal, 167 for Quantitative, and 5.0 for writing in GRE. 162 is the accepted score for LSAT.

School Expenses

The cost of living in UK depends a lot on what part of the country you choose to live in. It also depends upon how much you will be socialising with the people there. There are few very general and basic elements for living in UK as an international student, such as:

  • Rent for accommodation (Off-campus and on-campus)
  • Cost of food and groceries
  • Basic utilities like internet, gas, water, electricity
  • Phone bills
  • Cost of text and reference books
  • Travelling cost within the country and when travelling back to India
There are several other charges that differ from one person to another such as:
  • Travelling and vacation
  • Dining out
  • Car rent and insurance
  • Connection for cable TV
Cost of living for international students in the UK

The international students in the UK have to pay a slightly higher tuition fee as compared to the students from the UK or EU. The tuition fees are variable, depending upon different courses, universities and the city. For international students, the fees start with £10,000 (~US$14,130) and go up to £38,000 (~US$53,700) or more for medical degrees. The average cost of studying in the UK is around £22,200 (~US$31,380) per year and those who want to stay in London needs to spend much higher.

Living expenses

As per the new rules of visa requirements, if you are an international student, the UKBA (UK Border Agency) needs you to have at least a £1,265 budget per month, to study in London, excluding the tuition fees.

In case the campus is not situated in London, you will require to have a minimum budget of £1,015 per month, as per the UKBA. Students need around £200 to £300 per week to live in UK, on average. This is just the estimated cost of living. The actual costs are supposed to vary, depending upon your lifestyle, the place where you stay and your scale of socializing.

Other essential costs

Costs of other essential commodities depend upon the person’s lifestyle and where they choose to stay. For example, the average bill of food, for a week would cost around £50. Having a meal at a restaurant could cost up to £15-£25 and having a meal at a pub would cost £8-£12.

Health insurance

Insurance Policy is compulsory for international students. Insurance Policy is compulsory for international students because the student would be studying abroad for a long period of time. However, the students now do not need to buy a separate health insurance policy as not it is included in the student visa provided to them. The health insurance helps the students during the time of hospitalization as you won’t have to pay any money and it covers all costs.

Scholarships to Study in UK

The students with a good track record including in academics as well as extracurricular activities are preferred above the rest for financial assistance and scholarship award. Fee waivers are given to international student on basis of need and also merit. Adding to that, the presentation of the application makes the world of difference.

If you are eyeing for that scholarship, you must make sure that you have all your documents sorted as that is the very first step.

Documents required
  • A letter of intent, which acts as a cover page
  • LOR
  • IELTS or TOEFL score
  • Mark sheet, degree, or any other academic record.
  • Updated CV
  • Cover page, also known as the letter of intent
  • Loans
Student eligibility criteria

First things first, you will have to check whether or not you make the cut for getting the loan. This is a non-exhaustive list of the criteria

  • Check which bank allows which courses.
  • Must 18 year old or over
  • Impressive academic records.
  • Must have cleared all rounds to secure admission in the college
  • Must be Indian born
Eligibility of course

These are sort of course which make you eligible for the education loan. You cannot get loan for all the courses, except these –

For Undergrad: Courses that are job oriented offered by reputed universities.

For Postgrad: You can get loan for MBA, MS, MCA, and also for diplomas.

Loan amount: The bank charges 1% as the processing fees that the students will have to bear. Let us assume your fees is 10 lakhs, then the bank will only give you the 80% of the amount, you will need to bear the remaining cost. This 20% of the sum, in banking term, is known as the margin amount.

The widely accepted amount for a loan is 20 lakhs, but you can get well above that. It depends on the reputation of the college.

Documentation required: It should have the details of your courses as well as a fee breakdown. You will need to show the bank the letter of acceptance sent by the university.

The formality is different depending upon the bank.

Repayment: Regardless of you have a job or not, the loan must be paid in five to seven years. In some exceptions, you can get 10 years as well. You can start to repay after the course ends. Repayment starts only after the course period.

If the student got employed within one year after completion of the course, the repayment should start immediately after the expiry of one month from the date of employment.

Visa

Latest update: The UK government has announced the reinstatement of the two-year post-study work visa for international students. The new immigration rules will benefit those international students who are planning to pursue their higher studies in the UK starting from 2020-21. Currently, international students pursuing Bachelor’s or Master’s degree can stay back only for a period of four months. Only international students studying in 27 universities can stay back for six months which are part of the pilot scheme. Prospective Indian students are also going to benefit from this new rule.

Conditions
This is all you need to apply for a student visa to study in UK.
  1. Proof of acceptance- You need to attach the original letter of acceptance along with your study permit application. All the colleges, universities and other educational institutions in UK need to complete and send a letter of acceptance to the students who want to study there.
  2. Proof of financial support: You need to give a proof to the College or institution that you can support yourself as well as the family members who accompany you while you are in UK.
Note: Additional documents may be required.

These documents may be regarding proof of academic or financial status. While you’re at the personal interview, the interviewer might request certain additional documents. The documents include:

  • The document of intent to depart from UK upon completion of the course of study.
  • The proof of how you plan to pay the living, educational and travel costs.
  • Transcripts, degrees, diplomas or certificates from the schools you attended.
  • Scorecards from various tests such as GRE, SAT, GMAT, or TOEFL.

You have to show ability to meet the basic living costs (excluding the fees) for a nine month period.

  • If you are living in London – £800 per month
  • If you are living outside London – £600 per month
Process

These are the steps students need to follow to get student visa UK visa. They take three weeks to process the application –

Step 1 – See whether you are eligible

You should be able to show that you do qualify –

A ‘confirmation of acceptance for studies’ (CAS) is proof that you have been admitted to the university.
Financial security. You need to show that you can indeed afford to study in the UK.

Step 2 – Prepare the documents

For each original document that you submit, you have to include the photocopied document.

Valid and completed Visa application

Passport
  • 1 passport size picture (check the requirement)
  • Proof that you have gotten admission to the university.
  • Any previous passports (if any)
Step 3 – Apply online
  • You must register on the Visa website of the UK.
  • Make an appointment with the visa application centre.
Work permit

From April 6, 2012, Tier 1 (Post-study work) was closed to new applicants. So technically you don’t get Post Work Visa with Student Visa. But if you want to work there after your studies, then you need to apply for a Tier 2 visa which is meant for Highly Skilled Workers. So along with your student visa, you don’t get a work permit. You need to apply for a work visa separately.

Your spouse may work in the UK if the grant of leave is for more than 12 months. If your visa was granted for a period of fewer than 12 months or you are participating in a course of study below degree level, your spouse will not be allowed to work in the UK.

Pre-departure list
  • Flight tickets
  • Mandatory insurance, both health and travel
  • Accommodation
  • Travellers cheque
  • Paperwork from the educational institution

Make sure you have copies of the following documents –

  • Airline tickets
  • Passport
  • Letter of Acceptance by the educational institution
  • Travel insurance certificate
  • Medical and immunization records
  • Academic history and university transcripts
  • Prescriptions for any medication you are carrying
  • Key addresses and phone numbers
  • A bank statement showing proof of funds
  • Traveller’s cheques – if applicable
Once you land

You are likely to miss your home, like all students who come from a different country. It hits the hardest in the first couple of weeks. You need to be patient for two weeks or so. The feeling will sink in, you will soak the environment and soon you will start enjoying the new place.

Do anything but do not lock yourself in the room, it will only make things worse. If the feeling does not go away in two weeks you could ask for a counsellor for homesickness. The expert on this matter says that long phone calls make it harder for the students. They feel more homesick after the call ends than before starting it. Try and limit the call to once a week.

Your first few weeks in UK
  • The first few days are the busiest for every international student. They get to learn about the campus, make friends, and attend classes. Take your time, is what we suggest, absorb everything going on around you. Make sure to time out of your busy schedule and learn about the university.
  • Get used to the campus’ whereabouts. What’s where – like your classes, where to get your meals and other important things.
  • Do not make the mistake of not joining the International Student Club.
  • There are many workshops and alternate learning resources available for students from other countries, attend.
    Get your IDs. The ID will act as your passport when you are on campus.
  • Make full use of the student service that is offered to you – there will be gyms, library, and recreational centre.
  • Learn how to cook. Because when you crave Indian food you will find out that is very expensive. If you satisfy your Indian food craving you need to be able to cook it for yourself.
  • Driving in the UK: They drive on the left side of the road in the United Kingdom. Needless to say it mandatory to have a UK license to be able to drive in the UK. You will be prosecuted for driving without a valid license if you get caught in the action. It is mandatory for the driver to be insured before you can drive a car in the UK.
  • Bank accounts: International students need to have an account. To open an accountUS takes two weeks. You need to be registered as a full-time student to be eligible to apply for a bank account.

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