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Study Abroad in the U.K.

March 17, 2017

The United Kingdom is a country that includes England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The United Kingdom is an extremely popular study abroad destination, and for good reason. The exceptional global reputation of U.K. universities combined with the exciting and diverse culture of modern Great Britain make the U.K. an extremely attractive prospect for international studies.

Even if your chosen field of study isn’t necessarily tied to Great Britain, there are still a broad range of reasons you should consider traveling to the U.K.

Why you should study abroad in the U.K.

It’s an English-speaking country. If you aren’t comfortable navigating a region where you don’t speak the language, the U.K. could be the destination for you. You have the benefit of understanding the locals (and being understood), but you’re still engaging with people of a different culture. It’s a great way to build your confidence, so that one day you can visit a region whose customs, traditions and language are unfamiliar to you.

The universities are world-class. Many universities in the U.K. are ranked as being among the best in the world. Moreover, employers regard students who’ve studied in Great Britain quite highly, as qualifications from many U.K. universities are very well-respected. No matter what you decide to study – whether it’s nanotechnology or theater arts – you’ll find a renowned academic program.

You’ll benefit from a different academic philosophy. American schools tend to schedule quizzes and exams on a weekly basis, while U.K. universities only have a few major exams throughout the year, with the majority of the terms being dedicated to lectures. Because universities in the U.K. aren’t as heavily exam-oriented as schools in the U.S., you’ll learn to be a bit more disciplined and self-reliant in terms of the structure of your education.

"People tend to have the notion that Scotland is a very rural country, and it is in some parts. However, there are some very urban parts as well. Edinburgh’s population in 2013 was listed at 450,000 and has the most buildings listed than any other U.K. city other than London. It is a wonderful city to get lost in to end up finding yourself is some unexpected obscure area surrounded by different types of culture every turn you take."
“People tend to have the notion that Scotland is a very rural country, and it is in some parts. However, there are some very urban parts as well. Edinburgh’s population in 2013 was listed at 450,000 and has the most buildings listed than any other U.K. city other than London. It is a wonderful city to get lost in to end up finding yourself is some unexpected obscure area surrounded by different types of culture every turn you take.”

Diverse student population. The international student population in the U.K. is very large, and increases yearly. You’ll be exchanging ideas with students from different backgrounds, and who have different philosophies and worldviews. This is an excellent training ground for a holding a leadership position, since you’ll learn how to interact with disparate personalities successfully.

You get access to four unique countries. It is very easy to plan brief getaways to different regions. The U.K. consists of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales – each with its own history and culture. While English is spoken nearly universally in all four countries, significant portions of the population speak Cornish, Gaelic, Scots and Welsh. Even though you can comfortably speak English anywhere, it is still a good opportunity to pick up a few phrases of the old Celtic languages.

"As we finished our day, we decided to enjoy the early sunset (average time for us and the sun to part ways is around 3:30) along Princes Street where the shopping can burn a hole in your pocket. The modern stores line the street with alleyways that lead to hole-in-the-wall stores that sell anything ranging from books to fish and chips to antiques. The view is break taking with the castle in the background and churches with monuments here and there in the foreground."
“As we finished our day, we decided to enjoy the early sunset (average time for us and the sun to part ways is around 3:30) along Princes Street where the shopping can burn a hole in your pocket. The modern stores line the street with alleyways that lead to hole-in-the-wall stores that sell anything ranging from books to fish and chips to antiques. The view is break taking with the castle in the background and churches with monuments here and there in the foreground.”

The incredible food. Although British food has gotten an historically bad rap, over the past few decades the fare has become more dynamic and multi-cultural. Although nearly everyone loves the fish-and-chips, you have a huge bounty of culinary choices, from Indian food to upscale gastropub fare. Even traditional dishes have improved mightily, thanks to celebrity chefs like Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver and Heston Blumenthal.

Public transportation is excellent. If you don’t anticipate having access to a car, fear not – most major cities were planned to accommodate foot traffic, and the transit lines are very efficient and quite inexpensive. A single transit card is good for every type of public transportation.

Why ISEP?

We connect a diverse population of students to valuable international exchange and direct enrollment programs across the globe. We make studying abroad accessible, regardless of your socio-economic background or field of study. With more than 300 member institutions throughout 56 countries, we offer students the opportunity to take advantage of the abundant benefits of an international education. We are dedicated to making international travel a reality for every student.

To learn more about how you can apply for a study abroad program, please visit our Get Started page in our guides and tips section for details.

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