Benefits of Studying in the UK
The UK has become one of the top destinations to study around the world. From world-recognised universities to innovative teaching approaches with leading minds to deliver it - the UK has respectfully earned itself recognition as one of the leading destinations to help shape ambitious young minds and help you achieve your potential.
But what exactly makes the UK stand out? Why should you consider coming to the UK to further your international education?
If you are reading this article, you’re probably thinking through your different options on where you should study after you finish school or college. There are many different paths you can take and maybe coming to a UK university is one of those options you are considering. Besides stating the fact that the UK is known for its world renowned universities - which can look great on your CV, as well as open a variety of opportunities for you, studying in the UK can unlock the door to a global network of opportunities for students.
For students wanting to explore outside of their home country and experience a new culture, coming to the UK has been a popular option for many students over the years. The diversity in the UK is endless, you can discover people from all around the world and learn so much more than just what you have chosen to study.
This is only one of the many benefits of choosing to study in the UK. We want to give you a full overview of what it would be like if you chose to make this decision to best impact your academic journey. Here are some of our top benefits for studying in the UK...
Why study in the UK?
Each year, international students from over 180 different countries choose to study and pursue their higher education in a UK university or college - a number that’s growing year-on-year. Why? The institutions have an impressive reputation and rank among some of the best in the world.
It goes without saying that you have probably heard of the universities of Oxford and Cambridge - they are both recognised around the world as two of the top learning destinations. But they are not the only universities that built their reputation to be recognised worldwide.
In general, UK universities have featured strongly in world rankings ever since they began. “In 2021 the Times Higher Education World Rankings honoured the UK with two of the world’s top ten universities [Oxford and Cambridge].” (Study UK, 2021) But the quality spreads across the country with 26 of the top 200 universities based in the UK.
When you choose to attend a UK university, you can feel reassured that you will be receiving an education that meets strict guidelines; both in the type of content you learn and how you learn it. UK higher education is held to strict standards by the government, so you can be certain that you will be getting the best teaching, support and resources. If you want to look into further detail of what requirements need to be met before an institution can qualify to award degrees, The Register of Regulated Qualification contains details of awarding organisations.
As well as offering you the best resources for you to get the most out of your learning experience, the UK is also known for using innovative teaching methods. UK universities combine traditional lectures with a variety of teaching techniques, all of which encourage and bring the best out of their students.
The purpose of these teaching techniques is not to just teach you about your chosen subject, but also to help you develop soft skills such as problem-solving, independent thinking, critical analysis, self-motivation… the list goes on. The teaching methods go beyond classroom learning and some institutions will provide opportunities for you to go into labs and field trips - all in hopes to push you academically.
Having such diverse ways of learning will mean you will always be thinking and using your mental ability to think outside of a textbook - as we know textbook learning can only take you so far.
As a way for you to get hands-on experience of life in the workplace, it’s not uncommon for most courses in UK education to run field trips or day trips where you can meet industry leaders. UK institutions have recognised the importance of this and want to cultivate industry relationships, allowing you to get practical experience in your field, so that you can make connections to give you an edge. That is, the concept of networking is at the heart of all UK institutions.
Note: if you aren’t sure how networking can benefit you, we have written an article to guide you through the importance of networking.
Finally, and perhaps one of the biggest reasons why the UK is recognised as a world-leading centre of study, is that it is also known for being one of the leading research hubs in the world.
More specifically, the UK is one of the leading countries in terms of research, ranking second in the world of science and research - higher than the US, Canada, Germany, Japan and Brazil.
Being a leader in research brings students in the UK huge opportunities. You will gain access to jaw-dropping discoveries, theories you would not get to learn elsewhere, as well as the chance to work with some of the greatest minds to help develop your academic journey.
It also means there are a range of new and innovative training programmes readily available in the UK, with the funding pot growing year-on-year. Students have the opportunity to get practical experience during their learning, while also contributing to ground-breaking research developments - a pretty impressive note to add to your CV.
Experience a new culture
Discovering a new city or country is always exciting. You get to experience a different culture, a new way of living as well as meeting a variety of people from different backgrounds.
There may be a stigma when you come to the UK; the stigma being that you will just be sipping tea and speaking like the Queen. If you are interested in that, then by all means the UK can offer that experience for you. However, the UK doesn’t just offer a traditional British culture; you can find a mix of people from all over the world, and depending on where you go, visiting different parts of the UK can sometimes feel as though you entered into a new country.
The UK can offer you a unique culture to explore - you will never be bored as there is always something to do. The UK is a unique country filled with many different cultures, food and interests; if you are considering a new hobby, for example, the UK offers endless different activities and opportunities for you to get involved in.
A common pastime that many people in the UK enjoy doing is visiting galleries and museums. The London Tate Modern and the National Gallery are the UK’s most famous art spaces, housing an impressive collection daily. But there could even be a specific exhibition going on at the time, so check their websites before you visit to see what sites you could enjoy during your next trip.
In addition, the variety of restaurants are endless in the UK, with some of the world’s greatest chefs and cuisines found here. Drawing on inspiration from cuisines from all over the world, it is increasingly diverse, and, as a result, you will be able to find a restaurant that suits every taste, mood and budget.
If you are looking for something a little different from food and museums, the UK houses some of the largest music venues, such as the O2 Arena in London. Many famous artists and bands also play at UK universities and colleges, small bars, and even cafes can often hold live music and bands on a smaller scale for budding artists. Your university may even have student-only music events with leading UK DJs and musicians - an exciting opportunity to enjoy something new.
Depending on where you plan to study, you may be thinking that you are not close enough to the UK capital, London to experience these activities - but this is not the case! We have just listed some of the most popular places, but you should consider doing your own research to find any local events to the area you are planning to visit. But if that doesn’t work for you, the UK is best known for its easy and great transport links. Whether you’re based in the countryside or a city, you will be able to travel to the most popular places and soak up something new.
The UK has a large train network connecting to cities and towns across the country - for example you could travel from London to Edinburgh in just under 5 hours. If there is a particular area you want to visit, don't feel as though just because you are not staying there that it will not be possible to get there without a car because this is not the case - have a look over at the National Rail for more detail on travel around the UK.
High rate of employability
Another advantage of studying in the UK as an international student is the high rate of employability bringing endless opportunities either during your studies or after, as a postgraduate.
As studying in the UK as an international student can be quite a costly venture, you may be looking for work during your studies to become more financially stable during your education. There are opportunities for you to get work experience, which may even build on skills you may not already have - adding extra value to your CV for when you graduate.
“In general international students can work up to 20 hours a week during term-time.” (UCAS, 2021) However, there are some universities which require you to spend a certain amount of time focusing on your studies, like Medicine courses. Therefore, we would recommend asking for the criteria from your faculty head as they may advise that you limit the amount of hours you work.
But for those students that have no limitations, this option can mean students have the opportunity to take up a part-time job or even an internship, earning money as well as developing new skills.
No matter what reason you decide to take up a new job, the university/college may even have a careers service to help you secure this role. If you’re not sure where to turn to, ask someone within your institution whether they have a careers service or a careers specific counsellor, for advice on where you could find a role you want to do.
For students that are thinking about what career prospects there are after you study in the UK, the high employability rates in the country mean there are many things you can do after achieving your degree or other qualifications.
When you choose to study an undergraduate degree you will receive more than just an outstanding academic qualification, you will be exposed to opportunities like placements during your studies. These placements such as interning or volunteering are designed to prepare you to build new skills, grow your network and apply what you learn in the classroom into the real world.
For international students that have successfully completed their degree and looking for work opportunities, it was announced that from July 2021, “international students who have completed their undergraduate or master’s degree will be able to benefit from two years’ work experience in the UK upon graduation.” (Study UK, 2021) And, for students that have completed a PhD, you will be able to stay and work for three years.
For more information about graduate visas, take a look at the government website.
If and when you decide to apply to work opportunities, employers will be looking for high-quality graduates. Holding a UK degree will make your application stand out, thanks to the skills, experience, and high-quality teaching you’ve benefited from during your studies.
Employers are looking for candidates who have specific skill sets, including effective and critical thinking, and communication skills. Employers recognize that academic standards are high and the education you have undertaken will provide you with a solid foundation to boost your potential for success, as well as a higher salary.
Develop excellent language skills
Increasingly, more people are dedicating time to study English as a second language. Many countries include English as a part of their school syllabus and children are starting to learn English at a younger age.
Many international businesses conduct meetings in English, universities teach in English, and around the world, tourists and travellers use English as a common language - it is a global language that is commonly spoken. One out of five people can speak or at least understand English!
And what better way to better improve your English than in the UK? As we have previously mentioned from a global business perspective, many have made the decision to become an English-centred institution. Employers want to see that you have a good understanding of English and can speak it at least on a basic level - and you will not get another experience that compares than when studying and learning English while living in the UK.
This experience will be like no other. By choosing to study in the UK, you will fully immerse yourself and learn to live, work and think in the English language, making your experience enriching. While doing this, you will be exposed to other students from all different cultures and backgrounds; meeting new people can help you in improving your communication skills in English, and you can meet people from all different speaking levels of English.
Thriving student community
If you didn’t know already, nearly every city in the UK has universities. There are even league tables that have been created ranking the top student cities in the UK. Each city listed in the table will showcase what is unique about that city and where it ranks overall compared to other cities across the world.
Whether you decide to research in-depth different cities within the UK, we know that wherever you decide to go the UK can offer a variety of different lifestyles for you to fully indulge in. Looking for a fast-paced community? Cities such as London and Bristol can fulfil those needs, or if you're someone looking for a more laid-back culture and want to experience a more historic area of the UK, Edinburgh, Wales and even Oxford can guarantee a lifestyle with the right amount of balance for historic atmosphere as well as a thriving student vibe.
If one of your fears for studying in the UK is that you are worried about not having enough to do, or not enough money to explore these cities, be reassured that wherever you go there will be a thriving student population, and this population is growing year on year. As UK student numbers increase every year - all levels of education including college and higher education - means you will always be surrounded by like-minded people from all over the world.
Finally, with studying in the UK as an international student being an expensive venture for many, to those fearing that they will not be able to afford the lifestyle you imagined, many shops and restaurants welcome student discounts. And there are so many apps and online deals just waiting for you to use. In no time, you will be able to live the life you envision with other like-minded students. One of the main reasons why students decide to study abroad is to meet like-minded people, and making life-long friends while on this journey is what makes studying abroad so unique.
From having a CV to stand out from other students, to a thriving student experience, and even better employability benefits, the UK can be an incredibly valuable place to study as an international student. But we also appreciate that taking the leap to studying in the UK is a big decision for most international students - and one which you need to put a lot of thought and consideration into.
For many, university is the first time they leave their home country. And there are many reasons that you’ll find to put off an opportunity like this. However, we believe that if you have thought about this opportunity and even considered it at one point in your life, it means that you have the urge to do something outside of your comfort zone, and we would encourage you to follow your gut feeling.
You could set a great future pathway, giving yourself the best opportunity to succeed in the chosen career path you want to follow. What are you waiting for?
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The UK is a top choice for international students, offering prestigious universities, innovative teaching, global opportunities, and high employability rates. With vibrant culture, diverse cuisines, and exciting activities, studying in the UK enhances language skills.