You’ve been thinking about it for a while and you’ve finally made the decision to do it. Although it will take months to prepare you know it will be worth it… you’re going to study abroad in the United Kingdom! You will want to start by getting as much information as possible right away. If you missed our Hangout On Air on what you need to know about studying abroad in the UK read on for a recap.
Studying abroad in the UK will present many changes. Of course you will have the obvious differences like driving on the left or having access to tea wherever you go but you will also have an abundance of change that you might not have expected.
Classroom Structure- If you enjoy listening to professors share their infinite wisdom and wish that tests, essays, reading assignments and projects weren’t quite as frequently assigned throughout the year- then you will enjoy studying in the UK. Classes in the UK primarily consist of lectures throughout the semester. However, at the end of the semester there is typically a final exam, essay or project. This type of structure means you will have a world of knowledge at your fingertips and a lot of time to travel.
Housing Situation- At colleges and universities in the US it’s common for first semester students to be required to live on-campus. When you study abroad in the UK you will quickly notice that this housing requirement is not as commonly seen in the UK. Many students live off campus in a flat near campus. Although living off-campus could be an exciting experience living on-campus definitely has its benefits:
1. The chance to meet more people
2. It’s typically cheaper than a flat
3. Utilities are already included in the price
4. You can walk or bike to class in a matter of minutes
Getting Around- If you’re studying abroad for only a semester or year you more than likely won’t be driving a car. Luckily, public transportation is widespread throughout the UK so you’ll have plenty of ways to get around. Not only will this save you the out of pocket expense of paying for gas and car maintenance, but you will also be able to better explore your surroundings. With each train ride you’re given the opportunity to simply sit back, relax and check out the world around you.
Culture Shock- It doesn’t matter where you’re from- when you study inside a new country you will have a period of adjustment. During this period experiencing culture shock is very common. Culture shock can last a few days or a few months. Recognizing symptoms and working to combat culture shock will help you quickly bounce back.
Ease of Travel- The UK has a healthy work/life balance meaning taking time to relax and travel is common inside the UK. Because of this traveling around the UK can be done with ease at any budget. There are numerous travel companies that are easy on a student budget including Easyjet, Ryanair, Megabus and Hostels.com.
Cost of Living- Although you can find discount travel keep in mind that the British pound is a strong currency and your time abroad will show you (and your bank account) just how strong it is. When picking a school to study abroad at in the UK make sure you research the cost of living. The average cost of living in the UK is about £6,825 (US$11,034) for one year, according to a recent HSBC survey. If you’re wanting to live in London you can expect to pay even more, up to £13,388 (US$21,644)!