GUIDE TO STUDYING IN BRITAIN
What is the cost of living in the UK?
This will vary according to where in the UK you decide to study. For instance London and other big cities will be more expensive than other areas. The British Council and Study UK give a general guide to the cost of living in the UK.
How much cash should I bring?
You should have enough money to pay for your transport from the airport to your final destination. You may be staying with friends or family at first so will not have to think about accommodation costs. If not, then you should have at least enough money for one or two nights stay at a 'Bed and Breakfast' and for food during this time. If you can, bring most of this money as travellers' cheques and take out travel insurance to cover you for your first week of stay.
Will I pay the 'home' or 'overseas' fee?
Only certain categories of students will be charged the 'home' fee. Broadly speaking they are:
To see if you fall into any
of these categories, download the UKCOSA Guidance Note 'Fees
and Student Support'.
How much will the 'overseas' fee for my course be?
Overseas fees can range from £4,000 to £17,000 per year depending on the institution, the level and the type of course. Some institutions give details of the fees they charge on their websites.
Click here for a list of university (higher education) websites
Click here for a list of further education websites.
How can I get details of scholarships that are available?
You should contact your local British Council Office about any scholarships that are available to students from your country wishing to study in the UK. British Council Offices in the UK cannot assist you. To find out details of your nearest British Council office click here. For further information from UKCOSA about this topic click here.
Can I claim welfare benefits?
If you enter the UK as a student, immigration conditions that apply to you will mean that you cannot normally claim welfare benefits. For further information from UKCOSA about this topic, download the Guidance Note, 'Welfare and Health Benefits'
WORKING IN THE UK
Can I work whilst I am studying in the UK?
Most students on courses of more than 6 months will be given a passport stamp or visa sticker that allows them to work part-time during the term (up to 20 hours a week) and any number of hours during the vacations. Note however that you cannot normally rely on expected income from part time and vacation work as evidence of your financial resources when dealing with the UK immigration authorities. For further information from UKCOSA about this topic, download the Guidance Note, 'Working in the UK during your studies'.
Can my husband/wife/son/daughter work whilst I study in the UK?
This will depend on the amount of time you are given to study in the UK. If you are given 12 months or more, then your husband/wife/son/daughter joining you in the UK should be given a passport stamp which allows him or her to work. For further information from UKCOSA about this topic, download the Guidance Note, 'Dependants of international students'.
Can I stay in the UK to work after I have finished studying?
It may be possible for you
to stay on in the UK for practical training or work experience or for full
Will my qualifications be recognised in the UK?
You can check the equivalence of your country's qualifications with those in the UK by contacting the National Academic Information Centre (NARIC).
How can I find out about different courses of study in the UK?
The internet is also a good place to obtain information about an institution and the courses it runs. For example, Hotcourses and UCAS are websites that can help you to search and apply for courses in the UK.Prospects provides details of postgraduate research and study opportunities in the UK.
Alternatively find the contact details of an institution and write or email asking for the 'prospectus', a booklet which provides information on the institution and the courses it offers. The institution will send you a copy free of charge.
Your local British Council office can also offer information. To find out details of your nearest British Council office click here.
For further information from UKCOSA about this topic, download the Guidance Note, 'Choosing the right course and college'.
How can I tell which institutions offer UK degrees?
There is an official list of institutions offering recognised UK degrees on the Department for Education and Skill's website at www.dfes.gov.uk/recognisedukdegrees/
How do I apply for a place on a course at an institution in the UK?
For undergraduate degree level courses, applications to universities must be made through a central admissions system called the Universities and Colleges Admissions System (UCAS).
If you are interested in postgraduate courses, visit Prospects Web, a graduate careers website. For other courses, check the institution's prospectus for the correct way to apply and the application deadlines.
How do I find somewhere to live in the UK?
You will need to arrange some form of accommodation before you arrive in the UK, even if it is only temporary. For further information from UKCOSA about this topic, download the Guidance Note, 'Accommodation for international students'.
Can my children go to
school in the UK whilst I study in the UK?
For further information from UKCOSA about bringing dependants to the UK, download the Guidance Note, 'Dependants of international students'.
Can I get free health care for myself and my family whist I study in the UK?
Yes, if you are on a course lasting 6 months or more you can get treatment from the National Health Service (NHS) from the beginning of your stay. You will not have to pay for hospital treatment, but you may have to pay for some dental treatment and a standard charge for medicines prescribed by a doctor, depending on your income. This also applies to your spouse and children (children under 16, or under 19 and in full time education do not normally have to pay for any treatments). For further information from UKCOSA about this topic, including the situation for those on courses of less than 6 months, download the Guidance Notes, 'Welfare and health benefits' and 'Keeping healthy'.
Can I use my driving licence from home to drive in the UK?
This will depend on where your licence was issued. You may be able to drive using your current licence for up to 12 months and then take a test. Alternatively, you may be able to exchange your licence for a British licence or to apply for a provisional licence and then take the test. For further information from UKCOSA about this topic, download the Guidance Note, 'Driving in Great Britain: a guide for international students'.
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