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27 Secrets International Students In Britain Won't Tell You

70% on an essay = A++.

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1. Oxford is not the only UK uni worth attending.


There are so many incredible institutions all over the country, even if people back home have only heard of the one.

2. And London is not the only city worth studying in.

If you're as brilliant as people assume you are for getting into a UK uni, you ought to be smart enough to know the cost of living is much more reasonable everywhere else. Not to mention fresh air actually exists outside the M25.

3. Studying in Britain can be insanely expensive.


Between overseas tuition fees, travel costs, exchange rates, and let's not forget all the charming visa fees, your bank account is probably permanently in the negative.

4. But shelling out all that cash doesn't mean you're loaded.


It probably means you're smart, resourceful and are either deep in debt to your home country or completely wiped out from all of the grant applications you applied for.

5. And there is A LOT of paperwork.

Channel 4

R.I.P trees.

6. You've had at least three visa-related panic attacks.


Please don't deport me, please don't deport me.

7. But you know there's no one to call for help.*


"We can not address any visa inquiries," is the sound that haunts your dreams.

*OK, there are lots of people but they're all lawyers with pretty outrageous fees.

8. You will need your parents.


Not just for moral support, but for a home address, proof of funds you may or may not actually have, and for home-country-food care packages.

9. Creating your course schedule can be seriously confusing.


There's always the sneaking suspicion you need more contact hours or that some random course cannot possibly meet a degree requirement... but there's not really any clear way to tell.

10. And the grading scale is like... whaaaaat?


Getting a 70% is like winning the lottery... but try telling your parents that.

11. Even though you don't have a lot of contact hours, part-timers still make you insanely jealous.


Being on a student visa = selling your soul to your school.

12. Finding a job that respects your working hours limit is like panning for gold.

"Don't worry, Dad, my 20 hour work limit at my minimum wage counter job totally earns me enough to eat and live in a safe part of town..."

13. Finding a decent place to live with a limited wage is even worse.


14. So you'll jump for every sketchy cash-in-hand opportunity that comes your way.

Comedy Central

Workin' on my night Gumtree.

15. You might be behind on cultural staples.

Like the way a historical narrative was presented back home vs the way they were taught here. Or more importantly, Alan Partridge jokes and Marmite.

16. Your classmates may be weirdly fascinated by your home country.


"Actually the weather is not that different and we do wear shoes."

17. Or your classmates might all BE from your home country.

20th Century Fox

Big international magnets like UCL and St Andrews might feel more like home than you expected.

18. You'll bond with people from the same country as you, even if you would have never been friends back home.

Channel 4

We can make the bad guys good for the school year.

19. There will always be that classmate with dual citizenship.


Living the dream.

20. And that person will always be the worst.


Even if they're actually the nicest, they can say insane things like "Once I'm finished with school I think I'll just head over to Paris for a a year or so and see what's happening there."


21. You'll be homesick for things you never thought you'd miss.

Tesco is great and all but it's no Costco.

22. But you'll also discover things that the UK does a million times better and you'll resent growing up back home.


Primark and pubs on every corner.

23. It's a little hard to study full-time and meet your tourism goals.


"I would like to write my dissertation on Madam Tossaud's so that I have a legitimate excuse to go there."

24. You'd better hope any overseas flings stay flings.

Warner Bros.

Spoiler alert: falling in legit love abroad may lead to more paperwork.

25. Because trying to manage an international relationship when your visa dries up hurts.


Love may know no boundaries but UK immigration officers do.

26. You're probably not going to be magically offered a job in the UK when you finish your degree.

Getting a pure and simple work visa offer is less likely than catching a unicorn, soz.

27. Which means you'd better get started on that PhD proposal if you want to stick around.