The UK has long been the most preferred study-abroad destination for Indian students. The country provides prospects of quality higher education with its prestigious universities, culturally rich environment, and globally recognized degrees. If you are an Indian student aspiring to study in the UK in 2023, we have prepared a detailed guide to assist you in this journey by giving valuable insights. Let’s learn more.
Choosing the Right Course and University
The first step in achieving your academic goals in the UK is selecting the right course and university. The UK boasts a vast array of educational institutions, from the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge to more modern and innovative counterparts. Thoroughly research all your options to see which university and course align best with your interests and career goals. Also check entry requirements, course content, and faculty expertise.
Indian students are required to obtain a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK. For its application, students need to provide evidence of admission to a recognized UK institution, sufficient funds to support their study and living expenses, along a clean immigration history. It is advised to start your visa application process well in advance to allow time for processing.
Cost of Living
The UK has a high cost of living as compared to other study-abroad destinations. Be prepared for the expenses such as tuition fees, accommodation, food, transportation, health insurance, and leisure activities. However, the UK offers a world-class education, which makes it all worthwhile. Students can take guidance offered by several universities to effectively plan their finances.
Many universities, the UK government, and private organizations offer various scholarships and financial aid options that can significantly alleviate the financial burden of studying abroad.
As an international student studying in the UK, you’d also be allowed to work up to 20 hours a week during term time and full-time during holidays. It can help in gaining valuable work experience, offset living costs, and develop essential skills. Further, it can help you build a professional network.
While studying in the UK, you’ll have the opportunity to be a part of its multicultural society- meet people from all over the world. As exciting as it is to explore an entirely new culture, it can also be challenging at times. Actively engage in the cultural exchange, and make friends with locals and other international students to ease the transition and enrich your experience.
Paying the relevant healthcare surcharge as part of your student visa application makes you entitled to National Health Service (NHS) care as an Indian student. This ensures that you have access to medical services and support during your stay.
You can opt for various accommodation options, including on-campus residences, private student housing, and off-campus rentals according to your budget and needs. Make sure to book your accommodation well in advance to secure a suitable place. Also consider factors like proximity to your university and amenities, other than the budget.
Consider investing in an Oyster card or contactless payment card for discounted fares while traveling via the UK’s efficient public transport system, such as buses, trains, and trams. Also, familiarize yourself with local transportation routes and schedules.
While you are likely to be comfortable with English, the UK’s primary language, it’s crucial to understand regional accents and local idioms to really understand the local culture and the aspects of the society unique to you. Furthermore, you need to present scores of any language proficiency exam, such as IELTS or PTE, for admission to top UK universities.
In line with the UK’s academic culture that emphasizes independent thinking, research, and critical analysis, you’ll be expected to participate actively in discussions. Further, developing and nurturing time management and self-discipline skills are essential to excelling in this environment.
Student Support Services
As an international student studying at a UK university, you’d be provided with a range of student support services, including academic advising, career counseling, mental health support, and extracurricular activities to help you succeed academically and personally.
Safety and Security
The UK is a safe country with low crime rates, but you must still take basic safety precautions, such as being vigilant with your belongings, avoiding poorly lit areas at night, and being aware of your surroundings.
Networking and Socializing
A crucial part of your study abroad experience is building a social network. Attend orientation events, join clubs and societies, and engage in extracurricular activities to meet people with shared interests to enhance your academic and personal growth.
The public transportation system of the UK is well-connected and offers excellent travel opportunities. It is also in close proximity to Europe. From the historic and cultural sites within the country to taking weekend trips to cities like Paris, Amsterdam, and Dublin, students can make the most of their study abroad experience in the UK.
Lastly, stay updated on the latest developments on travel visas to monitor the ever-changing guidelines that might impact your stay in the UK.