Information on the UK

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Information on the UK


 

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (which is usually shortened to just the UK or United Kingdom) is a political union made of up of four countries, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. England, Scotland and Wales share the island of Great Britain, which lies just off the northwest coast of continental Europe. The fourth country, Northern Ireland, is a portion of another island, which is split between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, an independent country, in the south.

 

The UK has grown to become one of the top destinations to study around the world. With traditions of excellence dating back hundreds of years, high class institutions at every corner and much more flexibility than many other countries, the United Kingdom has much to offer international students that other English-speaking countries cannot offer.

 

The degrees and qualifications from UK higher education institutions are known around the world as high quality and world class. The standard of excellence is set by some of the older universities with recognizable names, like Oxford and Cambridge, but the tradition carries through to many of the universities and colleges throughout the UK. When looking for work in the future, this can be a great selling point in your favour !

 

The cost of education for an international student in the UK can be lower compared to the USA and other countries. Some courses in the USA can be $25,000 plus a year in tuition alone. Tuition for the majority of UK higher education institutions is in the region of £6,000 to £7,000 a year - considerably less!

You can also save a lot of money because your degree will generally take less time to complete in the UK than in other countries. Although four-year programs are increasing in popularity, most degree programs in the UK require a three-year course and a masters program is typically between one and two years. When you consider the shorter timeframe, the cost will be much lower if you only have to plan for three years instead of four or even five as in many other countries

Work Opportunities

An international student in the UK is typically allowed to work up to 20 hours a week during school term, and up to full-time when school is out of term. Of course, you should always check with your international advisor at your school before starting any work - you do not want to be in violation of your visa, and rules change all the time. Also, it is not always easy to find a job, so relying on work income to fund your education is not a good idea. Unless you have employment set up through your school before you arrive, you should plan to fund the entire first year of your studies without any employment income.

Accommodation

UK towns and cities have long experience of providing homes for students and there are many affordable, comfortable and safe places to live.

You should always try to arrange your long-term accommodation before you leave home.

If you’re coming to the UK for the first time, accommodation provided by your school, college or university might be the most suitable choice. This is an option taken up by more than half of the international students on degree courses in the UK and around 30 % of those who come to FE colleges.

There are advantages to living in accommodation provided by your institution:

  • you usually live close to where you are studying
  • you get to know other students easily
  • you are likely to spend less time travelling, so you have time to get to know the local area
  • you will be living in a safe and secure environment.

College and university accommodation is also affordable: a room in a self-catering hall of residence or student apartment costs from £180 to £360 per month. The term self-catering means that you will have access to a shared kitchen where you can prepare your own meals. Some universities and colleges also offer accommodation where meals are provided and the cost of your breakfast and evening meal is included in the rent you pay. Where meals are included you can expect to pay from £320 to £400 per month. In the traditional student residence, bathroom facilities are shared but an increasing number of universities and colleges now offer residences with rooms where you have your own private bathroom. You would pay slightly more for this option.

 

If you choose to rent accommodation in the private sector, the options are private hostels, lodgings,bed-sits or shared flats/houses. A lodging is where you rent a room in a private house. Your landlord/landlady would live in the same house, possibly with their family, and would prepare your meals for you. For hostel accommodation and lodgings where meals are included, you can expect to pay £300 to £400 per month. For a bed-sit or a room in a house or flat shared with other students, you would pay from £200 to £380 per month.

Currency

The currency throughout the UK is British Pounds (£). Generally, you will deal with the following notes and coins:

  1. £100 Note
  2. £50 Note
  3. £20 Note
  4. £10 Note
  5. £5 Note
  6. £2 Coin
  7. £1 Coin
  8. 50p coin
  9. 20p coin
  10. 10p coin
  11. 5p coin
  12. 2p coin
  13. 1p coin

Climate

General Climate Conditions

The UK has a reputation for having cold, wet and dreary weather. Although this may be true for some times of the year, the UK is actually much better than most think - and can have some great weather during the summer months.

If you wish to get the most out of the UK, then the times to visit are the summer months when days are long (the sun generally rises at 4 am and will set at 9 or 10 pm at night) and you can expect warmer temperatures.

Generally, there are four distinct seasons to the UK; summer, winter, spring and autumn.