UK: What to expect


You are about to start one of the biggest adventures of your life: going abroad to study. Even if you've already taken a course outside your own country, you'll probably be nervous as well as excited. What should you expect?

If you've done lots of research and planning, you should have a good idea of what to expect. If you're still at the early stages of thinking about what and where you would like to study, here are a few things to consider:

  • Do you prefer to be in a town or a city?
  • Would you like to stay with an English family (called homestay) or in a residence with other students?
  • Have you thought about the different places in the UK where you could study? Lots of students don't think beyond London, Oxford, Cambridge and the South Coast, but there are language schools and universities in many other places.
  • Would you prefer a smaller centre with fewer students, or a larger, busier school?

If you are serious about improving your English, it's a good idea to find a school or university which does not have large numbers of students from your home country so that you are forced to practice your new skills. Ask where other students are from before booking. Studying English or an international foundation year course in the UK raises your chances of getting a university course here. About 60 percent of international students who successfully apply to UK universities are already studying here.

If you are planning to learn English, make sure that the centre you choose is fully-accredited. Schools, colleges and universities which are accepted as members of English UK have to pass regular and rigorous inspections of everything from teaching to student welfare.