Students Preparing for Life in the UK
By Hannah Duffy on June 1st, 2015
Making the choice to live and study in the UK is going to be one of the biggest decisions of your life but one that can be highly rewarding. With the UK offering a huge array of internationally respected qualifications and the inspiration and support to help you achieve, it’s a popular choice for many international students. Did you know that;
In the 2014, UK National Student Survey results, 86% of third year undergraduates said that they were satisfied overall with their course.
The UK holds 4 of the top 5 universities QS World University Rankings 2014/15.
According to the Research Assessment Exercise (2008) 54% of the research conducted by 52,400 staff submitted by 159 universities and colleges is either ‘world-leading’ (17 per cent in the highest grade) – or ‘internationally excellent’ (37 per cent in the second highest grade).
The 2013/14 QS World University Rankings found that employers worldwide consider UK graduates among the most ’employable’.
Before you firmly decide where it is you want to study, you really need to do your research. Read about as many universities as you can so that you can find the right course for you. As easy as it is to think about whether you will enjoy the course or not also, a big consideration should be placed on how easily you can secure the right job once your course has finished. You should also think about the area that you will be living in, the cost of living there and the amenities available nearby. It is an exciting experience and you should really make the most of it.
Make a list- You’d be surprised how easy it is to forget those things you can’t even pack until the day before you leave. You can find a list of what you need to bring here:
Manage Visas well in advance – You can check whether you need a visa here. This process can be quite lengthy and may require you to supply evidence of your finances/qualifications and ability to speak English so send them in as soon as you know your moving to the UK.
Accommodation – As soon as you receive your acceptance letter, you need to start making arrangements so ideally, you should know where you want to stay by this time. There’s plenty of choice between your university accommodation and private accommodation. Downing Students offer contemporary student accommodation perfectly situated close to universities and local transport links. The purpose built student accommodation offers security and comfort so that you have the perfect environment to focus on your studies. With en-suite apartments with big beds, smart TV, free Wi-fi, sky TV and bills included you will be set to go. With super-fast Wi-fi included, you are connected to your friends and family at the click of a button.
What to bring? – At Downing student bedrooms are furnished so the only things you need to buy or bring with you are bedding, personal linen and kitchen utensils. Kitchens include a microwave, kettle, toaster and ironing boards and vacuum cleaners are available onsite.
As soon as you’re there, it’s important that you socialise with your flat mates and start creating that bond. It’s really easy to lock yourself in your room but mixing in common areas, introducing yourself and leaving your door open whilst you’re unpacking, is really going to help you settle in to your new flat. If you can, arrange to go out for the evening with the rest of the flat. It’s guaranteed to help you break the ice and it gives you the opportunity get to know everyone a little better in a whole new environment.
In your first few weeks try and find something new about the city every day. Take a new route into university, do something different every weekend and try to speak to as many different people as you can. As daunting as it may be, it is going to give you the empowerment to feel engaged and content with your new student life. You’re going to feel more familiar with the area and a little more secure in the thought that you know where everything is.
Tip! Opening a UK bank account is going to be one of your main priorities once you arrive in the UK. It may be best to look for student specific accounts as they can sometimes offer more flexibility. Save yourself a trip around all the banks and do your research online. No matter which provider you choose, you will always need to bring along two forms of identification (one with your new UK address).