Study Centers

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  1. Information about the UK

  2. The british education system

Study Centers provides you with a wealth of information and advice about studying in the world's top choices for English language international education: the USA, the UK and Australia. These study centers offer visa information, practical advice, country information, resources like school and scholarship searches and lots more to help international students decide where to study and how to prepare. We also have a dedicated Study Abroad center for US students planning to spend some time abroad, a Study Guide by Subject with study centers on over 50 fields of study, and a US State Guide. Choose a Study Center from the list below to get started.

Study in the USA
Over 700,000 international students chose the USA last year, making it the number one international education destination. For students looking to study in the USA, our country guide provides the most comprehensive information about the USA education system, the application process for US higher education, the "American way of life," working in the USA, funding opportunities for students going to the USA and much more.

Study in Australia
Australia is committed to its prominent role in international education, as international students contribute over AU$16 billion to the Australian economy. Offering access to both the traditional higher education and the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sectors, Australia is tremendously popular as a destination for international students. Our Study Australia center provides you with all the information you need about studying in Oz.

Study in the UK
International students flock to the UK to access the unparalleled history, prestige and reputations of the higher education system. Our Study in the UK country guide provides all the information an international student needs to know, including student visa and immigration information for the UK, money matters, an overview of the UK higher education system, student accommodations, travel tips, country demographic and cultural information and lots more.

Study Canada
Canada is quickly becoming one of the top destinations for international students. The Canadian student visa permits you to work up to 20 hours per week during academic sessions, and full-time during breaks. As an international student in Canada, you are also allowed to bring your spouse and dependent children with you while you study. Canada also offers a very generous work permit to recent graduates, allowing them to work in the country for up to 3 years.

Study Guide By Subject
Whether you already know that you want to study, or are still trying to figure it out, our Study by Subject Guide can help. From law, medicine, business, and architecture, to computer science, psychology, music or design, and everything in between, we have over 50 subject guides highlighting careers, schools, internships and other subject-specific information. We created this giant resource expressly for international students.

USA State Guide
The United States is a huge country, with regional differences and characteristics as distinct from each other in many cases as they would be from another country. Someone from Boston sounds a lot different than someone from Alabama, and their lives would likely have been vastly different. Our State Guides provide a good overview to help international students zero in on their top geographic locations in which to study.

Study Online
Studying online is a great option for students that want to earn a degree from another country but want to study from home. Online programs have organized online communities with scheduled assignments, lessons and discussion boards. International students that take online classes have access to other students in the program, as well as their teachers and tutors to help answer any questions. Some benefits of choosing an online school include flexibility, affordability and the convenience of studying in your home country.

Study Abroad
International experience is quickly becoming more of a career necessity than a luxury, as technology continues to shrink the world, businesses need to compete globally and employers demand an internationally-trained workforce. US schools are responding by internationalizing their curriculum and putting increased emphasis on study abroad, creating many more and varied opportunities for students to study abroad as part of their degree program.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (which is usually shortened to just the UK or United Kingdom) is a political union made of up of four countries, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. England, Scotland and Wales share the island of Great Britain, which lies just off the northwest coast of continental Europe. The fourth country, Northern Ireland, is a portion of another island, which is split between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, an independent country, in the south. The UK also has overseas territories such as Bermuda and Gibraltar.

The union of Great Britain and Northern Island is the latest that has occurred over the last 300 years. Originally Scotland and England were two entirely separate countries with their own monarchs and political systems, and Wales fell under the control of England and was known as a principality.

Over the years, various acts of union have taken place that have brought England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland together, and Ireland was later to gain independence in 1922 leaving the current split we see today.

The British Empire was once a world force, with territory as far flung as India, Canada, South America and Africa. Although colonial days are far gone and there has been a steady decline in the British Empire and the UK's influence around the world, the UK is still a major political and economic force, with membership in the G8 and an economy that is the fifth largest in the world and second largest in Europe. The UK’s colonial history also means that it has been subject to a multitude of international influences and influxes of people, helping to create the multi-cultural society that exists today.


The main religion in the UK is Christianity which makes up about 50 percent of the religious population, largely split between the Church of England and Catholicism.

In addition to Christianity, the UK has large numbers of practicing members of other major world religions, as follows:

  • Christian: 50.7%

  • Muslim: 2.5%

  • Hindu: 0.7%

  • Jewish: 0.6%

  • Sikh: 0.3%

  • Buddhist: 0.6%

  • Other non-Christian: 1.5%

The education system in the UK is divided into four main parts, primary education, secondary education, further education and higher education. Children in the UK have to legally attend primary and secondary education which runs from about 5 years old until the student is 16 years old.

The education system in the UK is also split into "key stages" which breaks down as follows:

  • Key Stage 1: 5 to 7 years old

  • Key Stage 2: 7 to 11 years old

  • Key Stage 3: 11 to 14 years old

  • Key Stage 4: 14 to 16 years old

Generally key stages 1 and 2 will be undertaken at primary school and at 11 years old a student will move onto secondary school and finish key stages 3 and 4.

Students are assessed at the end of each stage. The most important assessment occurs at age 16 when students pursue their GCSE's or General Certificate of Secondary Education. Once students complete their GCSE's they have the choice to go onto further education and then potential higher education, or finish school and go into the working world.

Primary Education

Primary education begins in the UK at age 5 and continues until age 11, comprising key stages one and two under the UK educational system. 

Further Education

Once a student finishes secondary education they have the option to extend into further education to take their A-Levels, GNVQ's, BTEC's or other such qualifications. UK students planning to go to college or university must complete further education.

Secondary Education

From age 11 to 16, students will enter secondary school for key stages three and four and to start their move towards taking the GCSE's - learn more about secondary education in the UK and what it will involve. Primary and secondary education is mandatory in the UK; after age 16, education is optional.

Higher Education

Probably the most important subject area on this site, this explains more about the higher education system in the UK and how it works for international students. Most international students will enter directly into the UK higher education system, after completing their home country’s equivalent to the UK’s “further education.”

The UK has become one of the top destinations to study around the world. With traditions of excellence dating back hundreds of years, high class institutions on every corner, and much more flexibility than many other countries, the United Kingdom has much to offer international students that other English-speaking countries cannot.

But what makes the United Kingdom stand out? Why should you come to the UK as a destination to further your international education?

Growing Destination

International students have always been an important presence in the UK, and their numbers have been growing steadily over the years. The UK is the second most popular destination for international students, behind the US. The UK has worked hard to capitalize on the growing demand for English-language instruction and the post-9/11 visa hurdles in the US. The top ten countries sending students to the UK are:

  • China

  • Malaysia

  • USA

  • India

  • Hong Kong

  • Germany

  • Nigeria

  • France

  • Italy

  • Ireland

Education Costs are Lower

Because your degree will generally take less time to complete in the UK than in other countries, you could save money compared to a US school. Although four-year programs are increasing in popularity, most degree programs in the UK are three years, and a masters program is typically between one and two years.

Although international students can manage their affairs so that their UK education is affordable, UK policymakers are taking note of an alarming trend in the cost of education for non-EU students. With exchange rates climbing, life in the UK can become expensive. In addition, unlike in many other EU countries, non-EU students are charged higher rates in the UK than students from EU countries. One recent study from the Higher Education Policy Institute warned that the UK must act to contain and reduce tuition and costs to stay competitive in the hunt for international students. As global competition for international students heats up, it can be predicted that the UK will act aggressively to keep the country a primary destination for international students.

Work Opportunities

An international student in the UK is typically allowed to work up to 20 hours a week during school term, and up to full-time when school is out of term. You should check with your international advisor at your school before starting any work - you do not want to be in violation of your visa, and rules change frequently. Keep in mind it is not always easy to find a job, so relying on work income to fund your entire education is not a good idea. Unless you have employment set up through your school before you arrive, you should plan to fund the entire first year of your studies without any employment income.

Scholarships/ Loans

Financing an international education can be difficult. The best approach includes lots of preparation, careful analysis of your budget, and hard work in researching and applying for scholarships. There are many scholarships and loans available to students who want to study in the UK. Our Financing/ Scholarships section section has more detailed information, along with the following resources:

  • UK Scholarship Search

  • UK Loans for US Citizens

  • Education UK Scholarship Database

Gateway to Europe

With the addition of the Channel Tunnel and low cost airlines, Europe is easier to access than ever. You can reach most areas of Europe from the UK within a few hours by train or direct flight. If you are studying in London or Manchester and you want a weekend away in Italy, you can fly direct to Rome, Milan, Pisa, Genoa, Venice or several other cities in Italy. The direct flight would take around two hours and costs will vary, depending on when you travel and when you book.

Multicultural Nation

The UK is known for its multicultural society, with nearly all religions and faiths represented. With a racial, ethnic and religious jumble, the UK is very open to new traditions and cultures - a great thing for students from other countries. For more information, visit our Religion section or visit the following sites:

  • Catholic Church in England

  • Church of England (Protestant)

  • Buddhist Society UK

  • Islamic Society UK

  • Judaism UK

Since the UK is such a melting pot, students can feel confident that a place of worship will be easily accessible for most major religions.

he most common questions international students ask revolve around the need for financial aid of some form. The questions that arise include things like:

  1. Where do I look for scholarships?

  2. Can I find scholarships to study abroad?

  3. Are loans available?

  4. What expenses will I have to pay?

Of course, this is just a brief sample of some of the questions we get on a daily basis, but this section is designed to answer those questions and help you look for financial aid and have a better understanding of what funds are required to study in the UK.

Like nearly all other countries around the world, if you wish to study in the UK you will need to show proof of financial support whilst you are there - that is so the UK government does not have to pay or support you whilst you are studying in the UK.

So, how much will you need to study in the UK is probably the first main question you will have - and the answer is not simple. If you have read our other study advice pages for the UK you will have noticed that the UK, though a small country, is quiet diverse. You will see large variations between the south and London compared to the north of the country and this means that the south can be a lot more expensive, especially London, than other parts of the country.

There are a few golden rules you need to follow when looking at money matters and financial aid and those are:

Gather as much literature as possible.

You will want to obtain as much information about the University and the surrounding area as possible. Most universities will be glad to mail you information so ask them, and then try and contact the local information center for that city or area. By gathering all this information you will get more of an idea of the cost of things like accommodations and what is available in that area.

Ask questions and speak to other students.

Speak to as many students as possible, those that are already studying at that university and those generally in the UK - they will be able to give you first-hand cost experiences. Our message boards are a good place to start for this.

Do your research!

Information and advice is not going to fall into your lap - take time, research on the internet, read information that is mailed to you. It’s the best and only way to get the information you need!

Hopefully this will start you off on the right foot, and with the help of these financial aid pages you should be well on your way to learning more about finances for the UK:

Tuition/ Fees

How much will it cost to study in the UK? Can I even afford to consider the UK? Learn more about the tuition and fee range that most schools in the UK operate under.

Living Expenses

The typical student will need to know what type of expenses they will need to plan for when studying in the UK - here is a brief outline.


Completing and sticking to a budget is the best way to keep your finances on track. Learn how you should budget and what things you will need to consider in your budgeting plans.

Sources of Funding

Where can you obtain funding? What sources are the best for international students coming into the UK?


Most students will rely on scholarships as their prime source of funding and here is a good place to start your search.

After you have graduated in the UK you have several options and choosing the right path may not be easy. The most common courses for international students include returning home or look for work in the UK.

You should explore all options to decide which is the best route for you.

The main options for students after they graduate from studying in the UK are:

Graduate School

For some students with the studying "bug", you may want to further your education and this is typically done at graduate school to study for your MBA, Ph.D. or another postgraduate course.

Job Search

Looking for work is common, especially for international students since some may have debts and want to pay them back. Whether you return home or stay in the UK, we’ve some helpful tips in landing a job.

Returning Home

If you decide to return home there are going to be many hurdles, especially if you come from a country that is very different from the UK. Learn how to cope with "reverse culture shock" and other things that could cross your path upon your return home.
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