Choosing A University for International Students

Choosing A University for International Students
Once you have decided that pursuing your studies at a UK university is the right move for you, the next step is choosing what university you wish to go to. This can be a very difficult decision because not only will your choice of institute determine the education you get but it will also determine where you are going to live for at least the next 3 years but possibly more. The main choice especially for international students is the capital city London, but there are many more cities in the UK that are certainly worth considering.

The first thing to consider when selecting the university is the location. Yes you are going to the UK for the education but you are also moving to a new place so you need to make sure that it is somewhere you want to live - otherwise you will lose interest very quickly. Luckily the UK has a variety of different places where you could study such as universities near the sea such as Brighton or Southampton, exciting city universities such as London or Manchester or even Scottish cities such as Edinburgh, steeped in history and Scottish culture.

The next thing to consider is the cost of these universities. These can vary dramatically, especially since recent tuition rises which state that universities have the option to increase annual fees to up to £9k per year. The most important part of that centre was the word option, as this is not a mandatory practice - meaning that you could be saving potentially thousands of pounds a year if you select a university which hasn’t raised it’s tuition fees, or who hasn’t raised them as much. That’s not the only thing you need to consider when looking at cost. You should also look at things like the cost of travel, accommodation etc in the area for example will you be purchasing a car or is there free/cheap transport? In terms of accommodation, places such as London will often cost almost twice the price (if not more) than other cities such as Birmingham.

You should also consider the reputation of the university itself as your future employers will. Each year a list is published ranking the universities to give you an idea of where you should study. Universities such as Cambridge and Oxford are usually top whereas the former “polytechnics” such as Manchester Metropolitan University are at the lower end of the scale. However, as well as the university you should look at those that are particularly well thought of in your choice of degree. For example, Loughborough University is famous for it’s sport whereas Universities such as London School of Economics are famous for their finance based degrees.

Choosing a university can be difficult, but it should also be a fun process, deciding where you will be living for at least the next three years. Big cities are always a good choice for the lively atmosphere, such as London and Leeds but it’s also important to choose what is right for your education. If you have the opportunity to go to Oxford of Cambridge, it wouldn’t make much sense to then choose to go to London Metropolitan University just for the exciting nightlife.

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