the united kingdom

why study in the united kingdom?

    Hundreds of thousands of international students choose to study in the United Kingdom every year. The different ethnic and cultural groups are an essential element of the British cultural and social identity, which is the result of immigration from Europe, Africa and Asia that has been taking place for centuries. This knowledge facilitates one’s transition into British culture and society. In a city like London, which is one of the world's tourist hubs, international students never feel alone.


    The United Kingdom (UK) has one of the oldest traditions in international higher education, with international students having been enrolling at universities in the UK for decades and even centuries. Many world-renowned brilliant minds and leaders were British pupils, such as Stephen Hawking. Also, one of the most important reasons why the UK holds primacy over other highly developed educational institutions is its long and rich tradition.

    Studying in the UK will give you, day by day, the opportunity to continually improve your language skills. It is crucial to mention that every year, without exception, the United Kingdom has been at the very top of the world educational rankings. Accordingly, those who are in the possession of educational certificates from British schools are immediately distinguished as being particularly promising in their fields. The education system in the UK is different from those of the countries of the Balkan region, especially in terms of higher educational institutions. Nonetheless, it is recommended that you know the basic details that characterise it before you undergo the application process itself. We have prepared for you a few of the main determinants of the British education system.


    The educational system varies depending on whether you are in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. Differences are usually reflected in the structure of the academic years, the level of annual tuition fees, and even the terminology and names for certain things are different – some of these are crucial, so you should not overlook them.


    Here are some key elements of British higher education that must be known before starting the application itself:


    • Bachelor studies (BA) last for three years, while postgraduate studies (master’s studies or MA) last one year, full-time.
    • Be aware of the fact that, unlike in the USA, a college (or ‘sixth-form college’) in the UK can refer to an education establishment where local students are able to study for the two years before they traditionally join a university, instead of in a regular secondary school. 'School' would in this case refer to education before entering such a college.
    • You will be required to meet certain standards of English language knowledge. Most educational institutions in the UK will require you to hold an IELTS score of 6.0 to get the opportunity to study (this should however be confirmed by the admission office of each individual institution where you want to apply). They also recognise other language certificates, although this information will not be available on university website. However, TOEFL and Cambridge exams are widely recognised. If you have completed high school in the English language, this certificate will not be needed.

    how much does it cost to study in the united kingdom?


    Study fees and tuition fees vary depending on whether you are an EU or non-EU student, as well as the specific university you want to apply to. EU students will pay the same level of tuition fees as UK students – from £8,000 to £9,000 per academic year for undergraduate studies and about £6,000 for postgraduate studies.

    For non-EU students, annual tuition fees are significantly higher and range from £10,000 to £13,000 for undergraduate and postgraduate study programmes. However, keep in mind that the law and medicine programmes are, as a rule, significantly more expensive, while better-ranked universities will naturally have higher tuition fees.

    visas for studying in the united kingdom


    International students have to obtain an appropriate student visa before arriving in the UK. Without it, they are not allowed to enter. As with the tuition fee, your path to obtaining a visa will primarily depend on your nationality or country of origin. Apart from everything else, you must have a valid passport. If, however, you do not have one, we suggest that you obtain one before you start the application process with the selected university.

    If you are a citizen of the EEA or Switzerland, you do not need a student visa to study in the United Kingdom. However, after three months, you have to apply for a study programme at the relevant institution. You can also work in the UK, but you must first show your passport, visa or ID card to your employer to verify your origin and personal identity.

    In case you are not a citizen of the EEA or Switzerland, you will need to apply for a student visa. This is the Tier-4 visa. Get started with the visa application as soon as you get an offer from a university. There is a visa processing fee of £289. Of course, there are working restrictions for everyone who comes with a Tier-4 visa to the UK, in terms of the number of total hours you can work per week. The details are always indicated on the visa documentation you receive.

    A visa for the UK does not involve the typical submission of documents, as consular staff do not deal with visa issues. These documents are filed to a special agency/intermediary and are sent for consideration to Poland and after three weeks you will receive a response – or after just five working days if you pay £500. One of the most important things for this visa is a financial guarantee, which is, as a rule, for £25,000 or more. It is necessary for these funds to have been in your account for at least 28 days before your scheduled appointment. The application itself needs to be done three months before the start of the studies. You should have all the documentation on you at the moment when you arrive in the UK.

    living in the united kingdom during and after studying


    In the UK, the vast majority of international students stay on university campuses during their first year. This primarily applies to undergraduate students. Then, during the second year, they usually choose to live off-campus, but still in the immediate vicinity, if possible. Almost all international students will be able to stay on a university campus in one of the university residential buildings.

    What are university residences? These are mainly residential buildings consisting of bedrooms.  Sometimes there are apartments with a living room and a kitchen. Where these are only rooms located on one floor, the kitchen and the bathroom are on the same floor and all rooms on that same floor have a common kitchen and bathroom, shared by between four and 10 students. You can indicate to the university some sort of preference about the type of people you would like to share the living space with, and they will endeavour to fulfil your wishes.

    How to choose accommodation? As soon as you accept the offer from the university, they will send you all the accommodation options available. These materials are usually accompanied by photographs and virtual presentations of the space that can be found on the university's website. Take a good look at all the options presented, as the price level will primarily be determined by the quality of the buildings themselves, how well equipped they are with non-essential devices, and the options for the meals offered. After that, you must state on an online form what your preferences are and choose some of the options available. What furniture is provided? It is usual for you to have a list of things that are basic, such as a desk, chair, bed, night stand and closet. You will need to buy extra supplies, such as a table lamp, an additional wardrobe, small kitchen appliances and bedding.

    Pursuant to the Tier-4 student visa conditions, international students can work for up to 20 hours a week, during the lecture and exam periods, and somewhat longer outside this period. There are a large number of job options offered to international students, especially in major cities like London and Manchester. These are jobs in retail shops, restaurants or bars. There are paid jobs on university campuses that are more academic-oriented in their nature (they may be especially relevant to your CV). Assistants in research projects are available to most students undertaking doctoral studies, assisting professors in their regular and additional jobs. You can also look for a job in the international student office at your university or you can assist students who have just begun their studies in your field of interest, which will depend primarily on your previous engagements and performance, as well as your level of English.

    Your student identification card will provide you with certain discounts reserved for students. These are mostly at supermarkets, restaurants and cinemas. What does it really mean to live in the UK as a student? You will no longer have to base your experience exclusively on what you have heard from others’ experience or what you have seen in a series or film. You will discover everything very quickly. Get ready for new sociological and cultural experiences, and there are a few helpful tips that you will need to keep in mind.

    Despite the obsolete perception of the British as angry and reserved people, they are very lively and cheerful. Their sense of humour, although it is sometimes misunderstood or conveyed in exactly the same tone as if they were talking about a serious topic, is something they are quite distinctive for. Do not let that frighten you. It is just their way of breaking the monotony of everyday life and livening up the day. Before you leave, we strongly recommend that you watch some Monty Python or Fawlty Towers clips on YouTube to get familiar with their style.

    Before getting on the plane on route to your new future, be sure you have remembered everything you will need when you arrive. This means that in the first few hours and days after you arrive in the UK, you should try to particularly focused and not rush. Make sure you have organised everything on the list below.

    Have you opened a bank account? You can open an account beforehand or upon your arrival. Every bank has its own set of benefits, but you should spend some time reviewing the tiniest details.

    Have you brought all the essential documents? As we suggested to you earlier, it is important that you have the Study Abroad Today folder with you on your way to the airport. If you rely on electronic copies, there is a risk that the device on which you are trying to access the files for some reason might not support the particular format.

    Documents in the Study Abroad Today folder:

    - Passport

    - Visa

    - University admittance letter and CAS number

    - Information about your accommodation

    - Proof of sufficient financial resources for your tuition

    - Airline ticket and flight schedule