When you choose to study in the UK, you gain access to some of the world’s best teaching and some of the best academic research facilities too, with many British university lecturers also appearing as leading voices in their subject’s academic journals.

For many international students when deciding where to study abroad, the UK’s cultural background is a big factor too.

English is a widely spoken language worldwide, and you may have already learned it to a high standard at school, making it easier to communicate once you are in the UK.

You might also want to experience British culture from within the UK – whether that means going to see a Premiership football match, a live music concert or festival, stage plays at the theatre, or even just trying some traditional British food and drink at the local pub.

How to fit in as an international student in the UK

Most people in the UK — and certainly most UK students — are very welcoming to visitors from other countries, whether they come to vacation, work or study in the UK, so don’t be afraid to talk to the people you meet.

If you get a job to help pay for your international studies, this might also be a way to meet people outside of your university course, including other international students from your own countries and all over the world.

One thing you can do that will help you to enjoy your time in the UK is to improve your English, and especially your ability to understand spoken English in local accents and dialects.

Research by the British Council found that English language skills are the main factor that makes people in the UK trust someone – so even if you speak English well, this is something to think about when you decide to study abroad in the UK.

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The UK language for international students

Most international students already have a good level of written and spoken English, as it is taught as a second language in most of the main countries where international students come to study in the UK.

The UK has some of the top universities in the world, but the best universities in the UK are not all in one place.

Some of the very best universities in the UK can be found in the south of the country – for example, Oxford and Cambridge, both of which are ranked among the top universities in the world.

But you will need to travel to the north of the country to cities like Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds to find some of the UK universities with the most international students.

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How does the region affect international studies?

If you are interested in studying at a university in the north of England, it is worth listening to the local accent and making sure you can understand it.

For example, if you plan to study abroad in Manchester in the north-west of the country, listen to people like Christopher Eccleston, the ninth Doctor Who, or Liam and Noel Gallagher from the 90s rock band Oasis.

Local accents can be very different from the ‘British’ accent you see in movies, which is mostly based on the south-east of the country and London.

But you can always ask people to repeat any words you don’t understand, or to talk more slowly if you do not understand their accent – and you may find some people do this even without you asking them to.

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Language support in UK universities

Remember that most UK universities may offer extra support for international students if you need some help with your language skills.

NCUK’s study courses can help you too, as our English for Academic Purposes modules teach you how to write the language in a way that is suitable for your international studies, and this has helped 90% of our students into their first choice of UK university, with 80% going on to achieve a first or second-class degree.

Our student services team is also here to help you during your studies with NCUK, and you will find the best universities in the UK offer similar support too, helping you to achieve an overall grade in your international studies that are not held down by language problems, but fairly reflects your academic ability.

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Speak To Us

If you have any questions about our qualifications and services, or need advice on choosing the right study option for you then contact us today. Our friendly student services team are here to help you.

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The greatest achievement I’ve had would be receiving my NCUK results, this opened doors for a whole new myriad of opportunities, beginning with university.

The University of Bristol,

MEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering,

James Kairu

James Kairu

NIGERIA

NCUK is fantastic! Studying abroad has exposed me to various types of cultures and enabled me to become more independent.

UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS,

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Ayomikun Sonuga

PAKISTAN

NCUK has provided me with the platform, essential tools and opportunities to excel and achieve what I have today. It is a journey which sets you out on a new […]

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Danial Haider Tabassum

NIGERIA

We have great teachers on my university degree and I like the style of teaching in the UK. The university’s accommodation is excellent.

UNIVERSITY OF KENT,

LLB (Hons) Law,

Ebunoluwa Adeniran

Ebunoluwa Adeniran

KENYA

The NCUK qualification helped me a lot, particularly with Maths and Microeconomics, the modules are very similar to the ones I am now studying at university.

UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS,

BEng (Hons) Mechatronics and Robotics,

David Wangaruro Ngechu

David Wangaruro Ngechu

CHINA

Academically the NCUK programme helped me a lot. I had the experience of writing reports and also attending classes with a different style. We learned to study independently.

THE UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD,

BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering,

Zihao Wei

Zihao Wei

CHINA

Thanks to studying the NCUK qualification I am blending in the new environment, and the most helpful part was learning to control and manage my learning by myself.

UNIVERSITY OF KENT,

BSc (Hons) Actuarial Science with a year in Industry,

Ruiqi Wang

Ruiqi Wang

MONGOLIA

Due to studying an NCUK qualification I am now studying abroad which has made me more independent. Meeting people from different countries and learning about their cultures helped me enjoy […]

QUEEN MARY UNIVERSITY OF LONDON,

BSc (Hons) Computer Science with Business Management and Accounting,

Burenkhuu Burendelger

Burenkhuu Burendelger

SINGAPORE

Research & referencing skills that I gained on the NCUK International Foundation Year have been very important for my first year study at university in the UK.

UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS,

LLB (Hons) Law,

Reuben Lim

Reuben Lim