The United Kingdom (UK) sees thousands of international students choosing to come and study at one of its universities every year. Between 2010 and 2011 there were over 480,700 international students coming to study in the UK.
The UK is made up of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and has an estimated population of 61.4 million. London is the biggest city with a population of over 8.1million. As one of the most multicultural countries in the world, the UK is a vibrant and exciting place to study and learn in.
The UK has one of the longest traditions of higher education and three of its universities, the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge and Imperial College London, are ranked 4th, 6th, and 8th respectively in the world (2012-13). The UK education system is made up of a three-tiered system – primary, secondary and higher, with education compulsory up until the age of 16, when students can choose to go onto college, and then university if they wish.
Hundreds of thousands of international students choose to study in the UK each year. Other cultures and ethnicities are intrinsic to Britain's cultural and social identity following decades of immigration from Europe, Africa, and Asia; this makes the transition into UK society and culture very easy.
In a city like London or Manchester, which is one of the world's most sought out tourist hotspots, an international student will never feel homesick - you can always find treasures and reminders of home at every turn (for example, most towns will have one or more Indian cuisine restaurants on their high street).
Benefits of Studying in the UK
What better place to sharpen your English language skills than in England itself (or Wales, Scotland or Ireland for that matter)? Studying in the UK will give you the opportunity to constantly sharpen your English skills as each day goes by.
While you must be proficient in English to a good standard in order to be successfully accepted onto a course in the UK, there is no reason why you should settle for being simply 'satisfactory' when it comes to speaking English. Continue to improve your language skills and you'll amaze employers when looking for that first graduate job (as well as your friends and family at home).
Institutions in the UK make sure that international students receive as much support as they need when it comes to the English language, and you will often find you are able to take extra classes in English if you need to in order to achieve the best possible result in your main course.
Value of UK Qualification
As mentioned above, Britain has one of the most highly-regarded reputations in the education world. Every year, British universities like Oxford and Cambridge consistently sit at the top of world rankings of universities. Not just anyone is accepted at a British university!
Therefore, those who emerge with a qualification from a university in the UK immediately distinguish themselves as a special prospect in their field; this is important when trying to get that crucial first job after graduating. Law, Medicine, and Business are just a few fields which UK universities are strong in.
The UK has a reputation for having cold, wet and dreary weather. Although this may be true for some times of the year, the UK is actually much better than most think - and can have some great weather during the summer months.
If you wish to get the most out of the UK, then the times to visit are the summer months when days are long (the sun generally rises at 4 am and will set at 9 or 10 pm at night) and you can expect warmer temperatures.