If you are dreaming about studying in the UK and can see yourself indulging in afternoon tea, taking an obscene amount of selfies in front of all the iconic landmarks and spending your free time enjoying a pint or two in quintessential British pubs, then here are eight things you should know before you book that flight!
The student visa rules have changed
In a bid to make the UK a No1 choice for international students the visa process has been simplified. Furthermore, the Post-Study visa will allow you to stay in the UK for up to two years after your studies to bag your dream job and perfect your British accent.
You will have access to free healthcare
If you didn’t already know the UK has one of the best public healthcare in the world and if you move here for your studies, you’ll be able to use it for free.
There is a small fee to pay as part of your visa application but after that you can see a doctor, get treated in hospital for a new or ongoing medical issue and receive emergency treatment for free. You will also be able to buy medicine prescribed by a doctor or the hospital at a subsidised cost.
You have first refusal on university accommodation
Living on campus is a rite of passage for many British students, and the parties are epic, so don’t miss out on securing a place in ‘Student Halls’. They are the cheapest type of student accommodation, fun and if you’re lucky will include meals!
Student travel is subsidised
One of the perks of being a student in the UK is subsidised travel. Regardless of where you choose to study you will be able to apply for a student travel card, which will entitle you to a 30% discount on the cost of travel by bus, train and tram in your local area.
You can also get 30% off national train fares by applying for a 16-25 railcard – so there really will be no reason not to zip around the UK and learn about the different cultures, but be warned the accent changes every 75 miles in the UK, so whilst we all speak in English it might not be a version you can easily understand.
You can work and study
Under the student visa, you will be able to work up to 20 hours during term time and an unlimited number of hours outside of term time. You can also apply for a post-study visa which means you will be able to stay in the country for up to two years, after you graduate, to work at any level and in any profession.
The cost of living can vary dramatically
Choose the city carefully as your livings cost can vary dramatically. On the whole cities in the South are more expensive than those in the North – so we suggest getting out a map, calculator and getting friendly with Google to figure out where in the UK is good for your wallet.
Do not expect teachers to tell you what to do
One of the distinguishing things about education in the UK is that it encourages students to study independently and whilst you will attend lectures and seminars you will be left to work through the topics at your own speed and under your own initiative.
The UK is made up of four countries
A piece of advice. Never mistake a Scot for being English and never mistake a Northern for being a Southerner. The United Kingdom might appear to be one big happy family, but it is made up of four distinct countries with their own view on who is the best.