England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland make up the United Kingdom (UK). There was a time when the East India Company and the British monarchy ruled over half the known world. The British had set up trading outposts, colonies and eventually leaving an English imprint on places as far spread out as Australia, India and the West Indies. Today, Great Britain has a constitutional monarchy with her royal majesty, Queen Elizabeth II still inspiring the people of the country.
A Top-Choice for Asian Students
Institutions like the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge have stood the test of time and have continued to inspire and challenge students to become outstanding individuals and responsible citizens with their excellent courses. The UK has a strong Asian community with people from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal all living there.
Why it makes sense to opt for the UK
- Still the very best for education in law, sciences, management and humanities.
- Has the finest research and teaching facilities.
- Students can find affordable housing options, and lots of student hostels and home-stays are available.
- A strong Asian community presence in the major cities in the UK.
- A degree from a reputed institution in the UK will enhance your CV.
- A number of scholarships are offered by numerous organisations and Universities.
- The option to work part-time and gain valuable work-experience is a big plus.
- Meritorious students can progress to a doctoral course and conduct research.
In the latest QS World University Rankings, four institutions from the UK feature in the top-10 list. These are the four universities:
- University of Cambridge - 3rd position internationally
- University of Oxford - 6th position internationally
- University College London (UCL) - 7th position internationally
- Imperial College London - 8th position internationally
Though the USA still rules the roost with institutions in the top-10 list; institutions from the UK are going equally strong. Going by recent trends, many Asian students are applying to study in institutions like Bangor University, University of Edinburgh, University of Dundee and the University of Glasgow. This trend is also linked to the fact that these cities are less expensive when compared to living in London, Birmingham or Leeds.
Life in the UK
Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England all have their specific traits. Depending on which city you live in, the way of life could differ drastically. For example, you might find that life in London is hectic and busy; while life in Dundee and Bangor is more gentle, relaxed and simple. The British are very private people; their calm and reserved nature should not be mistaken for arrogance. While travelling in the London Underground railway system, one can notice people standing and sitting methodically; lost in their own worlds, reading a book or listening to music. It is very rare for strangers to make conversation in a public place.
Punctuality and the queue system are hallmarks of British life; one is expected to be on time for an appointment and it is considered impolite to be late without informing your host or the person whom you are scheduled to meet. The queues are methodical and display a sense of military-precision. Whether it is a bank, a railway station or an airport, one has to wait for one's turn in queues. There is no shouting and jostling and manic shoving of people in queues and this is good part of the British culture.
You can read more on the student life in the UK here.
Places to Visit
The UK offers a treasure-trove of places to visit for the intrepid traveler. Some of popular places to visit in London are Windsor Castle, London Zoo, London Bridge, The Tower of London, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Saint Paul's Cathedral and more.
The best thing to do would be to get a London Pass — a pre-paid card that allows you access to more than 60 popular tourist destinations in and around London. The card comes with various validity periods and is extremely useful for sight-seeing in London.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have their own enchanting sight-seeing spots as well.
Tighter immigration laws and an increase in tuition and accommodation costs have made the UK a bit less accessible than before. Student visa is fairly easy to acquire. The UK is also facing stiff competition from countries like Singapore and Malaysia which offer similar courses at a much lesser cost. In spite of all this, the allure of a British degree is still strong and applicants to popular institutions like the London School of Economics, the College of Law and Brunel University continue to rise in numbers.