Every year, the country attracts more than a million students from different countries to accomplish their goal of higher studies. A level has been set for various education programs. British education has a strong reputation, especially for the quality of teaching standards. There is a strong tradition to integrate teaching and research at all levels of study at university level. Higher National Certificates are at level 4th, Diploma and Foundation degrees are at level 5, Bachelor’s degree at level 6 and Master degrees at level 6. The state doesn’t control university syllabus but, they have the right to interfere in the admission procedures to promote fair access to higher education.
Student Visitor Visa
If your study programme is less than six months then you will need a Student Visitor visa. If you are coming to the UK to complete an English Language course shorter than 11 months then you may also apply for this visa. Non-EU students of some nationalities will NOT need a visa for a short course of study. On this visa, you may enter the UK up to one week before the start of your study programme.
You will first need to apply online for a Student Visitor visa, and can do so up to three months before you intend to land in the UK.
Tier 4 (General) Visa
All students whose study programme is longer than six months will need a Tier 4 (General) student visa. To qualify for a visa, your host institution must hold a Tier 4 (General) Sponsor licence.
The UK immigration system is points-based and in order to qualify for a Tier 4 visa you will need to score 40 out of 40 points. Both the information directly on your CAS and within the documents referenced by your CAS will be worth 30 points altogether, whilst the last 10 points are earned from proof you will be able to support yourself financially whilst you study.
You should apply for your Tier 4 visa no more than three months before the commencement date of your course, and no later than six months after you received your CAS from your host institution. You may arrive in the UK up to one month before the start of your study programme. You MUST apply for your UK student visa in your home country.
You must complete an online application form as the first part of your Tier 4 visa application.
The UK Border Agency have made a short video that walks applicants through the new Tier 4 visa application process.
Before you are directed to the online form you will be asked to create an account to register with the system. You will need a valid email address to do this.
You will need to pay the £298 visa application fee online once you’ve completed the form. After you have paid the fee you will be lead to a summary page that you MUST print and post as part of your complete visa application. After you’ve completed the form and paid the fee, you should make an appointment with your nearest visa application centre.
After what feels like jumping endless administrative hurdles, you’ve finally landed in the United Kingdom. Facing what seems and endless expanse of roads, cities and impossible highways, getting to know your new home can be daunting and overwhelming. Not to worry: like most metropolitan centres, cities in the United Kingdom have plenty of transport options the get you where you need to go.
Whether you need to travel from the suburbs to the centre, interstate or just to a friend’s place in the next area, you will almost always have access to a bus or metropolitan train. Read our breakdown of public transport options in United Kingdom cities to help you plan your way…
Whilst it’s highly unlikely you’ll have access to taxi or public transportation whilst studying abroad in The United Kingdom (unless you are located very rurally or are very lucky!), driving is the nation’s preferred mode of transport.. If you’re looking to travel around the United Kingdom and have an international license, renting a car and driving alone interstate highways is a great way to see the countryside and explore smaller towns you might otherwise have overlooked. Be warned, though: The United Kingdom is an incredibly big place and driving between states is likely to take much longer than many international students anticipate. Try the Big Red English Bus for an adventurous Ride!
There are a number of cities rail systems in the United Kingdom. Indeed, this is probably the most efficient means of getting from one point of the city to the next.
The cheapest way of travelling by the rail network is most likely to purchase a monthly or weekly travel card. Most major United Kingdom cities will give you the option to buy one that will allow you to electronically top-up funds that are deducted depending on how far you travel. Each city has a different transport system (most complete with buses, trams, trains) But in most cases you will be able to get a concession card or student discount. Sometimes you will be able to use this card over multiple modes of transport where a city has more than one. You will also usually have the option to purchase single, daily or multi-trip tickets if you prefer, but if you use public transport often then a travel card will most likely be cheaper.
Whatever Public transportation you would take, make sure to prepare well for time of departure and arrival on time. As well as, make the best memories out of your trips here and there. Enjoy the Essence of travelling and studying in the United Kingdom!
Bursting with excitement, you’re now left to complete packing your bags. Whilst you’ll want to take as many of your favourite things with you as possible when you move overseas, it’s important that you think practically about the restrictions of your luggage and what will be of most use to you once you land, and what you wouldn’t need, and leave…
Whether you have access to funds by card or not, you should always have an amount of local currency on hand in case things go wrong, particularly when you just arrive. You will need Euros! Some shops and establishments might not accept foreign cards or payment via card at all, whilst some services such as public transport tickets or taxis only take cash.
Students should research the climate in the state they’ll be studying in before arriving, and pack the basics they’ll need to function in that climate. You’ll be arriving in the winter, so warmer clothes would be better, you’d better get all heavy warmly jackets with you to the Grey City!
Keep your passport, immigration forms and university acceptance letter in a plastic pocket or folder within your carry-on luggage whilst you travel, and stored somewhere safe and out of the way once arrived. You should always make both paper photocopies and digital copies of all your documents just in case, and have these accessible while travelling so you can produce these at border control.
Books and stationary are not only heavy, but are unlikely to vary in quality between countries. All the books you’ll need for your studies will definitely be available on campus at the library or bookshop, through a campus-run service or through online retailers Amazon UK or ebay UK.
When trying to squash your life into a suitcase it’s tempting to try and fit in as many items of sentimental value as you can. Whilst taking a few tokens of your life at home is a good idea, taking photo albums, soft toys or too many trinkets will just end up cluttering your new room and using up precious luggage space. Try to be reasonable with your choice of mementos from home, and remember that once in your room abroad, you’ll need the extra space to make room for new memories.
As a graduate from the UK, you have the opportunity to gain and sharpen valuable skills which employers seek in candidates, including confidence with new people and language skills. You may even choose to remain in the UK to work. Find out about the sorts of careers which international graduates have gone on to, as well as tips for securing that dream job in the UK.
EU students do NOT need a visa to work or study in the UK, and so have the right to remain and pursue employment for as long as they’d like. Students NOT from the EU however will need to apply for a work visa to remain in the UK to work.
You will be able to apply for a work visa if you have either already been offered a professional job whilst still on your student visa, or meet specific investment or skill requirements. There are two general categories of work visas: Tier 1 and Tier 2.
There are a number of subcategories for each visa type depending on your specific circumstances, but most students who have been offered a job before their student visa expires will need to apply for a Tier 2 (General) visa. Students eligible for Tier 1 visas will either need to demonstrate outstanding entrepreneurial qualities, substantial intention to invest in the UK or be endorsed by an accredited body for their exceptional talent in a particular field.
Eligibility requirements for each visa are incredibly specific, each with a separate set of fees, required documents, processing times and allowed duration of stay in the UK. You should check these details thoroughly on the visa section of the Immigration UK website.
The amount of time you’ll be able to stay in the UK after your student visa expires will vary depending on your study programme, and will be stipulated when you’re first granted your student visa. For example, study programs of one year or more usually allow students four months to either apply to extend their visa or switch visa categories.
The UK is an incredibly big place with thousands and thousands of job openings across every imaginable sector. It can be intimidating to take on a foreign job market, let alone one so expansive and competitive. Regardless of your nationality, you will have access to the same job searching tools as local students, and should start out by sourcing some information about the current state of affairs in the UK and the state of the particular sector you’re looking to enter.
Looking for a job online is probably your easiest bet. There is a broad range of websites and recruitment services available for job-seekers, most of which are free of charge. You should proceed with caution if you’re told you need to pay for a recruitment service: unless you have very specific needs or are very stuck, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to find a job on your own. You should take a look at Jobsite.co.uk, Monster or TotalJobs for a job search engine in any discipline, or simply search the name of your field and follow on from there.
There are also many industry-specific search engines that are likely to crop up, suchas Mediargh for Media and Communications graduates, or Just Engineers for students of Engineering. Some bigger companies will advertise their vacancies directly from their website, so you should be sure to follow all the companies in your field you’d be interested in working for.
A great way to do this is via Twitter, or by signing up for a newsletter if they provide one. Some companies will even give you the option to sign up for job alerts when a position that matches your search criteria becomes available. You can also look in newspapers such as The Guardian or The Times for job ads, or consult Job Centre Plus: the national department for work and pensions. The UK Government website also has a thorough list of links to help point you in the right direction.