People from all over the world apply to study aboard in order to earn degrees or certifications that can help them advance in their careers, or to study subjects to get a better grasp of them. Since English is the language of business throughout the world, many people apply to study English at schools located throughout the United Kingdom. If you are considering a move to the UK to attend school, here is some information to help make the transition easier.
Going to School in the UK
Approximately 430,000 international students from over 180 countries attend classes in the UK on an annual basis. There are many reasons why people around the world decide to attend a university or other institutions of higher learning in the UK. One of these reasons is that some courses are shorter than they are in other countries.
If you want or need to take an English course, most institutions in the UK offer a variety of course options. You can attend classes on a full or a part-time basis, in a classroom, or have one on one instruction, depending on your schedule and needs. Most institutions also offer special summer programs for younger students, generally between the ages of 12 to 17-years.
Once you’ve chosen an institution, you need to apply to the school and be accepted before you consider moving to the UK. To make the application process easier, many schools offer their applications online, which can help expedite the process. Next, you need to apply for a VISA in order to study in the UK.
UK VISAs for Students
You may not need to have a VISA to study in the UK; it depends on where you’re from. Before applying, you can check with the learning institution of your choice to see if you are required to have one. You can also check on the UK government website.
If you are taking a short course or an English course for 11 months, then you may be eligible for a Tier 4 or general student VISA, if you are 18 years of age or older. If you are between the ages of four to 17, then you can apply for a Tier 4 child student VISA. In order to apply for a VISA, you must have:
- Information about your passport
- A recent photo of yourself
- An acceptance letter from the institution you will be attending, called the ‘Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies,’ or CAS
- Proof of adequate English skills, such as the results of a test
- Proof of financial support throughout your stay in the UK
You may need to prove you have financial support equivalent to 800 to 1,000 pounds throughout your stay. In addition, you may need to show your academic qualifications, send a scan of your fingerprints or do an interview for your student VISA. Depending on which country you are coming from, you may need to show you have had certain vaccinations as well.
Finding Student Housing
You will need to have a place to live while attending your classes, so you should find out your options from the learning institution. For students wanting to take English courses, the Delfin School is located in London and offers a variety of housing options.
For students that want to experience more of the English culture, which can help them learn the language from native speakers, they may be able to live with a host family. With this option, you can live with a family. You may also live with another student and share a bedroom and a restroom. You may also have the option of choosing a living arrangement with a family in which you will receive board as well, which can help you save money.
Another option is to live on the institution’s campus in apartments with other students from the school. You will share the facilities with them, and there will be areas within the apartment houses for you to socialise with others during your stay at the school. This will allow you to become better acquainted with some of the people in your classes.
Some students opt to stay in local hostels, which can be the least expensive option, depending on the time of year you’re studying in London. You will be able to immerse yourself in the culture and meet people from all over the world while living in a hostel or hotel. The price for this type of accommodation will depend on where you stay and the time of year you stay there.
Arriving in the UK
You should plan to attend the institution’s orientation for international students if they offer one. Some schools will greet you at the airport and take you to campus in order to acquaint you with it. During the orientation, they will show you where the classrooms are, show you the important places on campus, and advise you about travelling throughout the area.
After you’ve settled into your housing, be sure to contact friends, family or your employer to let them know you’ve arrived safely. You don’t want to forget to stay in contact with them while you’re away from home and worry them needlessly. Living in another country can be exciting and you will be busy during your first few weeks, so let the people you care about know ahead of time about your schedule so they know you are safe and just busy.
Many institutions offer gatherings for their international students to get to know one another and to help them learn about the area where they are living. These gatherings are a great way to meet and make new friends and share your experiences with living in a different country. In some instances, you may be attending local events in order to learn about different aspects of the culture as well. Living in the UK is a great way to study English because you will learn it faster by using it in and out of the classroom every day.