How to Study Abroad in England
England is consistently one of the top places for study abroad students to extend their travels and studies for many reasons. One of the top reasons to study abroad in England is that it is an English speaking area, and saves students the hassle of a language barrier. Once you have made you last final decisions on your future in study abroad, the next steps in your plan to study overseas may be confusing, stressful, and possibly complicated. Depending on what program you choose, some students need to take more steps to reach their goals than others. Here is some advice from a study abroad alumnus on how to be proactive on tackling your study abroad experience, and also even more specifically on how to study abroad in England.
Find a Program
It will be fairly easy to find a study abroad program in England since it is very popular place for students to continue with their schooling. Before you get your heart set on a university or location, check with your current university to see if they offer approved programs in England. If you university already has approved programs, you will most likely pay the same tuition and easily transfer your academic credit. If not, then search for other universities who do have a set program such as Tufts University, Michigan State University, Butler University, Duke, and Arcadia University. If you do a study abroad program through another university, tuition and transfer credits may vary depending on where you attend school.
International Studies Abroad (ISA), Global Learning Semesters, and American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) are program providers which also have numerous programs in England. These programs have been implemented by the government to help students study abroad with good programs and hopefully save you some money. You must apply for these programs, meet the minimum requirements, completed one semester of college, and have a minimum GPA (which varies by program).
Find a City
England has many cities that offer top notch universities and programs for those studying overseas. London, Bath, Oxford are just to name a few. If you can narrow down exactly what city you want to study, it will be much easier to find what school is right for you. University College London is a very popular place to study abroad in London. Bath offers Advanced Studies England (ASE) Study Centre located at the heart of beautiful World Heritage City of Bath. Oxford University offers an amazing study abroad program with ample amount of courses so that you can pick and choose what you want to take while abroad.
For How Long?
Depending on the place, weather, culture, and activities you will be preparing for, make sure to decipher how long you want your program to be. Many students to a summer abroad, which is the shortest term you can take. A shorter term means less expensive, but may not give you the cultural experience you are looking for. A semester abroad is a good amount of time to be engulfed in a culture, learn the people and language, and still save a bit of money. Sometimes, like myself, students may find themselves cut short after only one semester, and wish they would have stayed a year, or even longer. Studying for a year abroad is a great option if you have the time, budget, and a great wonder for the world. Either of your choosing, they can all provide nothing but benefits for your studies and growth as an individual.
Not every school uses the same application, but most take just as much time and effort as your original college application. The forms you will need or find are General information forms, health clearance forms, possible course selection forms, letters of recommendation, and your personal statement/study abroad essay. Make sure that you fill out this application months in advance of your program, and make sure that they are in at the proper due date.
Prepare for Your Trip
Listed below are the five things you need to do once you have been accepted into your study abroad program in England:
- Book your flights.
- Apply for a passport if you don’t already have one.
- Apply for a study abroad student visa.
- Get student identification and discount card such as an ISE Card, ISIC Card, or the StuCard.
- Obtain medical insurance while studying abroad.
Learn the City
Buy a couple guide books to help you find your bearings such as Rick Steve’s England guide book which you can buy online. The cheapest way to get to major cities is to take the Mega bus, but the train is faster. Go to www.nationalrail.co.uk for schedules & fares. I suggest that if you do use the trains, that once you have a UK address, you purchase a Young Persons Railcard which will give you a discount. There are also many free activities you can do around England, such as the Victoria & Albert and Natural History museums. Sign up for a two hour walk of the city through London Walks at walks.com which costs 6 euro per student. These allow you to explore the city without having to deal with the stress of transit. Watch our featured customer share her experiences studying abroad in London, England, and see if it is right for you.