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Top 10 Study Tips for British Students

Are you interested in studying abroad in the United Kingdom (U.K.)? Maybe you are excited about an exchange student program in England? Perhaps a British student wants to pursue an education in the United States (U.S.). All of these scenarios could be extremely exhilarating and rewarding opportunities. Yet, they come with a cost. Beyond the financial investment involved in this endeavor, leaving behind your friends and family for an extended period to travel to another country and pursue your studies can be a difficult transition. That being said, here are 10 study tips for British students to help acclimate to their new environment. 

1. Strangers in a Strange Land--Whether the pupils are traveling across the pond to the U.S. or Americans are heading overseas to England, both will be strangers in a strange land. However, you should not let that deter you from achieving your academic goals while enjoying the splendors of your new surroundings. Also, keep in mind that many of the international students will be in the same boat and may be feeling as vulnerable as you, so let that serve as an opportunity to bond with your fellow transplants and make new friends. 

2. Stay Focused--All the students involved in a study abroad program experience some of the same concerns. Will I succeed in the program? Will I enjoy my courses? Can I cope with the workload? Will I meet people I can relate to and make new friends? It is important to stay focused and try to meet each challenge head-on. As you tackle each obstacle, the next one will not seem so intimidating. 

3. Do Your Homework--Part of your mission as an exchange student is doing your homework. Meaning, you must do your research ahead of time and familiarize yourself with the academic standards, as well as the customs, language, and culture of the country you will inhabit. For your assignments, essay writing and homework online sites like, can be helpful. This crucial tip will make the transition much easier on many levels. 

4. Familiarize Yourself with Culture and Customs--As referenced above, the U.S. and Britain share a common language. However, there are idiosyncrasies and cultural norms that you need to be aware of and knowing the etiquette will help ease your way into life in the U.S. or U.K. This is especially true of the slang terminology and customs specific to the country (e.g. loo or water closet vs. restroom, lift vs. elevator, nappy vs. diaper, tea time vs. coffee break, etc.). After all, you want to understand what is going on around you, especially in an academic environment. 

5. Make Sure You Have Your Paperwork in Order & That You Have the Correct Visa-- While this one might seem obvious, it is of the utmost importance. Whether you are a U.S. resident traveling abroad to study in the U.K. or a British pupil coming to America, a student visa is a must and you need to apply for your visa well in advance. In most cases, students who are entering the U.K. will require a Tier 4 visa for extended study abroad programs. However, if your exchange program is less than 6 months long, you could be eligible for a student visitor visa. To find out what type of visa will be required, you should consult your course advisor, university, and/or an immigration specialist. 

6. Make Contact Ahead of Time--You could also contact the university with which you will be doing your study abroad program in advance. This tip will show your enthusiasm and communicate that this program ranks highly among your life priorities. Moreover, many of these institutions employ international coordinators who can help facilitate your move, and they will often assist you with getting your paperwork and visa application squared away. This is also a valuable resource to consult about any additional paperwork that will be needed if you are planning to seek employment to help offset the costs while you study abroad in the U.K. or U.S. Furthermore, they might even be able to locate work opportunities that will accommodate your course schedule. 
7. Accommodations Are Key--Does your study abroad program provide student housing? If you are part of an exchange program, there are typically host families that provide students with food and lodging for the duration of their stay. However, if you are responsible for your own housing, you will need to seek out suitable accommodations as early as possible and make arrangements to secure the lodgings. This may require a security deposit and/or other terms that you and the landlord agree upon. 
8. Funding Your Study Abroad--As previously mentioned, unless your family is well-heeled or you have recently come into a large inheritance, it could be a struggle to fund your study abroad program. It is an expensive endeavor, after all. However, if you can figure out how to pay your way, it will likely offer the chance of a lifetime and could alter your life's journey. 
9. Work Study and Scholarships Are Your Friends--Keep in mind that many of these institutions offer scholarships, room and/or housing grants, work study disbursements that you can collect if you work while studying abroad, and other entitlements to deserving students, who might have limited resources, but want to take advantage of this unique opportunity. If you meet the eligibility requirements, this could prove to be your path to study abroad without financial woes. 
10. Banking Is Part of the Transition--In addition to funding your study abroad endeavor, there are other financial considerations that may need to be addressed. Namely, the varying rates and fees associated with transferring money in and out of U.K.-based accounts, as well as these rates and fees for British students coming into the U.S. There are also some incentives offered for international students on both sides of the pond to open an account. Once again, you will need to do your research and educate yourself on which banks will best suit your needs and offer the best terms for international students. 
If you are interested in the unique opportunity provided via studying abroad in the U.K. or U.S., then utilize these study tips to their full advantage and make sure you have all the essentials covered prior to embarking on your intercontinental adventure.

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