As an international student in the United Kingdom, you will have the opportunity to be involved in a different culture. Students gain not just a great experience but also valuable knowledge and skills for their future careers. As a result, every student should make the most of their international study experience.
Learning about the area and making a concentrated effort to comprehend and adjust to the community are just a few essential factors for international students. However, it might be challenging at first, like any fresh start, and you may make some mistakes.
So, if you are planning to study at a UK university, here are eight common mistakes made by international students that you should avoid:
1. Unable to Manage Time Efficiently
In the United Kingdom, university applications might take a long time to finish. To avoid frustration, complete the process as soon as possible.
Consider that application dates are from October to January and that you should apply through UCAS, which stands for Universities and College Admission Services in the United Kingdom.
You will also need to verify that you have the relevant English language skills to attend university in the UK as part of your application. To do so, you must take an accredited Secure English Language Test (SELT), such as PTE Academic, and present proof of your performance with your submission.
2. Language and Knowledge Barriers
Ensure you know everything you need to know regarding your host country before you depart. This will assist you in determining what you may and may not do, as well as ensure a smooth change. Prepare by learning about your institution, the area where you will be living, maps, and transit systems.
Remember to explore and understand your host country’s language and culture. It is not essential to speak fluently if you master basic introductions and gestures in your native tongue. Make friends with students from the area and listen to them speak the local language. Please try to speak it and understand as many words as possible.
3. Not Prepared for Class
Most universities use a variety of lectures, seminars, and tutorials to engage their students. Lectures are given by a professor in a large classroom setting, whereas seminars and lessons are significantly more private settings. A postgraduate candidate or instructor usually leads tutorials and seminars.
In a lecture, you can usually sit and listen silently while taking notes, but don’t be shocked if you’re requested to talk in a lesson. Each week, you will be assigned new essays and assignments to complete and achieve a certain level of reading.
4. Lack of Research Regarding Finances and Grants
Most international students researching potential programs neglect the need to first check for scholarships and financial assistance. It should be the first place you look because it will have a massive impact on your savings.
Scholarships and discounts are available from most study abroad providers. You only need to go online to learn more about this. Furthermore, international students who thrive academically may be eligible for financial assistance from the state or other agencies.
Moreover, managing the daily budget is also essential. To make it through your semester or year of study abroad, you need a practical budget plan. You should establish a strategy ahead of time. Learn more about the living costs in the UK and see how it fits within your budget. How much accommodation, utilities, and commuting will cost you? Please make a list of everything and develop a strategy for following your spending plan during your studies.
5. Packing Issues
When it comes to packing for a move to the UK, many students have trouble deciding what to bring. It’s not unexpected, given how unpredictable British weather can be. It varies based on your region and the time of year. As a result, it is a good idea to research the place you’ll be studying in and gather a variety of clothing for different seasons.
In general, the further north you travel, the colder and stormier it becomes. The west of the United Kingdom is also much wetter than the east. You can buy extra-warm clothes once you arrive because they typically take up a lot of room. You can also buy used winter clothing as a solution. But don’t limit yourself to raincoats and jumpers. Believe it or not, summer temperatures in the United Kingdom can exceed 30 degrees Celsius!
6. Visa Problems
All international students who choose to study in the United Kingdom must first get a visa. Many individuals are unaware that there are two kinds of student visas available in the United Kingdom:
- Visa for short-term studies: This option is offered for 6 or 11 months and is excellent for students who want to take a short language course or participate in a research program as part of their degree.
- Student visas are available: If you intend to enrol for an undergraduate or higher-level degree at a university, you’ll require this visa, previously known as the Tier 4 General student visa.
You can apply up to six months before the commencement of your course if you live outside the UK, and your application should be approved in three weeks. If you live in the United Kingdom, you can submit up to three months before starting your study and receive a verdict within eight weeks. Remember that if you’re applying from within the UK, you must submit your application before your existing visa expires.
7. Keeping Unrealistic Expectations
High expectations can frequently lead to disappointment. Recognize that not every day will be wonderful and that you will encounter people whom you will be unable to please. There will be happy times as well as difficult times. It isn’t all easy and enjoyable, but it’s all part of the journey.
Being versatile requires stepping outside of your everyday routine and attempting unique experiences. Learn about the new culture and try their food. This can help you form a stronger bond with your new surroundings and adapt quickly.
8. Not Checking Working Arrangements
A ‘work permit’ is what a lot of students think about. If you want to work while you study, you will only be permitted to work part-time in the UK and will almost certainly need a work visa.
There are a lot of details to consider: you might be limited to working on campus with the institution as your workplace, or you might need to file for your post-study work visa while you are still in your home country, or you might not be able to work at all if specific standards aren’t completed.
This may sound scary, but it is always wise to be mindful of what might happen and be prepared.
When applying for a college internationally, ensure you’re fully committed. Attending a college internationally may not always be the ideal choice for you. Sometimes students get swept up by what others encourage them to do rather than considering what they genuinely desire.
We hope you avoid making the said mistakes and try your best to adapt to your new surroundings. If you are still scared about living in the UK as an international student, talk to one of our consultants for counselling, guidance, and support. Best of luck!