Studying in the UK has tons of advantages. UK universities are world-renowned and offer a world class education. The student experience is top-notch, and it’s easy for students from anywhere in the world to adapt to the lifestyle, as long as they have the basics down. You have a choice between a wide range of universities to choose from; you can opt for a major cosmopolitan city, or you can choose a small town in a lesser-known region to fully immerse yourself in the culture. Here are a few tips for international students looking to move to the UK.
Prepare for Your Visa Application
Coming from Canada (or anywhere else outside of the EU), you’ll need a visa to study in the UK. If you are studying short-term (up to six months), you can apply for a short-term visa. If you are applying for a higher education program, you’ll need to apply for a Student Visa.
To apply, you’ll need to submit your offer from the university or college you want to study at in the UK (the institution will need to be approved by the UK government as a licenced sponsor). The UK university will give you a ‘Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) for this. Then, you’ll need to show proof of funds to support yourself during your studies, and pay an application fee (£348 for students) and have a current passport or other valid travel document. Click here for more information.
You will also need to pay a fee called an Immigration Health Surcharge. This gives you access to the UK’s National Health Service. Students receive a 25% discount on the usual cost of this surcharge – so the rate for student visa holders is £470 per year. You can apply for a visa six months before your course starts.
Start Looking for Accommodation
The next thing you’ll need to do is start looking at your accommodation options. Some UK universities might offer residences on-campus, or you might need to rent a place once you get there. On-campus space is often limited and finding an apartment as an international student might be challenging.
In this case, you could consider going for a private student accommodation provider like downingstudents.com. This option offers roughly the same experience as a residence but with more independence and space. They have apartments in most major cities and will make it super easy to book your space. Most of their units are also located in central areas, so you’ll be close to most amenities as well.
Prepare for the British Way of Life
Another thing you’ll need to do is start getting acquainted with the British way of life and culture. You’ll likely have an opportunity to meet with a lot of other international students from around the world, as well as British students. Join clubs at your university, get involved in volunteering, find out what’s happening in your community outside of university and get involved.
Start the ball rolling and plan your studies in the UK. It’s a great place to live as a student, but do as much preparation as you can before you go.