Misconceptions of Studying in the UK

Choosing to study abroad is an exciting decision to make. With so much information out there, it can be hard to know what is fact, and what is fiction. With a recent rise in international student applications, we look at some popular misconceptions international students have about studying in the UK.

Little diversity

Some people who’ve never visited may have preconceived ideas about what the UK and its people are like. One of the common assumptions is that it’s not a very diverse country. That couldn’t be further from the truth, it’s extremely diverse, with inhabitants from all around the world. There are people from all walks of life and from many nations, especially in the cities up and down the country.

If English isn’t your first language, chances are you’ll hear or meet other people during your studies who speak your native tongue. In fact, more than 300 languages are spoken in London! One of the best things about the UK is its multicultural population; it’s something that makes the UK a lively place to study.

No life outside the cities

It’s often assumed that everything that’s worth seeing and doing in the UK can be found in London and the other big cities, such as Manchester and Birmingham. This is far from true. Yes, the cities have more people and perhaps more things to see per mile, but the UK is full of towns, villages and seaside resorts that all have something unique to offer visitors.

England in particular is known as a ‘green and pleasant land’ and what better way to explore it than by walking through one of the many great forests. A beautiful example of this is Epping Forest, which is easily accessible from London as it borders the east of the city.

The Home counties (counties that surround London) are all just a short train ride away from campus and each has its own unique character and sights. Kent is known as ‘the garden of England’ and boasts beautiful countryside – Canterbury is a medieval cathedral city. Berkshire is home to Windsor Castle, Cambridgeshire is where the world famous University of Cambridge can be found, Essex features Lee Valley Park, an open space and sports venue with 26 miles of parkland as well as the Mountfitchet Castle & Norman village. These are just some of the wonderfully interesting things you can see and do outside of London and the other big cities.

You can’t work after graduation

You may be surprised to hear that it is possible to work in the UK after your studies. But in what capacity depends on the type of visa you apply for…

Tier 2 Visa
A Tier 2 Visa is the main immigration route for non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals who are looking to work in the UK. If you’re looking to stay in the UK to work after graduation there are concessions for full-time Tier 4 students, which can help to get a Tier 2 Visa.

Tier 5 (Temporary Workers)
A Tier 5 Visa allows non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals to come to the UK to take up specific types of work for a period of one/two years.

These just go to show that there are ways you can live and work within the UK after completing your studies, provided you have the correct visa.

These are some of the popular misconceptions many international students have when thinking about studying in the UK. If you’d like to speak to someone from Northumbria University London, then please do get in touch.

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