2) A Masters Degree in the UK is quicker or faster to get – it is 1 year while those of US, Canada and Australia are often over 1 year.
3) Make sure you have money for at least 1 year tuition fee. Although you will be allowed to do 20 hours of work per week, the money you will make from this will only take care of your expenses or part of it. If you rely on it to pay first year tuition, it may not work. You can get subsequent session’s tuition fee or part of it by working hard during the summer holidays when you are allowed to work full time.
4) You are expected to return back to your country after completing your studies, except you are offered a job by a UK employer. This is very difficult to get because there are laws tying the hands of the employers from employing non EU immigrants. If you must come, never resign your job in Nigeria if you have one.
5) Having an additional skill like hair barbing, hair weaving for girls, web design, web marketing, etc may put some extra money into your pocket if you know how to market yourself but this is not guaranteed.
In conclusion, conduct an extensive research on what to expect academically, financially and generally before taking the step. This will enable you to hit the ground running and know what to do after you finish your studies.
What I’ve discovered from being an international student in the UK
Studying in the UK
Teaching, studying and even student-teacher relationships differ considerably from one country to another. Unsurprisingly, you will find that UK education is different to the education system in your country. To manage your expectations, we have asked students and staff members at Kaplan what it is like to be an international student in the UK. Below are a few things we have discovered:
People here are polite and reserved
British people seem to be reserved and often not very direct. In our post about understanding the British you will see that this is their way of being polite and trying not to invade your privacy. Within days of studying in the UK, you will find yourself saying ‘sorry’, ‘please’, and ‘thank you’ a lot more than you ever had before.
You can meet people from every country in the world
As an international student in the UK, you are bound to meet people from countries all over the world. You will probably find yourself befriending someone from a country you had never heard of before. The UK is a wonderful place to make international friends and learn about other people’s cultures.
Not everyone speaks the Queen’s English
Talking in a different language is tiring at first. Trying to understand all the accents spoken in the UK even more so. Although Hollywood films will have you think there is only one British accent, in reality, English in the UK sounds different depending on which city or part of the country you are from. Give it a few months and you may be able to quickly identify where a person is from based on their accent.
There is greater choice of subjects
Some countries have a multitude of modules, many of which are compulsory. In the UK, you will be faced with fewer modules and a lot more choice over your subjects.
One of the reasons international students choose the UK for their studies is the wide array of subjects available. You can study anything from Forensic Ballistics to Football Industries and other fascinating degrees.
Student-teacher relationships are less formal
Some countries require students to refer to lecturers as Miss/ Mrs/ Mr. Although it is polite to address tutors formally, most teachers in the UK will encourage their students to communicate on a first name basis. This is so that students feel comfortable enough to ask as many questions as they need and acquire the necessary knowledge for a successful degree completion.
Graduation ceremonies are a testament to UK’s interesting history
The UK is renowned for maintaining pride in their history and customs. The graduation ceremony at the end of your degree is something you will remember for the rest of your life and what better way to celebrate your achievements than with a typically British graduation ceremony.
Below is a quote from one of our international students. She describes her experience as an international student in the UK and shares the lessons she has learned at university.
‘The teaching style here is very different compared to how it is back home. In Japan we have to memorise the answers for exams but here we need to understand the concept of what we are studying and also write essays. If I ever needed help my subject, teachers were great and they were easily contactable if ever I had a problem. I also had a Learning Support Tutor, who was very helpful and gave me the support when I needed it. What I enjoyed most about my course was that it was taught at the right speed and my tutors taught me until I totally understood.
Outside of the classroom I joined the Japanese Martial Arts Society and joined the Scottish Dance Society which helped me make more friends from different nationalities.
Before I came here I was very shy and unorganized, but now I always make a plan before I do something and I always try everything! ‘