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What is it like to study in the UK?

The UK is a great place to get an education at all levels. It is a popular destination for studying at university level, both for the academic side and the exciting lifestyle.

Read on to find out what it is like to be a student in the UK.

World-renowned universities

An aerial photo of a grand building at the University of Oxford

British education is regarded globally as being high quality. When you get a qualification or degree in the UK, you know that you will be a step ahead in the international job market.

18 of the top 100 universities in the world are in the UK! In total, there are over 130 fantastic universities, spread all around the country.

Multicultural cities

A photo of a Edinburgh street on a sunny day

Most UK higher education institutions are located in cities. Cities in the UK are very multicultural!

In every city, there are thousands of international students as well as foreign workers, families and tourists. Manchester, for example, even has an area called Chinatown which is home to many Asian restaurants, shops and supermarkets.

Work opportunities

A young man in buisnesswear walks down a quiet London street and is talking on the phone

Businesses in the UK provide thousands of graduate jobs every year. Many of these are very competitive, with multiple rounds of interviews.

Students also have the option to apply for internships during the summer holiday following their second year of study.

Outside of these, there are vast work opportunities for careers across all sorts of industries. You may find a job you had never previously considered!

Student events

Three young adults walk down a busy street in London and are laughing together. The person in the middle is carrying three pizza boxes. In the background there are other pedestrians and a red double-decker bus and a black cab.

Cities with large student populations will cater for you.

Local businesses will put on events just for students, such as club nights and festivals. Shops and restaurants also offer student discounts and offers!

Your university will also be a very social environment, with different societies and academic groups to suit your personal interests.

Things to do

A photo taken at night of a festival in a city featuring a Ferris wheel, lights and tents.

The UK is not a huge country in terms of land area. With so many large cities on a small island, you can travel from city to city with ease.

You can travel from a large, urban city to a national park with beautiful lakes and mountains via only a short train journey.

The UK is home to so much to do. In cities and towns, there are countless shops, festivals, restaurants, cafés, theatres and sportsgrounds. Outside of them, you can visit countryside farms, castles and theme parks!

The most popular sport in the UK is association football. You might know it as ‘soccer’ but here we just call it football! Famous world-class teams include Manchester United, Chelsea F.C., Arsenal and Liverpool F.C., and students can often get access to cheaper tickets to matches through their university’s students’ union.

There are also many cultural events to take part in every year, such as Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas!

Cost of living

Two young adults are laughing together. They are walking across a supermarket carpark. One of them is pushing a trolley with a carrier bag in.

The cost of living varies greatly depending on where you choose to study. The most expensive place to be a student is London. However, the city has a large student population and, being the country’s capital city, is an exciting place to live.

Cheaper places to study are smaller towns and areas in the north of England. Wherever you choose, you must factor in rent, travel costs, food, course fees and disposable income to make the most of your experience.

Part-time work

A young female barista has on an apron and is using a large industrial coffee machine to pour espresso shots into a cup.

Many students top up their living expenses by getting a part-time job. In the UK, there are usually plenty of positions available in supermarkets, restaurants and warehouses.

Some students prefer zero-hour contracts because they can go home during the holidays and can stop working for a while when they have exams. There are also lots of jobs with contracts of four or more hours, meaning you can work in the evenings and weekends.

Getting a part-time job is a great way to meet new people outside of your student bubble and to learn English quickly.


A photo of Tower Bridge in London in snowy weather.

We cannot promise that it will always be nice weather in the UK! In fact, it rains on average 133 days of the year.

The winter months (December to February) can be quite cold but in the summer temperatures can rise to 30°C.

Different areas of the country have slightly different weather. Scotland and the north of England are colder and wetter than the south of England, for instance.

Study English in the UK with Think English! We are based in Manchester and will help you get settled in this exciting city.

Alternatively, study with us online to get the IELTS score you need to apply to a British university.

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