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Insider’s view: 8 key benefits of studying in the UK

26 Jan, 2024
Insider’s view: 8 key benefits of studying in the UK

Table of Contents

1. Rich academic tradition, diverse choices

2. Real-world connections through work placements

3. Global community of varied cultures

4. Accessible public transport

5. Historical landmarks as your campus

6. Nature retreats within reach

7. Diverse societies and clubs

8. Post-graduation opportunities

Studying abroad is a transformative experience that unlocks countless opportunities for personal and professional growth.

One of the most sought-after global study destinations, alongside the USA Ireland, Australia and Canada, is the UK, which stands out as an exceptional choice for students from all over the world. Testament to this is the fact that over 500,000 international students make the decision to study here each year!

The advantages of studying in the UK extend far beyond the renowned universities and academic excellence to things such as favourable work opportunities, multicultural communities and accessible public transport. In this blog post, we will delve into the other aspects of UK life that make it such an appealing destination for overseas students.

1. Rich academic tradition, diverse choices

As a study destination, the UK offers a high quality education with excellent academic standards that prepares students - whether undergraduate or postgraduate - for a successful career in any field.

The United Kingdom is home to many world renowned universities, including 8 that make the 50 top universities globally according to QS World University Rankings 2024.

UK universities are known for their research and development (R&D) prowess, robust arts and humanities programmes and excellence in medicine and other health-related subjects. Many universities have close partnerships with National Health Service (NHS) Trusts, allowing for extensive collaboration between researchers and clinicians.

Students who attend university in the UK have a choice of over 50,000 course combinations and there are over 150 universities scattered across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

With universities in busy cities, coastal towns and even countryside settings, students are able to select an institute that is ideal for their tastes and needs.

2. Real-world connections through work placements

Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

University work placements have become increasingly popular in the UK as a way for students to gain valuable real-world work experience as part of their degree courses.

With many UK degrees, a work placement is an entirely optional yet integrated part of degree studies. In most cases students are placed with a company or organisation for between six and 12 months (sometimes referred to as a ‘sandwich course or sandwich year’), before returning for their final year of study.

Students who have a UK student visa and will be taking a placement as part of their course ar permitted to work full-time in the UK during the placement as long as it is an assessed part of the degree.

Not only do these placements provide students with the opportunity to apply their academic knowledge to practical situations, but they also enhance employability by developing key skills, such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving; all of which are of great value whether students remain in the UK or return to their home country to look for work.

3. Global community of varied cultures

Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash

The UK is recognised as a modern and progressive country with a diverse culture and where people from all backgrounds are welcome. Institutions such as universities have been particularly successful in promoting internationalism and cultural diversity, with students and academics from all over the world making the UK their home. This has led to a rich tapestry of customs and cultures that are celebrated and embraced by all.

The UK’s largest cities - London, Manchester and Birmingham (and their universities) - provide particularly varied cultural backdrops. In the case of Manchester and Birmingham, there is the additional advantage of offering a significantly lower cost of living than other UK cities.

All UK universities provide comprehensive support to their international students and communities which starts before they travel to the UK and continues throughout their entire degree.

4. Accessible public transport

Photo by Tomek Baginski on Unsplash

Public transportation in the UK is highly accessible and convenient, providing an efficient way to get around. Many public transport companies offer student discounts for travel, which can be very helpful in reducing overall living expenses.

Public transportation options include buses, trains, trams and metro (tube) services, which operate on a regular timetable.

As well as offering students a means to get to their university campus and run essential errands, the wide public transport network also gives overseas students the opportunity to experience the wider UK and all its diversity; exploring other parts of the country and learning more about the culture, cuisine, and historic landmarks.

5. Historical landmarks as your campus

The United Kingdom is home to some of the world's most renowned and historically significant universities. Many of these institutions boast famous landmarks that have become iconic symbols of their respective universities, showcasing the rich history and culture of the country.

These include the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford (pictured above), which dates back to 1602 and is one of the oldest and largest libraries in Europe, and the at the King’s College Chapel at the University of Cambridge.

There is also the University of Edinburgh's stunning Old College building, which dates back to the late 18th-century and features a striking clock tower that stands tall over the city's skyline. It is close to the highest courts in Scotland and the Scottish Parliament, and currently houses the university’s prestigious School of Law.

These landmarks not only serve as important facilities for their universities but also draw thousands of visitors every year, contributing to the UK's reputation as a global cultural and educational hub.

6. Nature retreats within reach

Photo by oskar holm on Unsplash

It is no secret that university life can be stressful, with coursework, deadlines, and exams all part of a student’s educational journey. In today's digital age especially, the importance of finding ways to disconnect, unwind, and connect with nature cannot be emphasised enough.

Regularly taking breaks in natural settings has been proven to have positive impacts on mental well-being and overall student satisfaction. Luckily, the UK has an abundance of beautiful natural landscapes easily accessible to those in higher education. For example, the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors are just a short distance from the University of Leeds and the University of York, while the South Downs (pictured above) are just a stone's throw away from the University of Sussex and also easily accessible from London-based universities such as Imperial College London.

These stunning British national parks offer a serene backdrop for students to escape the stresses of academic life and immerse themselves in the beauty of nature, helping them to reset and recharge.

7. Diverse societies and clubs

Photo by Jeffrey F Lin on Unsplash

Extracurricular activities are arguably just as important as academic studies in a student's overall personal and professional development. UK universities provide a vast array of student societies and clubs catering to diverse interests such as culture, sports, politics, and volunteering. These organisations are essential in enriching student life; creating a sense of community, building networks and enhancing social skills.

Beyond that, extracurricular activities can potentially serve as a platform for students to develop leadership abilities, team-building, critical thinking, and time-management skills, which are valued by potential employers.

8. Post-graduation opportunities

From politicians to entrepreneurs, countless UK-educated individuals have made their mark globally. It’s safe to say that the UK's education system offers an excellent foundation for individuals looking to enhance their career prospects.

The UK higher education system is renowned for offering practical and research-based courses that translate into the workplace. The emphasis on transferable skills, along with the quality of education received, gives graduates an edge when it comes to job opportunities.

Completing either a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in the English language also arguably gives graduates and advantage when it comes to looking for work. English remains the global language of business, technology, medicine and science to name just a few, therefore advanced English language skills and a high IELTS score can prove very beneficial in terms of career advancement.

Recent changes announced by the UK government mean that international students in the UK are now eligible to remain in the UK and work for up to two years with a post-study work visa, which allows them to really experience the country outside of formal education.

Learn more about studying opportunities in the UK

If you are interested in attending a UK university, you may wish to consider completing your pre-university education at a UK school, such as Kings.

At Kings, we offer both the Advanced Level Foundation and a range of A-level courses at our four colleges in the UK — Kings Brighton, Kings Bournemouth, Kings London, and Kings Oxford.

For students who already know the subject area that they’d like to focus on in the future, we also offer a number of specialist foundation courses, including the Medical Foundation, Law Foundation, Art and Design Foundation, International Business Foundation and Science and Engineering Foundation.

By selecting to study at our UK schools, you will maximise your potential, and be sure of a place at the best possible UK university.

With specialist support, you will be guided through the UCAS application process, given help to attend university open days and fairs, help to establish IELTS and other entry requirements, and assistance in establishing any scholarship opportunities.

Next steps

We hope that this article has helped you understand more about the benefits of studying in the UK.

If you would like receive more detailed information about the Kings and our programmes, please get in touch with us at