Follow these steps to study in the UK
Step 1: Research on Universities and Study Program
In order to apply to universities or colleges in the UK you need to know what programs and courses they have to offer. When choosing a university, make sure to check for its accreditation as well as its ranking.There are a lot of universities in the United Kingdom with good choices for almost everyone. Usually students apply to about 7 universities with a few being backups. Candidates need to choose a specific course or program of interest to pursue so do prior research and decide what interests you the most.
For more helpful tips on deciding the university, check out this article Top 11 things to consider when choosing a foreign university.
Step 2: Check the Requirements
Make sure to check that you have the required qualifications as asked by the university you will be applying to. It is good to have a brief idea of the visa requirements and the common documents like copy of passport, academic or work references, personal statement, proof of finances etc. In the personal statement essay, don’t forget to include your academic and other achievements as well as your future goal and the reason you would like to choose this university and why you are the perfect fit for this program.
Coming to language requirements, you will need to submit a proof of proficiency in English as required by most universities. Tests for English include the IELTS, PTE or TOEFL exams. You should be able to find the language score requirements on the university website. As requirements vary by state and universities, spend good amount of time in doing the research.
Step 3: Apply to Universities
Shortlist the universities you are interested in. Undergraduate degree applicants are required to fill out an online application form through UCAS (University and College Admission Service) which is a central admission system for UK. You need to create a personal account on UCAS and proceed with the university and course selection and complete your application. Private universities have their own online application platform whereas some universities work jointly with the UCAS platform. For some universities, you can also apply directly via the university’s website.
Fill in the application form diligently with all the required documents. For exact application dates and documents required, always check on the official university website so you don’t miss any.
Ideally you should submit the application well in advance should there be any need for corrections or additions for missing information. Double check before submitting and then sit back until you receive a formal communication regarding acceptance or rejection from the university. You can also track your application status online at UCAS.
Step 4: Manage your Finances
Make sure you check all the costs involved during your stay in the UK including the cost of tuition, living expenses such as rent, transport and grocery. These expenses differ largely by the city you live in. London, Oxford and Cambridge are more expensive than other areas in Britain. Most students do a part time job in the UK to cover living costs. Depending on the location and university, tuition fees range anything from £3,500 to £18,000 per year whereas living expenses can range approximately from £1,000 to £1,200 every month during your stay in the UK.
You can also consider scholarships. There are plenty of them available and if you apply to the right ones your chances of getting one are higher. Check out this article ‘All you need to know about scholarships’ to ensure you are searching and applying to the ones you are most likely to get.
Step 5: Apply for Student Visa
Upon acceptance into the university, you will be required to pay some percentage of your first year tuition fees so as to confirm your place in the university following which the university will send you a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) which you need for the UK student visa application. Now you can proceed with the visa application online. As visa processing may take up to a month or more, make sure to fill in the application form properly and attach every document required to ensure smoother processing.
Note: The Tier 4 student visa is not required for Switzerland or EEA citizens.
Step 6: Searching for Accommodation
Now that you have the university address and the student visa, you should start looking for accommodation. Rent amount varies by city. You can choose between shared dorms and university halls to private apartments. Choose what best fits your budget.
Step 7: Get packing
I bet you would have a long list of things you want to carry along to the new city you are flying to. But with everything else, do not forget to carry the important documents you used for the university and visa application, along with any correspondence you received from the university. Also carry your bank cards, and Forex card if you are planning to get one.
While we understand the application process is cumbersome, with some pre-planning and organization it can be tackled with ease. If you have any questions on the application process, we are happy to help. Let us know in the comments below.
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