What is it like to study?
The UK is the second most popular study destination in the world. The majority of international students in the UK come from China, India, the United States, Hong Kong and Malaysia, and EU nationals make up 30% of foreigners at UK universities. What is it that makes hundreds of thousands of students leave their homes to pursue their education on the islands?
At English universities, don’t expect a lot of boring classes in lecture theatres. Classes, workshops and seminars take place in studios, laboratories and art studios. Many universities have dedicated open spaces that students in a particular field of study can often use 24 hours a day. Studying in England also gives students the opportunity to gain practical industry experience while they are already studying – universities work with local, national and international employers, allowing their students to do internships. Many universities offer what is known as a sandwich course, which lasts four years. Typically, the first 2 years are then spent at university, followed by a year-long placement in industry and then returning to university to write a bachelor’s thesis.
Small number of class hours per week
A big advantage of most English university courses is the lack of unnecessary and useless subjects and therefore the small number of lecture hours per week. Typically, classes are held 3 days a week and you will then spend 5-6 hours at university. In total, you will therefore spend 15-20 hours a week at university, and you can use the remaining time for work, for example. This is a big advantage for people who have to support themselves during their studies. However, this does not apply to courses such as nursing or medicine, where there may be more classes.
In most faculties, the number of students per year averages 40-50, with 10 to 20 students per teacher. This is very small compared to Polish studies. Small groups mean that students get to know each other quicker, are not afraid to ask questions, and consequently work better and learn more intensively. In addition, this enables close contact with lecturers and efficient communication with them.
Nowadays, employers place great importance on teamwork skills when looking for their potential employee. Studying in England will prepare you well and teach you how to work in an international team, as most credits are group projects. It also makes you connect more quickly with others – projects often require meetings after class, and universities have special rooms and open spaces dedicated just to group work, often available to students 24 hours a day.
No exam session!
In the run-up to matriculation, you have probably heard more than once from older friends: “The session will come, only then will you see what it’s like…”. There are few exams at university in England, and if there are any they are often held in the last class. For credit, you usually write essays and reports, or prepare multimedia presentations in groups. Thus, by studying at an English university, you will avoid the stress of the legendary ‘session’!
The staff at most English universities is not only made up of people who have set their sights on an academic career. The lecturers are usually people who are active in the industry concerned, often owning their own businesses, and who do not teach theory from textbooks written a few years ago. As a result, you can gain valuable knowledge from the classes that will prepare you directly for your profession. It also has the effect of expanding your network of contacts, and lecturers are happy to take on students they know and who are active in their classes for internships and placements.
Exciting student life
Even before classes officially start, students can experience how rich student life is in England. Fresher’s Week is the week during which new students get to know the university and lecturers, and make their first friends at a number of parties and pub outings together. Universities do not forget about entertainment during the academic year either – they often organise parties and balls for their students.
There are numerous associations and clubs at the universities that meet regularly and organise joint outings and excursions. Their diversity is huge – fans of travel, running, Harry Potter or Game of Thrones are just a few examples.
All in all – you definitely won’t be bored while studying in England!
Exchanges and travel
An incredible advantage of studying abroad is the opportunity to travel. Just going to university is already an amazing adventure, but there will be even more opportunities to travel during your studies! English universities have partner universities all over the world, enabling their students to travel to countries such as China, Indonesia, Singapore and Australia. In addition to long-term trips, shorter trips are organised, such as volunteering in Jordan and summer schools. Sound appealing?
Fluent English, in addition to Russian, Spanish, Mandarin or Arabic – who among us wouldn’t want to be able to boast such qualifications? A perfect command of English is just one of the skills you will acquire during your studies. Most universities offer a wide range of language courses at different levels that you can take as part of your coursework.
Loose contact with lecturers
University lecturers in England are very friendly and open. Students address them as ‘you’ and lectures and exercises often take place in a very relaxed atmosphere. Lecturers are happy to arrange with their students to meet outside the university, go on trips together and go to the pub. They also make sure to keep in touch with students who have already completed their studies – through social networks or emails.
British universities have state-of-the-art laboratories, studios and art studios, equipped with high-end equipment and technology. You will not only have the opportunity to work with such infrastructure during classes – most universities also allow their students to use them independently for project preparation or in their free time to study on their own. University libraries are also well-equipped – there are state-of-the-art computers that students can often use 24 hours a day (especially during the credit period).
Diversity of cultures
While studying in England, you will come into contact with people from many cultures, countries and backgrounds. As a result, you will learn how to cope when working in a diverse team, find out what life is like in other regions of the world, learn tolerance, and broaden your horizons. Making friends with foreigners is also a great opportunity to polish your language or travel together. Studying in England will open up the world to you!