Where I am from, it is common to take at least one gap year after high school before considering university. In my case, I was split between going straight to university or taking a gap year to travel. Luckily, I found a middle ground. Studying in the UK became my way of combining my academic aspirations with a desire for something new. My experience as an international student has taught me so much outside of the academic sphere.
New country, new people
So what have I learnt? This is all going to sound a bit fluffy, so bear with me. Coming to a different country to study, you will probably have a different approach to meeting new people. Being open to new experiences will benefit you massively. You can learn so much from meeting different people while gaining new communication skills along the way.
At the same time, studying abroad will also help you explore your own nature. You have to be independent to study far away from home. As you become more self-aware, you learn more about what you really want to do and how. Because you have more independence, you also become more responsible and able to navigate problems more easily.
Studying in the UK equals cultural immersion
It cannot be denied that the most efficient way to learn a language is by living there. As an international student in the UK, you will get valuable insight into the English language and culture. It not only looks good on your CV but broadens your understanding of another part of the world. Cultural awareness teaches you respect for other cultures and empathy for people of different cultures than your own.
New country, new struggles
While being an international student in the UK can be fun and adventurous, it also comes with its own challenges. I am not just talking about academic struggles, but simply how to go about living in the UK. You have to learn to navigate visas, health insurance, bank accounts, travel, funding and much more. On top of that, you might also struggle with culture shock and language barriers.
It might seem scary and in my own experience more obstacles come up along the way. However, having to deal with these things makes you independent, confident and teaches you to be adaptable. Learning these practical and transferable skills early on will make everything easier later in life.
In scenarios where everything might seem overwhelming, it is good to remember that you are not alone. The university offers great support for international students and can guide you along the way. This is especially helpful at the beginning of your studies.
In the end, you will come out on the other side with not only a degree but also with so many other valuable experiences. For me studying in the UK is definitely worth it!
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