CourseKing’s guide to studying abroad
There are a wide range of benefits to studying abroad from showing you are confident, can adapt to new cultures and are able to learn new languages. However, once you have picked your college and course and assuming you have the financial capacity to study abroad, there are several practical points you should think about.
Have a think about where the college is based. Will you enjoy living there? You might find yourself bored in a small town if you have been living the last couple of years in a large city. Alternatively, you may be intimidated by living in a city if you are from the countryside and use to a more quiet way of life. Research the area, the people and popular activities, drawing up a list of positives and negatives about living there.
Investigate the housing options in the area and if the college provide any assistance. Prices can vary drastically over a given area, so make sure you can afford to live somewhere you will find comfortable. Also, decide if you would consider sharing with other students as this can significantly reduce the cost of accommodation and be a lot more fun.
Determine if the college has experience in catering for international students. Most institutions have dedicated resources to help students who need help with the English language, accommodation and general advice for living in theUK. Furthermore, some colleges may have a society created by students from your country, providing an easy way to make friends with people of a similar background.
You may require a visa to study in theUK. Most students holding a non-British or non-EU passport require a prior entry clearance visa from their nearest British High Commission (go to http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/studying/ for more information).
To apply for a VISA, you’ll need to show:
- That you have been accepted on a course of study at:
- A publicly funded institution of further or higher education (e.g. a university)
- A private-education institution
- An independent fee paying school
- That you are going to pursue:
- A recognized full-time degree course
- A weekday full-time course involving at least 15 hours organized daytime study per week
- A full-time course of study at an independent fee paying school.
- That you can support yourself financially. You must be able to show that you can pay for the course, accommodation and living expenses, without working overseas. Medicals are currently not required for Indian students, but the visa application process does involve a biometric test.
- Several documents:
- Application form VAF1, fully completed and signed by applicant
- Appropriate visa fee for multiple entry
- Passport valid for at least 6 months, with available visa pages for stamping
- Reference letter & copy of signed declaration form
- Receipt for any deposit or prepayment of tuition fees paid, if applicable
- It is strongly recommended that sponsors living outside ofIndia, other than parents, prepay your university tuition fees and keep the receipt of payment. This proves that the sponsor is genuine, as sponsorship from individuals who are not close family members of the student will have to be supported by very strong evidence, on why they wish to spend a large amount of money on your education.
- Evidence of current studies, or current employment. If neither, evidence of current status
- Original acceptance letter from a college in theUKstating the cost, duration and any details of accommodation.
Finally, you are advised to book airfares in advance to save money and get the best flights. Good luck with this exciting journey!