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Life is never easy, especially when making a new home away from your home. Living a life away from your family and friends and adapting to a new culture can be challenging for many international students studying in a foreign land. While a UK Student Visa allows you to meet and network with people from around the world, it also disconnects you from the people you love the most. Besides this, students moving to the UK on a UK Study Visa will also have to face other challenges they might not be prepared for. In this article, we will discuss the struggles of international students coming to the UK to pursue higher education in universities.
Here are seven significant challenges faced by students moving to the UK, which are worth mentioning for a smooth Study Abroad experience in the UK.
Homesickness is one of the major problems experienced by students studying abroad. For many students, the trauma of living alone without friends and family is unbearable. Some students find it hard to deal with the stress of living without the support of their families and need counselling to overcome depression and anxiety. Homesickness may also result in poor academic performance and grow frustration as time passes. However, social media and the internet have been a great help in recent years, and their contribution to connecting families cannot be overlooked. Moreover, most UK universities offer counselling services to newcomers helping them to settle in a new environment with the least effort.
English is the primary language of communication in the UK. But, not all students living in the country on a UK student Visa are fluent in speaking English (even if they have good band scores in IELTS). The difference in accent and local slang used by native english speakers make it difficult for most newcomers to understand and interpret the sentence’s meaning. However, it is not a big problem because the locals are friendly and cooperative. It may take some time, but with the right passion and dedication, one can easily improve the understanding of the language. You can also seek help from University’s language support services which offer helpful guidance and language courses to non-native english speakers.
No two countries are the same, which makes it obvious that an outsider will get completely surprised to see the difference in the food, people, culture, and customs. While all these things give an overwhelming experience for some, others struggle to adapt to a new lifestyle with varied customs and regulations. A relative or friend living in the UK can help you get a better perspective of the culture and help you settle in the UK with great ease. Researching about the city you are moving to, interacting with locals, and travelling around the country can help you overcome the cultural shock.
When applying for a UK study visa, you must understand that studying in the UK is expensive. It starts with paying your tuition fees and arranging your flight tickets, and the expenses continue even after landing in the UK. The Cost of Living in the UK is higher than in many other countries. Thus, one must have enough funding to support themself during the first one after arrival and start searching for a part-time job to make ends meet. Student discounts and membership cards can get massive discounts on transportation, shopping, and accommodation. Learn these money-saving hacks to make the most out of your budget.
Students living in the UK often struggle to find affordable housing during their initial period in the country. With most universities located in and around large cities, finding a place called home is often frustrating. Arranging a house with basic facilities like laundry and internet while studying is often challenging for newcomers.
Students from Asian countries, where the climate is often hot, might struggle to adjust to the extreme temperature conditions in the winter. They often get sick frequently and find it difficult to cope with health issues. A wise decision is to check the weather forecast and cover yourself with warm clothing and comfortable shoes.
Students on full-time degree programs holding a UK study visa are allowed to work part-time as per their visa guidelines. It allows them to work 20 hours per week during the term time and full-time during vacation. However, finding a part-time job in the UK can be difficult for many as most firms search for candidates who can work full-time. Thus, students hunting for a suitable job have very few choices and might have to compromise with the shifts or work opportunities. Sometimes students find it challenging to balance work and studies, which may result in poor academic performance.
Getting a UK student visa has its pros and cons. While it is difficult to adapt to a new culture and adjust to a new world, with little research and firm determination, one can overcome any challenges one encounters during the initial phase as an international student in the UK. We hope that this blog helps you prepare and overcome the issues faced by UK study visa holders.