Thursday, 5 December 2013

What Students Ought to Know About Studying in the UK

Studying in the UKWhen a student prepares himself for an education abroad, the choices are pretty much obvious; it is either the US or the UK. However, if the number of students applying for admission to the UK is compared with the numbers trying for the US then a stark difference is obvious. This is primarily because of the aggressive campaigns laid out by various privately funded US universities to get foreign students. Unfortunately, the majority of information on admission procedures to the UK comes from the British Council and the education consultants that each UK university ties up with in the host country.

Instead of focusing on the procedure here, we shall counter a few misconceptions about the UK admissions with that of the US and hopefully provide sufficient insight to students across the globe on how to get into UK universities.

An absurd idea ingrained into the young minds worldwide is that the UK is a costlier place to receive an education as opposed to the US. The exchange rates of the British Pound sterling is probably to blame here but it must be noted that a decent US university shall on an average cost a student anywhere between $35,000 to $50,000 while a similar course in the UK shall come for within £12,000 to £19,000. This includes cost of boarding as well. Convert it into your home currency and you shall see the stark difference.

Unlike the US where undergraduate degrees are for a period of four years, in the UK (excluding Scotland) a bachelorette degree is completed in three years. Hence, a direct Masters degree will take a total of four years. Scotland has a year less in their high school graduation and hence a year more in their under graduation system.

Students love the idea of an internship in the US, however, what many are not aware of is the fact that in the UK, towards the end of your 2nd year of graduation, you can opt to take a year off academics and work full time for practical knowledge and work experience. This is aided by university placement boards. The best part is that you get nearly 2/3rd to 3/4th of the actual salary of an after graduate employee. It is part of the university curriculum that any student can opt for, assessment of the job is also taken into account when completing a degree in the UK.

Interestingly, this bit of information is actually true. US universities are mostly privately funded and therefore offer better scholarship programs on a need based approval to international students. However, UK universities are government funded primarily and this restricts them to government funds for scholarships, which are purely merit based. Since, the government is finding it tough to sponsor home students; international students have to bear the brunt.

There might be some criteria for selection in the US which not many US universities enforce, this is not the case in the UK. A student from a foreign country requires only furnishing sufficient financial backing for the first year’s tuition cost and often the first nine months of stay within the country.

While this is somewhat true, UK universities have a centralized system of networking students abroad with universities. The Universities And Colleges Admissions Servicewebsite should handle your applications to all universities in the UK other than Cambridge and Oxford which have their own system.

Astonishing how this still remains in the minds of students abroad. Getting a student visa to the UK today is quite easy. If you have your admission letter, your passport, and proof of financial backup for the first year, you get streamlined in the visa process.

This post was meant to be a helping hand rather than an adequate guide. For complete information on admissions to the UK, do follow up on the UCAS website or approach education partners of UK universities in your country.
Simon V. is a qualified academic writer working for, which is a research paper writing service based in the US, helping students edit and proofread their essays and research papers.

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