The United Kingdom has some of the most prestigious universities in the world, with Cambridge, St. Andrews and Oxford leading the league tables in 2020, according to the Guardian.
I knew from an early age that I wanted to study in London, but the decisive moment was in my last year of high school.
Here are a few things you need to know before you enroll at university in the UK.
1. The process of applying
When you decide that you want to study in the UK, be it in London, Manchester or Coventry, you need to head to ucas.com – a straightforward platform through which you will send your application to the desired universities. You can search for university courses, read about how to apply and what happens after.
Applications can be submitted beginning September 4 2019 for Undergraduate Entry 2020. The deadline is January 15 2020 at 18.00 UK time (20.00 Romanian time). Mark your calendar!
Your application must include:
- details about you (date of birth, where you live etc.)
- qualifications (high school details, English exam, etc.)
- your chosen courses and universities (one or up to five)
- a personal statement (why you want to study in the UK and why you would be a good student – make it general if you apply to multiple universities)
- a reference (from a teacher or a trusted person)
In order to apply for 2020 courses, you also need to pay a fee of £20 if you choose to apply to only one university, or £25 if you want to apply to up to five universities. The latter option is a much safer way to make sure you will secure a place at a university.
You can check the standard entry requirements when you search for the courses you would like to follow. Then, form a list of places where you would definitely like to go to and believe you can enter.
Once your application is done and submitted, you will receive confirmation letters from your choices with conditional or unconditional offers. For example, the universities will ask you for specific requirements in order to be a successful candidate, such as the grade in your Baccalaureate exams and what English exam they require you to have (Cambridge, IELTS, Toefl).
After you receive the confirmation letter, you will need to decide what your first and second choices will be. When I made the decision to study at Kingston, I took into consideration how practical the course was going to be, the proximity to the campus and the employment rate after graduating.
The next step is the most important one, achieving the grades required to study at your top two universities. Good luck with studying and achieving your goals!
Once you have received your grades back and the university received your results, they will confirm your place at the university.
Student Finance offers funding for tuition fees. Depending on where you come from, fees may be different. For example, for European students, the general undergraduate full-time tuition fee is £9.250 per academic year.
You can check if you are eligible for student finance here.
If you are going to study in the UK you will need to make sure you have a place to stay during your studies. As I have mentioned above, when I chose my university, I took into consideration how close the accommodation was to the campus where I would study, as well as the monthly costs. Depending on your chosen university, they might have student campuses available, where you can rent a room in a shared flat.
In my experience, I found a room in the student accommodation that was nearest to the campus where all my lectures and workshops were going to be held at. I rented a room with its own bathroom in a flat of six rooms for £115 per week. Luckily, I knew how it was going to look beforehand, as on the university’s website they had a virtual tour and lots of important information.
Keep in mind that you will also need to pay a deposit before arriving for your studies.
4. Getting accustomed
Moving away to study in a foreign country is not as easy as it might sound. Getting accustomed to a new lifestyle is difficult but in my personal experience, moving to London and going to a university where I studied a subject I am extremely passionate about was the best decision I have ever made.
Yes, it was difficult at first, being away from everything that I knew and the people I loved, but the things I experienced every day were worth the struggles.
Bring photos, call your family every day and make new friends, but most importantly, be patient with yourself and make the most of each day, because once it will be over, trust me, you will miss it.
One last thing to know before you move away to study in the UK is that the costs are a bit higher than in many European countries. Plan ahead and start saving money to make sure you won’t have any surprises once you are all settled in.
Good luck with your journey and don’t forget to come back for the next chapter!
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