I am having a bit of a trouble getting started with this, to be very honest. However, I am going to try my best to keep what I am trying to say as short as possible. Life in the UK is a wonderful experience without any doubt. I came to Leicester in 2003, to do Masters degree in Microbial Genetics, and now I am doing a research PhD in the same field. To put it in simple words, I am doing what I have always wanted to do, but it comes at a high cost. And I ll tell you why in a minute.For students planning to come down, my suggestion would be, start your search for the right university as early as possible. Early because, most of the programs have some sort of bursaries offered to International students, but the deadlines are usually 5-6 months before the deadlines for application submission. You must by now be aware how expensive these degrees cost, so DON'T miss out your chances on getting these bursaries, to help a bit with your finances. I have always thought the easiest part of this whole fiasco, was getting into a program, and I have to very honest here, most of these universities NEED International students to keep up with their finances, so in a way WE can considered as their bloodline. Next move, would be sorting out your accommodation, which usually is not a problem, because most of the students go for University Halls of residence, which again has its good points and its downsides. Why go for it? : They are usually very close to the University, you will find a good student environment, this gives you time to get used to the people, get to know the places around you and so forth...( I lived in one for a year and I must say I don't regret it)....what are the downsides?: Well, the only one I can think of is, its expensive, you ll probably end up saving 1000 odd pounds in a year if you stay at private accommodation (this is not the case for London though). Coming down to Other facilities, what I found was, a very easy transition to fit into this life. I was able to open a bank account within the campus, I was directed to the nearest supermarket, laundry was a part of university campus, and there were sports facilities and a gym on the campus. Now coming to the main issue as to why you are here, TO STUDY! A piece of advice would be, always remember that the system is very different from what you are used to back home. For me doing a science degree, I had to focus a lot on the practical side of the subject, which meant reading a lot, which we are not so used to in India, (seeing that we write so many exams..!). It would take a while to get used to this, but trust me you will get there. But life is tough! Its kind of a like an awakening, and I guess students who have lived away from home in India, would probably find it easier to settle in. I want to end this by saying something that I have learnt by being in the UK for almost 4 years now. England is a fun place to be, but what makes more fun is trying to blend with the country. People are very friendly and so very polite and tolerant. What I always noticed in my mates from India, was they wanted to stick together with their own people(Indians), and I never understood why someone would travel thousands of miles and not try to mingle and learn something from a different culture! Well, Hope this helps..! I have tried my best to put down my own experiences, but no matter what anyone says, what you experience yourself is probably something you cannot put into words.Good luck.Ciao.
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