Handy Resources for International Students in the UK

There is no doubt to the fact that the UK has one of the best education systems in the world. It is thus not surprising that several private schools and colleges in the country offer admission opportunities to international students who come from all over the world.

Unfortunately, like in every other situation, moving to a foreign country usually results in culture shock. This is particularly the case for private secondary school and college students, for whom it is most likely their first time travelling away from their home country. Luckily, there are several resources that help these students to adapt to the new culture with minimal or no effect to their social and academic lives.

Below is a look at some of the resources that international students studying in the UK can access:

  1. Online forums

In recent years, the number of international students in the UK has increased exponentially. The increasing number of international students in the country has seen a rise in the number of online resources that are available for these students. These resources include mostly websites that offer guidance and tips on studying in the UK for the foreign students.

In most of these online forums, you will find lots of information ranging from which schools are the best, visa and work permits application, how to relocate from your home country to the UK, accommodation, healthcare, and more. A good example of such a resources is the InterNationsGo! Website.

  1. The UK Council for International Students Affair

The UK Council for International Students Affairs is another handy resource that is available for international students studying in the UK. The organisation is comprised of about 500 members – universities, colleges, independent schools, and student unions from all over the UK.

The organisation offers support in the form giving support to the foreign students on a range of matters, from immigration, tuition and fees, working while studying in the UK, the UK lifestyle, finances, the UK culture, and more.  The resources it offers are available online or physically at the various institutions which are members.

  1. The International Students Network UK

The International Students Network UK is the UK branch of International Students Network, a global organisation made of foreign student networks from all over the world. The UK section prides itself as a social organisation that offers various resources to cater to the needs of international students studying in the UK. It supports the students by:

  • Holding events where they can come together and unite
  • Offering financial resources such as scholarships, grants, bursaries, and others
  • Offering social platforms where discussions about international students can take place, and more.

Students can join the network and access its resources as either individual members (free of charge) or automatically through their schools if they are members of the organisation.

  1. The student body

For international students who are enrolled into private boarding schools, the online resources and networks that offer support might not be readily available at all times. However, one resource that is always at hand whenever they require them is the student body of the school they are enrolled at. The other international students who are at the same school (and have adapted to the UK life) can offer invaluable information and insight on how to integrate smoothly into the new culture. The UK-based students on the other hand can offer advice and social support needed to fit in the school and embrace the new culture.

  1. The teachers and staff at colleges

The teachers and staff are another handy resource that can help international students studying in the UK during their integration stage and for the entire duration of the study period. In private schools where teachers have a high devotion to the student affairs, all of the teachers will be available whenever a student needs assistance. The assistance can be in the form of academic help - to catch up with class work or even private tuition outside of class hours. The teachers and staff can also offer moral support and advice to students who are having a hard time integrating to the new culture.

On top of that, there are guidance and counselling teachers and staff in private schools who are always ready to assist the students. They will offer, among other services, advice to the students on how to better integrate to the new environment. They can also offer counselling sessions to students who are having trouble with the new lifestyle.

  1. Churches and religious organisations

Religious and spiritual organisations are another handy resource for international students studying in the UK. To start with, these organisations offer a community where the students can connect with other like-minded individuals. The community can help to easily integrate into the new culture by offering friendship, cultural advice, social activities, and other forms of service. Students who are struggling adapting to the new life can also receive counselling, and in some cases, even a new purpose that will help them better adapt.

Examples of religious organisations in the UK where international students can receive support include:

  • The Church of England
  • The Roman Catholic Church
  • The Buddhism Council
  • The Baptist Church
  • The Methodist Church
  • The Muslim Council
  • The Jewish Council
  • The United Reform Church
  • Council of Christian & Jews
  • The Union of Jewish Students

Private schools and colleges in the US also tend to have religious groups amongst the student body, for example, Christian Union and others that can offer a community for the international students.

  1. Clubs and societies

In addition to offering quality academic opportunities, private schools and colleges in the UK also offer excellent extracurricular activities. As a result, there are several clubs and societies that are found in these schools, which can offer exceptional support to international students. They are great way for the students to meet new people who you share similar interests with, i.e., several new friends. Some of the top clubs and societies in UK private schools include soccer clubs, athletics clubs, other sports clubs, languages clubs, drama club, debate clubs, science clubs, Rotaract club, and more.

Summary

Going to a private secondary school in the UK can be a frightening experience. However, there are several independent schools and resources that are available to the students to help them easily adapt to their new environment. The above are some of the resources where the international students in the UK can receive various form of support from advice and guidance to counselling, spiritual support, social support, and more.

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