The United Kingdom is the second most popular study destination in the world. Most 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 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 of a given field can often use 24 hours a day. Studying in England also allows students to gain practical industry experience during their studies – universities cooperate with local, national, and international employers, enabling their students to undergo internships. Many universities offer a so-called sandwich course, which lasts four years. Typically, the first two years are spent at university, followed by a year-long placement in industry and then returning to university to write a bachelor’s thesis.
Great advantage of most UK university courses is the lack of unnecessary subjects and, consequently, a few lecture hours per week. Typically, classes are held three days a week, and you will then spend 5-6 hours at the university. In total, you will therefore spend 15-20 hours a week at the university, and you can, for example, use the remaining time for work. This is a major advantage for people who are self-reliant during their studies. However, this does not apply to courses such as nursing or medicine, where more classes may be held.
Small groups are the norm in most faculties, with an average of 40 to 50 students per year and 10 to 20 students per teacher. This is significantly smaller compared to Polish studies. The advantage of small groups is that students can get to know each other quickly, feel more comfortable asking questions, and as a result, work better and learn more effectively. Additionally, small groups allow for closer contact with lecturers and efficient communication with them.
Employers nowadays place great importance on teamwork skills when looking for potential employees. Studying in the UK will prepare you well and teach you how to work in an international team, as most credits are group projects. It also makes it easier to establish contacts with others – projects often require meetings after classes, and universities have rooms and open spaces exclusively dedicated for group work, often available to students 24 hours a day.
As you prepare for your Matura exams, you may have heard from older friends that real challenges lie in the study session itself. In contrast, university exams in the UK are less frequent and often take place during the last classes. Instead of traditional exams, you may be asked to write essays, reports, or collaborate in groups to prepare multimedia presentations. This means that studying at a UK university is generally less stressful than the infamous exam 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 active in a given industry, often owning their businesses, and do not just teach theory from textbooks written a few years ago. As a result, you can gain valuable knowledge from the classes that will prepare you for your profession right. Another benefit is expanding your contact network, which makes lecturers happy to take on students they know and who are active in their classes for internships and placements.
Even before classes officially start, students can see how rich student life in England is. Fresher’s Week is a 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.
Numerous associations and clubs at the universities 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!
A great advantage of studying abroad is the opportunity to travel. Studying at 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. Sounds appealing?
Fluent English, in addition to Russian, Spanish, Mandarin or Arabic – who among us wouldn’t want to be able to boast of such qualifications? 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.
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 chance 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).
While studying in England, you will encounter 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 terrific opportunity to polish your language or travel together. Studying in England will open the world to you!