Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience for any student. It can help from enhancing their global network to experiencing a new culture, the benefits to education and career are significant.
Over the years, studying abroad has become an increasingly prevalent choice for students all over the world, with around 1.3 million students currently undertaking study abroad programs or courses in one of the EU states.
Study abroad programs come in many diverse forms, including everything from short summer school experiences to full-time study abroad university programs which can take years to complete.
Home to over 130 UK universities that provide a wide variety of courses to international students, there are many worthy reasons to make that next big step in your life and study in the UK. Everyone knows that the United Kingdom (UK) offers any international student a wonderful study abroad experience. Studying overseas has many unbelievable benefits, both for your personal and professional life. With its rich history, high quality of life, and most importantly, world-class universities, the UK has long been a popular destination for international students. However, there are some unexpected benefits of studying in the United Kingdom that might not be on your radar.
The UK allows you to finish your program faster, and you get your degree faster.
Academic programs or courses in the country are typically much shorter than they are in many other countries. International students studying in the UK can earn a bachelor’s degree after three years of full-time study and complete a master’s degree in just a matter of one year. In contrast, other countries like Canada and the United States take a total of four years to get you a bachelor’s degree and two years for a master’s. The shorter study duration helps lessen overall tuition fees and living expenses. It also allows you to enter the job market sooner.
In the UK, students can also choose and select from over 50,000 academic courses in more than 25 subject areas. UK universities offer docility, allowing you to select from different subject modules and tailor your studies to suit your interests and career aspirations.
The UK provides a base to see the World
While today, travel might currently be a distant memory, we all know that one day the opportunity will return. The UK offers an incredible base for exploring Europe, and indeed the world!
There are approx five lakhs of international students from 180+ countries who pick the UK for their study abroad program. Studying in the UK is an opportunity to experience a multicultural environment, meet new people and fellow international students from across the world and discover new places. You benefit by improving a range of skills that are necessary to be part of today’s global workforce.
The UK provides health benefits to students
Indian students in the UK are eligible to receive free medical treatment by the National Health Service (NHS) if enrolled in a full-time course. Your spouse/partner or dependent children will also be exempt from payment if they reside with you during your study program.
To receive free necessary treatment on the NHS you need to meet any of the following criteria:
- Studying full time on a course for more than 6 months
- Your course is substantially funded by UK Government
- You are from a country which is in the European Union (EU)
- If not a member of the EU, then your country must have a bilateral agreement
- If you are living in the UK whilst your husband or wife is a student and meets any of the above
- If you are a dependent of anyone who meets the above criteria, e.g. child under 16 or under 19 in full time education
Note: It is important when you arrive in the UK to register with a General Practitioner (GP) doctor in a health centre or at your university’s onsite medical centre. The GP will be a general doctor who specialises in family health and will be able to see and advise anyone from small babies to more elderly members of the community. There will also be nurses at GP surgeries who can deal with minor ailments, some injections and repeat prescriptions if needed. Registering at a GP is free and is an important thing to do, especially as no one wants to be away from home and ill without any help at hand.
The UK lets you take advantage of the New Graduate Immigration Route
Like Canada’s Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), the announcement of the UK’s upcoming two-year post-study work visa, called the Graduate Immigration Route, sets the UK ahead of other studies abroad destinations. Students graduating in Summer 2021 are expected to be the first group eligible to take benefit of the Graduate Immigration Route. This route offers no restriction on the kind of work you can do and no minimum salary level. You can spend as long as you like looking for work and you can leave or switch jobs without any effect on your visa.
You could be eligible if you:
- Earned a degree at the undergraduate level or above at a qualifying UK Higher Education Provider in summer 2021 or later
- Have a track record of compliance
- Have a valid Student visa (formerly the Tier 4 student visa) when you submit your application
This news makes an already desirable study abroad destination an even more winning option for international students, especially those who dream of starting their careers in the UK and making it their permanent home.
The UK offers strong research infrastructure
As a research student evaluating the benefits of studying in the UK, it will be interesting for you to note that the country puts across a good percentage of global journal articles, citations, and the world’s most highly-cited articles.
The latest Research Excellence Framework (REF) which analyzed the quality of research conducted by more than 154 leading universities and colleges in the UK, classified 30% of the research as ‘world-leading and 46% as ‘internationally excellent.
An impressive number of research doctoral degrees are also awarded in the country. The fields of clinical sciences, health & medical sciences, social sciences, business, and humanities command strong emphasis in UK research.
The UK Education System offers great opportunities to students.
Every year, the UK government warmly greets lakhs of international students with open arms. International student societies, besides organizing parties, conducting events, planning activities and outings, help in the rough days as well by giving advice on personal problems and assisting you as you fit in.
A student needs to get a UK Tier 4 General Student Visa to study higher education at a UK University. It is quite easy to obtain and the process is simpler, more transparent, and user-friendly for international students who have received an offer/CAS and can show the required funding available.
Most UK universities also offer merit-based scholarship programs and funding opportunities to international students to support their studies and cost of living.
After going through all these benefits, it is little wonder that so many students are choosing to study in the UK. It will continue to be among the top educational destinations for international students and should be seriously considered by every applicant who is considering studying abroad. Whatever your field or career aspirations, international experience will certainly help you to stand out in today’s highly competitive global job market.