From Mifuyu Ono
Studying abroad programs in the UK
Time in university is so long, you can challenge a lot of things. One of the things could be studying abroad. During the pre-COVID era (2018-2019), 7.4 % of UK undergraduate students studied, worked, or volunteered overseas.
In the UK, around 490,000 students came from other parts of the world during 2020-21. A lot of students come from English-speaking countries such as the United States and Australia or UK’s neighboring countries such as France and Germany.
Benefits of studying abroad
Studying abroad brings benefits both to the students and the country. For example, if UK universities accept more exchange students, the chance of UK students going abroad will increase. This will lead to an international interaction and benefit both countries with exchange programs.
Also, international students generate an impact on the UK economy. Data from Higher Education Policy Institute in 2021 shows that international students contributed ￡25.9 billion in the UK’s economy.
For the students, there are obviously a lot of benefits, you can get to know a new language, appreciate other cultures, and get to know more about the world.
Difficulties of studying abroad
When you study abroad, there are countless things that you will have to overcome.
One of the top difficulties is the language. Learning a new language and studying for your degree at the same time might be challenging. However, many of the universities have a language program to improve your language skills. Moreover, a lot of people encounter the frustration of the language barrier. You are not alone; even native speakers do not speak perfectly.
In addition, the learning style might be different from your home university, and that could be a struggle you might also face. As an international student, I was surprised to know that the learning style at the university in the UK requires students to be self-directed in their studies.
Furthermore, Brexit made studying abroad difficult. There is more paperwork that should be done, and EU citizens who had no need to apply for the visa now must apply for them. Changes in the type of agreement between the universities led some of them to accept fewer people.
As for the financial difficulties, the application fee for a visa is £363 and around £470 for health care depending on the length of the stay. Also, the applicants for the visa are required to have a lot of money to prove your financial status.
Nonetheless, studying abroad is a worthwhile experience for you despite all the challenges you confront. All the experiences you will face, whether a good one or a hard one, you will make the most of it.
There are many reasons to choose Essex as your destination for a year/term abroad.
Colchester is a nice, quiet city that is only an hour trip from London. The Colchester campus is based on Wivenhoe Park, abundant in beautiful nature. The university has good facilities, and it is a perfect place for studying.
In Essex, 40% of the whole students are international, and around 400 people come here with studying abroad program such as an exchange program between partner universities and International Student Exchange Program known as ISEP. In 2023, Essex is top 25 for international outlook in the Times Higher Education rankings.
According to Katherine Dickerson, our studying abroad advisor at Essex, “We want all students to have some form of experience abroad, whether it is a year abroad or short-term program. Skill that you can get from the experience abroad will be important for the later life.”
Also, according to Chorong Vrticka, our studying abroad officer added that “The skill you learn from the abroad experience is not a thing you can learn in classrooms, you cannot learn in your home country, in your comfort zone. Expose yourself to the outside world. consider having an international experience.”
As the writer of this article and as an exchange student, I would like to say that a prominent experience will be guaranteed with wonderful peers and supportive staff here in Essex. Why don’t you choose Essex as your abroad experience?