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Why study in the UK?

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Attracting hundreds of thousands of international students every year, the UK is a fantastic country to live and study in. From its cultural diversity to its unrivalled quality of Higher Education, here you can explore just a few of the benefits of studying in the UK.

A group of students taking a selfie on the beach

1. We're a culturally diverse country

Representing a wide variety of cultures and religions, it’s no secret that we’re a culturally diverse country, which is one of the greatest reasons to consider coming to study in the UK. You’ll always receive a warm welcome here and will start to feel at home quickly no matter where you’ve come from. At the same time as immersing yourself in British culture, you’ll learn from other cultures too, mixing with people from all around the world. If English isn’t your first language, moving to the UK is also the perfect opportunity to improve your skills.

Sunderland – both as a city and university – is very multicultural, with over 40% of our students coming from outside the UK. We’re 10th in Europe and 2nd in the UK for International Student Diversity (QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024). If you’re studying with us at Sunderland and want to stay connected to your own culture, why not join one of the many cultural societies we have to offer?

2. You'll receive a world-class education

The UK is renowned for providing world-class education, with many of our Higher Education providers ranking highly in international league tables. The University of Sunderland is ranked amongst the world’s best universities according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023.

Universities in the UK – including Sunderland – offer a more diverse range of subject areas and courses, many of which focus on obtaining the essential skills and knowledge required to go into a successful career. Our degrees are taught by highly experienced, and often research-active, academics, some of whom come from a professional background making them experts within their field. Many UK qualifications are also recognised around the world, so studying here will make you stand out to any future employers.

3. There are excellent work opportunities

Another reason to come and study in the UK is that there can be some excellent work opportunities. If you decide to work alongside your studying, international students can generally work up to 20 hours a week during term time. This gives you the chance to earn some money, meet new people, and gain some additional experience. Depending on your course, you may also be able to complete an internship as part of your degree. The University of Sunderland has strong links with a wide range of industries and organisations, and an internship can help you make professional connections and build on your CV.

As well as this, the UK Government has introduced a post-study Graduate Route Visa, which means international graduates will be able to stay in the UK after they’ve completed their degree and work for up to two years.

“I wanted to begin my career as a teacher in the UK so I could gain experience from a British educational setting. Sunderland is multicultural and home to lots of Greek students, so I knew people who’d studied here and could tell me all about their positive experience of both the University and the city. To sum up my experience, my journey was amazing. It made me feel much more confident, not just as a professional, but as an international individual living in the UK.”

Eleftheria Dispiraki
MA Education

4. It could be a lower-cost option

Studying in the UK could mean you spend less on tuition fees, which tend to be lower compared to overseas. You can earn your degree in less time than in other parts of the world too – full-time undergraduate courses usually only take three years to complete, and postgraduate courses just one year.

You may also be eligible for financial help, like a scholarship or bursary. At Sunderland, we offer an international scholarship which means benefitting from a reduction of your tuition fee.

The cost of living in the UK – at least outside of London – is generally quite reasonable compared to a lot of other countries. This particularly applies to areas in the North East of England, like Sunderland, where the cost of things like rent, course materials, and food, are more affordable.

5. You'll get lots of support

No matter which UK university you choose to study at, there will be plenty of support available to you as an international student. At Sunderland, our International Student Support team is always on hand to help you with all sorts of issues, including your visa application, your arrival in the UK, accommodation, and more. We also provide a range of other University support services, including wellbeing and financial support, which you’ll be able to take advantage of if you come to study with us.

6. Explore the UK and beyond

One of the greatest benefits of studying in the UK has got to be having the opportunity to travel, visiting some new places you’ve never been to before, both within our own country and beyond. The UK is a unique place to live and study, boasting varied landscapes and a fascinating history – and being a small country makes it easy to explore destinations outside your university city.

If you’re living in Sunderland, not only will you benefit from all that our fantastic seaside city has to offer, but you’ve got plenty of other amazing locations to experience, right on your doorstep. Discover the nearby cities of Newcastle, Durham, and York, or venture into the perfect blend of coast and countryside in our neighbouring county of Northumberland. Even London and Scotland are just a train journey away! You’ll find so much to get involved in, including food and drink, shopping, nightlife, museums and galleries, outdoor spaces, sporting venues, and more.

You may be joining us from much further afield, and studying in the UK also means you’ve got the whole of Europe to travel, with many countries being just a short flight away. You can hop on a Metro in Sunderland which will take you directly to Newcastle International Airport, offering flights to a number of great locations.


Want to find out more? Explore all you need to know about applying to the University of Sunderland as an international student, or browse our range of courses.

Published: 10 November 2023