Things You Should Know About the UK
Ranked 2nd in the world in science and research, the UK is home to leading technology, equipped with the latest state-of-the-art laboratories, auditoriums, and online learning.
As the centre of quality education and research, the UK is the heart of international students, with over 500,000 international students enrolling each year in universities. In 2018, there were over 450,000 internationals accounted for, which made up almost 19,6% of the total student population in the UK. International research collaboration makes up 55.2% of the research and publications published in the UK.
Generally, courses in the UK are shorter compared to other countries. Undergraduate degrees last 3 years while postgraduate degrees last from 1-2 years. There are many reasons why studying in the UK is a GREAT choice for you, we compiled the top four reasons why you should study in the UK:
- High-Quality Education (experience the latest state-of-the-art laboratories, auditoriums, and online learning).
- Global English, Global Connections (continued engagement with alumni and alma mater lets you be in close contact with people from various backgrounds, making networking much easier).
- Multicultural Living and Learning (In 2018, there were over 450,000 internationals accounted for, which made up almost 19,6% of the total student population in the UK)
- Graduate Route (international students are now able to stay in the UK for 2 years (UG and PG programmes) or 3 years (PhD programmes) after graduating. Take this opportunity to kick start your career and work alongside teammates in some of the most reputable companies in the world)
The UK is comprised of 12 regions, during your study there are many places you can visit and explore. Here are some attractions located in the cities of our university partners:
Located in the Southwest of England, Bristol has a strong reputation as being creative and multicultural, as well as being the centre for fun events. The Stokes Croft, located just outside of the city centre, is the most vibrant district in the city. You’ll Expect to see lots of street art, independent stores, and plenty of quirky places to eat.
Bristol is also famous for its International Balloon Fiesta, it is Europe’s largest annual meeting of hot air balloons, attracting over 130 hot air balloons from across the globe. Held over in August for four days at Ashton Court Estate, the event is completely free. It is a sight that can only be seen in Bristol.
Derby is located in the county of Derbyshire. Situated in the country's centre, Derby is a great place to visit for its rich cultural history and as a starting point for trips to the nearby Peak District. Derby is well-known for its significant role in developing the British industrial revolution and is also home to many exciting attractions. This city, home to the working class, was the core of the British industrial revolution, and many of its old industries and mills are still operating today.
The brand-new Museum of Making is one place you shouldn't miss as this museum shows the 300-year history of making in the area and celebrates its long history of innovation. The Museum of Making sits on the site of the historic Derby Silk Mill, which was constructed over 300 years ago and is widely regarded as the site of the world’s first modern factory. This new visitor attraction is also located in the Derwent Valley Mills UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the most critical places in the industrial revolution.
On top of that, the Derby Arboretum or also known as Arboretum Park and The Arboretum is famous for being England’s first public park and inspired the design of New York’s Central Park. What’s more, Derby has its Cathedral that has the second-highest perpendicular church tower in England, which can be seen from all throughout the city.
As the largest city in Scotland, Glasgow has its particular charm and magnificent architecture and is a cultural playground. Famous for medieval buildings, raved about art collections, marble staircases, and more.
At the heart of the action, Leeds is a city bursting with life and cultural activities. Surrounded by creative communities, alongside award-winning national theatre and dance companies, a world-class arena, and a thriving independent food scene you won’t find anywhere else. The Royal Armouries Museum, by a cute yellow water taxi, is an essential place to visit, at the centre of the city, Leeds City Museum and The Art Gallery are just a short stroll from each other.
As one of the most visited cities in the UK, Liverpool has the aesthetically pleasing Albert Dock. Not only is the dock a UNESCO World Heritage site waterfront, but it also houses the largest collection of Grade I-listed buildings in the country. Liverpool’s national treasure the Liverpool Cathedral is the largest in the UK and the eighth largest in the world.
The capital city of the UK, one of the world's top tourist destinations, rich in entertainment and vibrant arts. London is dense in cultural attractions such as royal palaces, cathedrals, museums and the giant Ferris wheel infamous for being the go-to place to get a breathtaking view over the River Thames. You will never run out of things to do and visit in London.
Loughborough is a market town in the Charnwood borough of Leicestershire, England. Loughborough is home to Loughborough University, which is well recognised as the educational institution that has produced many Olympic and professional sportspeople. The town has earned a reputation for serenity and tranquillity in addition to the university's academic standing.
The historic market town of Loughborough has a twice-weekly street market with more than 100 stalls selling everything. There are cheeses, meats, fruits, vegetables, household items, and even an outfit for a night out. Every Friday, there is also a famous vintage market.
Even though Loughborough is a small town, you can find everything you need in this cute little town in the East Midlands. The Carillion Court in the middle of the city has a lot to offer. Within 5 minutes, you can get to cinemas, Holland and Barrett's, gyms, Sainsbury's, and all sorts of other places a student might need.
Middlesbrough’s vibrant town centre is packed with a good choice of shops, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and entertainment venues. Relax in the Centre Square and surrounding parks, galleries, and museums. Here are iconic places you need to visit:
- Captain Cook Birthplace Museum tells the story of one of the world's greatest navigators and mariners through themed display galleries, temporary exhibitions, associated activities, and events
- Nature's World is UK's pioneering eco-experience that provides you with information, education, ideas, and inspiration for looking after the environment.
Indonesian nationals looking to study in the UK will need a visa, namely a Student Visa.
To obtain the Student Visa you will need to receive an offer from the university, then the university will be able to give you a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS). You must apply for your visa no more than 6 months after receiving your CAS. (Please note that your chosen university needs to be approved by the UK government as a licensed Tier 4 sponsor).
The cost to apply for this visa from outside the UK is £348, which you must pay per person for any dependants.
Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)*
If you are applying for a Student Visa and coming to the UK for 6 months or longer, you will be required to pay IHS as part of the visa application fee.
Students will be required to pay £300 per year for the duration the visa will be granted. If the leave includes part of a year that is 6 months or less, the amount payable for that year will be £150. If the leave includes part of a year that is more than 6 months, the full annual amount of £300 will be payable.
When to Apply
You can apply as early as 3 months before you start your course and you will be able to know the decision within 3 weeks.
- Valid passport Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS)
- Proof that you can support yourself and pay for your course - this will vary depending on your circumstances
- Proof of parental or other legal guardian consent, if you’re under 18
- Proof of your relationship with your parent or guardian, if you’re under 18
- Your tuberculosis test results if you are from a country where you have to take the test
During the course of your study, you are also able to take part-time jobs, work placement, or internships during your study. The hours and type of work will depend on the type of visa and your sponsoring university.
*Please be mindful that the fee and the processing time might be different from time to time. You may check with our team for the most updated information.
Can you do a part-time job in the UK with your Student Visa? Read this article to find out what you can and cannot do.
English Language Proficiency
During your visa application process you are required to prove your knowledge of English by passing a Secure English Language Test (SELT), where your reading, writing, speaking and listening abilities are tested.
You can only take an SELT with one of the following:
- IELTS SELT Consortium (UK or overseas)
- LanguageCert (UK or overseas)
- Trinity College London (UK only)
- Pearson (UK and overseas)
Several UK universities have been more flexible as a response of the pandemic, offering various forms of English language tests to make it easier for applicants. English language tests that are valid for applications are as follows:
- TOEFL IBT Home Test
- Pearson Versant English Placement Test
- Language Cert ESOL
- IELTS Indicator
- Cambridge CPE/CAE
- Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE)
- Trinity Integrated Skills in English (ISE) Level III/IV
- NCUK English Language Test
The above tests are valid if they are taken within two years of the commencing of your chosen course of study. Each university has different criteria for its entry requirements. Please refer to your university of choice’s website to make sure you fulfill the specifications.
You may take English Language Qualification at one of our partner institutions; British Council Jakarta at:
- British Council Office 8 Building, Ninth Floor Sudirman Central Business District (SCBD), Lot. 28 Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 52 – 53 (Jl. Senopati Raya No.8B) Jakarta 12190
You may read more about the English qualifications on GOV.UK
Graduate Route Visa
As of 1 July 2021, international students who have completed their undergraduate or postgraduate studies in the UK will be able to benefit from two years' work experience in the UK. PhD graduates will be able to stay in the UK for three years.
Applying for Graduate Route Visa
The Graduate Route will require a new visa application that is only possible from inside the UK. This include payment of a visa fee of £700 and the Immigration Health Surcharge at the full rate of £715 per year.
Distance Learning Students
Students who began their studies in the 2020-2021 academic year can also benefit from the Graduate Route, this also applies to those doing online learning with the following conditions:
- Applicants who started courses in 2020 and are unable to travel due to the pandemic will need to arrive in the UK by 27 September 2021.
- Applicants who began their studies in autumn 2020 or in spring 2021 will need to be in the UK with permission as a student by 27 September 2021.
- Students beginning their course this autumn or early next year will need to be in the UK by 6 April 2022.
Route to Settlement
With a Graduate visa you can work in most jobs except work as a professional sportsperson, opening up great opportunities for those of you who are looking to study abroad as well experience working in an international environment.
For more information visit GOV.UK
Accomodation & Living Cost
Upon your arrival at the university of your choice, it is highly recommended for first-year students to live in an accommodation within the campus area. Usually, the utility bills of an accommodation provided by the university are inclusive of electricity, water, heating, and WiFi. On average, accommodation provided by a university of your choice ranges from £100 to £200 per week, depending on the type of accommodation you choose (flat, shared house, etc).
You may choose to stay outside of the campus area, it is common for students to share accommodation with a roommate by renting an apartment/flat or house. Depending on the area and size, it costs around £200 to £400 per week. However, if you choose to stay in a private accommodation, please be mindful whether or not the utility bills are include.
Since the cost of living differs from city to city and also depends on your lifestyle, we advise you to visit the student support centre of your university to receive guidance and counseling regarding local attractions, getting around, where to buy groceries, and other facilities available in the city.
As a student, you will get a student discount on transportation, food, clothing, entertainment/media, health and beauty, school supplies, and many more. Budgeting is an important part of your study as an international student, a student budget calculator estimates the monthly expense based on which university you choose, complete with a breakdown of necessities. You can calculate an estimate of your spending here.
Want to find out what living in the UK as an international student is like? Visit the UK Council for International Student Affairs.
In general, getting around the city is accessible through public transportation. The UK has integrated public transportation ranging from bus, tube, tram, and train. Make sure to use your student discount when traveling to get a price cut in transport fares.
Cycling is also a great way for you to get around the city and, of course, to save money. Buying a second-hand bike is an option for students. If you choose to stay in the university residence you can bike to your campus. You can ride your bike safely in cycle pants throughout the UK. Nonetheless, if you are new to cycling around the UK you may need more experience to ride a bike in the city since not all cities are not large enough to have secure cycle lanes.
Safety first! We advise you to always wear a cycle helmet, high visibility jackets, or bibs and use several lights at night. You also need to invest in a good lock and always park your bike in a public area that is well lit at night, since cycle theft is common in the UK.
Read more tips from students in Cycling UK.
Transportation fares vary from city to city, big cities like London and Manchester are more expensive. You can travel to another city by train, bus or plane. Although it takes longer to ride the bus, it is the cheapest option and most preferred mode of travel for students on a budget. Plus, it is more fun to have your friends with you throughout your journey.
Individuals ages 16 to 25 can get up to 20% off on train travel in the UK if they purchase a Young Persons Railcard. If you are over 25 you will need your institution to prove that you are eligible by confirming you are a full-time student.
Please be advised that booking a ticket in advance, as prices tend to be more expensive when purchased on the spot.
Network in the UK
UK universities tend to have active engagements with their alumni and alma mater, you can build connections and network with them through events held by universities. Many universities provide training development programmes as part of the student support, you can also partake in internships, work placements, volunteering, and dissertation placements with companies that partnered up with the university.
This is a great opportunity if you are looking to develop skills for your professional benefit after graduating. If you ever felt homesick, you can check out the PPI UK (Perhimpunan Pelajar Indonesia), an active Indonesian student association spread throughout many cities in the UK. Through BritCham Education Centre itself you can also benefit to engage with our natural stakeholders in the UK including (but not limited to) Young Indonesian Professional Association (YIPA).
Why is it important to network while studying in the UK?
Networking allows you to meet various people from different backgrounds, broadening your perspectives and prospects. While it is beneficial for you to know different networks, the key is to know the right people. Having a network while studying in the UK allows you to:
- Develop social and networking skills
- Career advancement
- Global connections and opportunities
- International outlook
You might also have career opportunities post-graduation in the UK or even work in a branch office of a UK company in Indonesia. The opportunities are vast.