What you need to know before studying in the UK

Thinking of studying in the UK? Here are some things you ought to consider before you take off!

British Council

Published: 7 March 2017, 6:23 PM

Studying overseas can be an amazing and eye-opening experience.

However, heading off to the unknown can be rather overwhelming. If you’re thinking of heading to the UK to further your education, the British Council has put together a list of what you need to know, as told by these Singaporean students.

1. Build a support system and stay focused

“I think it’s good if you can touch base with people whom you know are already in the UK, to ensure you have a support system of friends who will be awake at similar times, just to chat and keep each other sane.

I also think it is very important to be focused on why you’re in the UK, and to drive yourself to achieve your goals with regular motivation.

It’s a trying time for anyone to adjust to a different country, but with determination and grit, you will overcome it ease.” – Vikram Kumar Tiwary, 24, currently studying law at the University of Sheffield


2. Join a society that you can commit to

“Try to join a society that you have an interest in, not just because your friends are there.

I was pretty interested in joining the Baking, Ninjutsu and Craft Societies, but I couldn’t, due to my commitments. So, don’t forget to consider your commitments when joining one.” – Azura Azman, 21, currently studying law at the University of Birmingham


3. Think beyond the university you want to go to

“Research way ahead for everything, like accommodation, mobile price plans and gym memberships, so that you’ll have all this information beforehand.

When considering options, don’t just focus on the university, think of the city that you’re going to be studying in as well. Because more often than not, the surroundings are super important.

Also, as silly as it sounds, make sure you change your money in Singapore, because the exchange rate back home is way better than the UK! Most of all, believe in yourself and have fun!”

4. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone

“I didn’t realise I would be able to mix so well with people from various cultures and countries. Try not to stick to the familiar for familiarity’s sake. I was willing to make friends from different countries and speak to the locals (I got extra fried chicken from one of the local restaurants… haha!) and learn as much as I could from my professors.

Make full use of opportunities around you; speak, research and check them out!” – Rebecca Ng Chu Ying, 26, studied at music at Royal Holloway, University of London

5. There’s always a Singapore Society that will always make you feel at home

“If you feel like you don’t know anyone when moving to the UK, don’t worry! There are lots of groups and societies that gives you great opportunities to mix and mingle.

Most UK universities have a Singapore Society, so you can always check that out.” – Hope Chow, 21, studying medicine at the University College London (second from left)


6. Attend pre-departure briefings

“I attended the British Council pre-departure briefing and the University of Glasgow pre-departure briefing. Both events were very useful in helping me to learn more about how I should prepare for my time in the UK.

I learnt everything from visa applications, to what I should bring from home and what I could purchase here, to where to find the best Singaporean food.

It was also really nice to meet and talk to other Singaporean students who were studying in the UK, and to hear about their individual experiences.” – Veena Rachel Amudhan, 22, studying psychology and music at the University of Glasgow

Thanks British Council for this article contribution! Check out their Education UK Exhibition, happening on March 11, 2017, for more information.

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