Choosing a UK University as an International Student

Making the decision to study in the UK as an international student is a brave one, but how do you choose the right university? Discover the fantastic qualities of some of our best institutions, and what you should be considering, below.

King's College at University of Cambridge

What You Should Think About

1. World Rankings

If you’re travelling across the world to go to a university, you want to be sure that it’s well-respected. The Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, and Imperial College London consistently score well in world rankings, so you might want to put them on your list. Other London universities like UCL and LSE are well-known for their international students, staff, and reputation. There are also great possibilities elsewhere in the UK – such as the Universities of Warwick and Edinburgh.

2. Societies and Clubs

Universities have a host of clubs and groups you can join, but do your top choices have any tailored to international students? The University of York’s International Students’ Association promotes cultural exchange and a welcoming community. Meanwhile, Brunel University London runs societies for students from many different countries, including Bulgaria, China, and Turkey.

3. Tuition Fees

EU students can pay up to £9,250 a year for an undergraduate degree, while it’s usually much higher for those outside the EU. Keep an eye out for lower fees like those at Coventry University, who charge as little as £13,000. Bigger names tend to sit at the other end of the scale – such as the University of Oxford, whose fees start at £24,750. Postgraduate degrees average at around £11,000 a year for EU students, but can reach £30,000 for internationals. Doing your research could save you a lot of money and stress in the long run.

4. Living Costs and Rent

The area you choose to live in can hugely affect your living costs. These are generally cheapest in the North – for example, rent averages at £104 a week in Yorkshire. However, London is predictably the most expensive location at £161 a week. Other areas to consider that won’t break the bank include the West Midlands (£117) and Wales (£120).

5. Scholarships

You might be able to ease the financial pressure through scholarships. They can cover anything from tuition fees to living expenses, or even travel to and from the UK. Just two examples to look at are the University of Oxford’s Rhodes Scholarship for postgraduates, and Kingston University’s International Scholarships if you’re an undergraduate.

6. Accommodation

Moving country is stressful, and finding perks to make it easier is worth the research. Many universities provide guaranteed accommodation for international students, like the University of Manchester. Some may allow early arrival, like the University of Reading – so you have more time to settle in before the term begins.

7. Location

Do you want to live in a city or the countryside? Somewhere familiar to home or completely different? City universities can make it easier to travel home, as they tend to be close to airports. There’s a range of wonderful cities to choose from in the UK, like Manchester, Liverpool, and Birmingham. Or, you could make the most of the beautiful British countryside with rural options such as Bath Spa University and the University of Chester.

Students at graduation

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