Studying in the UK
information for international students
Every year, over 100,000 International students visit the UK for studying, training and higher education. It's a great way to further your education, gain new life experiences and skills, and make new friends.
For European Union Nationals (that's anyone coming from a country that's part of the EEA or Switzerland), you can study in any other member country, paying the same tuition fees as their Nationals.
If you're thinking about coming to the United Kingdom from outside of the EU, you'll need to apply for a Visa in order to study. There is a range of VISA study options available - though many people choose to come to the UK for higher education (through a Tier 4 application), you're also able to apply to study on a short course (up to six months) or an English Language course (no more than 11 months). Be sure to select the right option for you when applying for a Visa, as any errors may prevent you from staying in the UK when you arrive.
While in the UK, it's important to abide by the rules of your Visa as there are strict guidelines on whether you can work while studying, and if you leave or change your academic institution, you must let the UK Border Agency know straight away. For more information on Visa guidelines and the application process, check out the UK Border Agency website.
Many colleges and Universities have special procedures in place to make it easy for International students to apply, and support for when you arrive. Check with your academic institution for exact information on entry requirements and application deadlines, as they can vary. If you need to attend an interview before being offered a place on your chosen course, they also have support and advice for visiting the UK as a prospective student.
For those coming to the UK for the first time, it can seem like a very strange place. Experiencing some level of culture shock is entirely normal, and this will ease with time. There is lots to see and do wherever you're studying, so check if your academic institution has any international Student societies you can join. That way, you'll be able to explore your surroundings with others who are experiencing them for the same time too. You can also join societies that match your interests - whether it's crafts, films, fashion, art or anything else. They're a quick way to meet others that you have lots in common with and make friends, which will help you feel less homesick.
Though initially a bit scary, studying in the UK can be highly rewarding. There are many well-established colleges and Universities, with excellent International reputations so you'll be able to develop your career by gaining a great qualification. If English isn't your first language, it's a good opportunity to practice your spoken and written language, and become more fluent.
If you enjoy your time in the UK and would like to stay to live and work in the country, you can apply for a further post-study work Visa. This calculates your eligibility for work in the UK using a points-based system.
If you don't reapply, it's important to comply with the conditions of your existing Visa and return to your home country after you have finished your studies. You face the risk of deportation, fines and even being barred from the UK if you're found overstaying.
Though the application process can seem complicated, following the procedures carefully and supplying all of the correct information will ensure things go smoothly. There are lots of websites offering support and information for those thinking of applying to study in the UK, here are some of our top picks:
Universities and Colleges Administrative Service - UCAS
The UCAS site has lots of helpful information on how international students can apply for undergraduate courses, along with some great advice on how to choose the right degree and institution for you.
There's also information on entry requirements and English Language Proficiency testing to help you ensure you've got all the necessary qualifications to study your chosen undergraduate subject.
UCAS attend International events throughout the year hosted by the British Council for Education UK; you can find a location near you by visiting their site.
Not sure what your existing qualifications are equal to? The National Agency can help. They provide information, advice and expert opinion on all types of qualifications from over 180 countries worldwide. They can advise you on vocational, academic and professional skills, and as they're managed by the UK Government, it's the most reliable way to get information on international qualifications.
UK Council For International Student Affairs - UKCISA
The official UKCISA site has all the information you need to begin your studies in the UK, and is full of detailed information on the application process. There's lots of support and information available for before, during and after applying to study in the UK, including some great resources to help you settle in and combat any culture shock.
Here at Help Training Courses we help people find the right course from over 500 UK training providers, including some unique last minute training deals.
One of the easiest ways to find what you're looking for is to start with a training course search via our home page.