Studying & Living Abroad
A great thing about studying in the UK is that there’s always someone to talk to; if you need help or advice on all sorts of issues. We want your arrival and time in the UK to be really comfortable. UK schools, colleges and universities have developed world-class student services and support systems. These, along with the welfare services provided in the wider community, ensure you settle in and can enjoy completing your course successfully.
Many schools, colleges and universities, send a representative to meet new students at the nearest railway station and provide transport to the campus. Institutions also stage orientation or induction programmes just before term starts; to help get you acclimatised with your new environment. This allows you to meet with other students from around the world, and to settle in quickly.
Many UK universities and colleges have specialised international advisers; and their job is to provide support for international students like you. The international office is usually the first point of contact for you. You can approach international officers for independent advice and information on almost anything, from accommodation through to how to extend your permission to stay in the UK.
Many institutions also arrange orientation or induction programmes for new students at the beginning of the academic session. The duration and content of these programmes vary considerably; some last only one or two days and others a whole week. Typical elements include a tour of the campus, an overview of the facilities and how to use them, explanations of the institution’s rules, help with registering for your course, an outline of teaching methods, discussion of important aspects of life in the UK and social events where you can meet staff and other students.
Fresher’s Fair or Induction Week:Institutions also organize a fresher’s week or fresher’s fair for all new students. This is a further opportunity to make friends, as well as to join clubs and societies run by other students. These are usually great fun and getting involved in activities from the start is a really great way of meeting British students as well as people from other cultures and countries.
You might find it useful to join an international student society within your institution. There are two types: societies for all international students, irrespective of nationality, and societies for students from specific countries or regions. Both types of organisation provide useful information about the UK from a student’s point of view and are a good way of meeting and socialising with other students. The Students’ Union or international students association may also have information about national or cultural groups outside the institution in the town or city which is another possible source of support.
By encouraging an independent approach, education in the UK helps you to develop intellectual skills and a problem-solving attitude. UK tutorial support comes through small classes or tutorial and seminar groups, and from a range of teaching methods that may include discussions, games, problem- solving activities, projects, practical work, peer tutoring, computer-assisted learning and simulations. Pass rates are high and drop-out rates (students who don’t complete their course of study) are among the lowest in the world.
During degree programmes, some specific modules will be compulsory but others will be optional; allowing you to tailor the course to your interests. The core topics of your course will be outlined to you through lectures.
More in-depth analysis will take place in smaller tutorial and seminar groups where you’ll prepare topics in advance and discuss them with other students and the tutor. You will be assigned your own personal tutor with whom you can review your individual progress and discuss any problems. You will need to read extensively around the subject and you’ll be encouraged to form your own ideas and opinions.
If you choose a technical subject, you are likely to spend a large portion of your time in supervised laboratory work, designed to develop necessary technical skills.
All postgraduate programmes require you to do a great deal of work on your own initiative. On taught courses, postgraduate tutors and lecturers will provide the framework of the course and, within this; you will be able to pursue your own interests. On research programmes, the principal teaching method is original research, which you complete under academic supervision. Writing a dissertation on your research, forms a substantial part of the programme. Many UK research programmes now begin with introductory taught courses that provide training in research skills; to help you prepare for the advanced research you’ll need to do.
Close contact between students and tutors is a particular strength of all UK degree courses, with opportunities to review your individual progress and discuss any problems.