Published: 11 February 2019
It's a big thing when you have to make a decision on what to do next when it comes to your education. It's important to make the right choice, as the next few years will form you as a person. It's vital that you choose a university that suits your needs. Studying in the UK might be just what you need as there are almost 400 universities and you can choose from over 50,000 courses in more than 25 subject areas across the country.
Every year, the UK attracts hundreds of thousands of international students. By going to university in the UK, you can meet new people, expand your knowledge, experience a new culture and improve your English language. On top of that, UK higher education degrees and qualifications are recognised and respected by employers and academics worldwide.
If you feel homesick or feel like you don’t belong, there could be a cure. The UK is known for its cultural diversity and many universities, including the University of Sunderland, have huge range of societies you can join. For example, you can join a chess society here in Sunderland as well as a games club. If you're interested in VR, there's a society called VR 360 which teaches students how to make VR 360 content.
If you don’t like the sound of those, you can always start your own. If you're more interested in sports, sign up to play football, basketball, rugby or something less popular, like aikido, squash or frisbee. Joining any society will allow you to meet new people and cultures, share your experiences with them and create friendships that might last forever.
When you finally get settled and successfully pass those tough exams, you could reward yourself with a little bit of travelling. Visit Edinburgh Castle in Scotland, check out Snowdonia, the beautiful range of mountains and hills in north west Wales, explore world famous attractions in London or see the Giant's Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland. On the other hand, you can check out The Cliffs of Moher, located at the southwestern edge of the Burren region in County Clare, Ireland.
Also, thanks to the Channel Tunnel it's easy to discover the magic of Paris which is two hours away from London by train, or enjoy sunny Spain by boarding one of many low-cost airlines. If your budget is tight, no need to worry. There are many festivals happening across the UK and concerts by big stars such as Arianna Grande, Nicki Minaj, Jess Glynne and many more. If music isn't your thing, then you can check out some sports. The English Premier League is one of the best in the world, and you can enjoy many high-profile football matches from the North to the South of England.
While reading all about these exciting options, you've probably asked yourself: ‘How am I supposed to have money for any of this?’ Well, fear not, as during the regular academic year, you're permitted to work part-time up to 20 hours per week. It doesn’t sound a lot, but it can help you fulfil some of your dreams. Once the academic year is over, you can seek a full-time job which will also help you with something that every student needs – a tuition fee.
Tuition fee and loans
At the moment, you can be charged up to £9,250 per year for tuition at English and Northern Irish universities, while at Welsh universities that amount is £9,000. There is good news for those who wish to study in Scotland – you will be charged up to £1,820 per year for tuition there.
This can be paid in full by the Student Awards Agency for Scotland if you are eligible. Similar support is available if you decide to study in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, where you can apply for a loan which will cover your tuition fee. Just bear in mind that these types of government loans are available for students from the EU and UK. Other than loans, you can apply for scholarships, grants and bursaries which you don’t have to pay back.
Once Brexit kicks in, things might be different for EU students, but if you are looking to study in the UK from 2019/20, nothing will change regarding tuition fees. In the following years, things might be different since the level of fee is likely to depend on wider Brexit negotiations. Considering high tuition fees, it good to know that the cost of living in the UK can be reasonable unless you are looking to study in a big city like London.
"Sunderland is more affordable than other cities"
Alena Sche came to Sunderland from Germany to study MSc Human Resources Management: "I wanted to study in an English speaking country which isn’t that far away from Germany. In addition, the masters course in Germany takes two years to complete and here it is done in only one.
"Sunderland is convenient for me because it is close to Newcastle airport, it is by the sea and it’s considered to be more affordable than other cities."
The same course attracted Athanasia Palentza from Greece: "I came here because of postgraduate loan which helps me pay my tuition fee and here in Sunderland prices are lower than in the rest of the country which is why I decided to come here. Also, my friend used to study the same course I am doing now and she gave me some useful tips on it."