Congratulations! If you received at least two out of five offers from your UK university choices, you now have a decision to make. UCAS will provide all the instructions about choosing a Firm and Insurance choice university if you applied with predicted grades (important advice: your Insurance university should always have lower grade requirements than the Firm, just in case you miss your predicted grades!)
However, when you are thinking about which university to attend in the UK, you should consider more than just the grade requirements.
Which university has the best reputation, for the course you are studying? Yes, you need to choose a university that has a recognizable brand internationally, but also consider your specific field of study. Universities specialise in certain courses, decide which one is best for your course.
Do you need to be in London? Or are you happy to be a few hours outside of London? Or dare I say it…in the North of England? Look at the location of the university in comparison to major cities and airports. The UK is relatively small (compared to the US), so don’t think that you have to be in London. Even from a university in the north of England, you can reach London in 3 hours on a direct train.
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3. Style of university
Campus, city, or a mixture? This varies from university to university. In London, for example, your university accommodation and lecture buildings will be mixed among professionals, workplaces and housing. Is this ok for you? Or would you prefer a purpose build campus, where all of the university buildings are in one place
Of course, like any big cities in the world, you will need to be street smart, look after yourself and your belongings. However, it is inevitable that city universities may experience more crime than campus universities. Make sure you know how safe your university is.5. Cost of living
Similarly, it goes without saying that cities like London are more expensive to live in. Housing, food, drinks...all more expensive than you will experience further north. If money is a worry, consider universities outside London, and prioritise universities with bigger campuses for cheaper food and accommodation options.
6. International student lifestyle
You may be looking to completely integrate with UK home students, or you may want to have a bigger community of fellow international students. Universities have international student communities of varying sizes. Consider what you want, and look at their stats.
Many students want to choose their UK university based on the weather. As a UK citizen, I have doubts about this! The weather in the UK is unpredictable – there’s not a town or city in the country that does not get cold and rainy. Equally, if you are lucky, you can experience a beautiful British spring and summer. Don’t base too much of your decision on weather!
The crux of it is this: what kind of place do you want to be in on your down days?
You are about to move across the world, without your parents or closest friends, and pursue a tough university course. There will be highs – new friends, new cultures, great fun – but it is unrealistic to think everything will be perfect. Down days are inevitable – you will get tired, you will come down with the dreaded “freshers’ flu”, you may struggle with exams and course content. So ask yourself this, “when I feel down, where do you want to be?” In a city? On a university campus community? Near the peaceful countryside? These things matter. University is more than league tables and rankings, it is a life experience, so choose wisely!
Wish you were in this awesome position to choose between multiple dream universitities? Come meet us!