It has been said that ‚Travel broadens the mind’ and as an expatriate myself I would agree that even the very act of visiting another country is an education in and of itself. Staying in a foreign place for a particularly longer period of time than a typical vacation let’s say, makes you become an ever increasing part of that place, day by day. The UK is rich in diversity and could provide a brilliant backdrop for your post-secondary learning experience…
There are over 160 universities and colleges in the UK, some of them are among the oldest and most reputable in Europe. They are often highly specialized to specific fields and areas of study offering you the chance to tailor your course curriculum to your unique career goals. There are a few important things that you should bear in mind when selecting your university and once you have made this decision there are many things to remember throughout the application process.
Choosing the University
As there are so many different things to consider when choosing your university, it is essential that your decision is as well-researched as possible. The most important thing to decide is of course, what you would like to study and then find out which university has the best reputation in that field in terms of the qualifications and accreditation of the teaching staff. Another good source of feedback about a university is past student satisfaction. Post-graduate employment statistics may also affect your decision. A fantastic source of all of this information is the website UNISTATS. It is really the all-in-one first stop for those beginning their search.
You will also have to consider, of course, your budget, where you plan to live, which city you would prefer and whether or not you prefer a university with a single campus or (as often happens) various facilities sprawled over the city.
A good comprehensive check list of things you really should consider can be found at the British Council website.
When to Apply
Every single UK university has different admission processes with different application dates and different language requirements. It is important to first of all select the universities to which you would like to apply and then meticulously study their admission requirements. The application deadlines in some cases commence as early as November of the previous academic year and will continue no later than usually early March of the same academic start year (for Sept 2018).
Most UK universities require both an admission test and also most will require a confirmation of your level of English. One of the most widely recognized qualifications for the confirmation of proficiency in English is the IELTS test. It is available at British Council every two weeks but it should be noted that although it does NOT have an expiration date as such, it will only be accepted by many UK universities for up to 2 years from receiving the qualification itself. Many UK post-secondary institutions may also have their own internal tests that are necessary to confirm your level of English. These are usually the institutions that are heavily specialized in a particular field i.e./ medicine, law etc.
With the ongoing Brexit situation the status of loan availability, student fees, and student visa requirements is uncertain for the 2018/2019 academic year however those currently studying in the UK will see no change to their status.
This weekend in both Warsaw and Krakow there will be an informative Study UK Exhibition. (Fri. Nov 24th and Sat. Nov. 25th). Representatives from 40 UK universities will be available at info stands to answer your questions in detail and provide all sorts of vital information regarding your study plans.
Two Educations in One
I would imagine that going to a university abroad would in fact be two educational experiences at once – that which occurs in the classroom and that which happens outside of the class, when, for example you go to the shop and pick up some colloquial terms in the local language or broaden your mind by experiencing cultural events or customs in a completely new environment. What an amazing way to start towards a deeper understanding of the diversity of our world.
Expatriate – someone who has made the decision to live outside of their country
In and of itself – this is a very old, fixed colloquial term meaning ‘on its own or by itself.
Accreditation – the certifications, diplomas or training that qualifies you for a position
Sprawled – spread around a some distance