How do you live as a student in the UK? Is the workload greater in seminars? How expensive is the living? And does it really rain that much? These and other questions are asked by the more than 16,000 German students who come to study on the island every year.
Only the last question can be answered with a clear “yes”. The climate is mild, but rubber boots are an advantage, especially in the winter months – and in Great Britain they are an integral part of every shoe cabinet. German students also quickly discover that there are some differences in everyday student life. Which of these are most important for you in everyday student life and a lot of tips and information are briefly summarized below.
Lectures in the UK
When choosing a course before starting their studies abroad, many German semester students are initially surprised. Because in Great Britain it is common to only take between three and a maximum of four courses per semester. To learn more about United Kingdom and Europe, please visit smartercomputing.
Even when attending a course for the first time, most German students are amazed. The number of participants in the individual courses is considerably smaller than in Germany and the support is much more personal. The lecturers are usually drafted and encourage students to reach out to them with any questions.
The formats of the courses are as in Germany, depending on the subject in lectures, seminars and laboratory classes and Practical classes divided. An additional component of the courses can also be tutorials or field trips.
A course in economics, for example, usually consists of a lecture in which the theory is taught and a seminar. In the seminar, the theoretical knowledge from the lecture is processed practically and interactively.
At the end of the semester, there is no major final exam, but the performance records are provided continuously. This means that during the entire semester, the subject matter is queried in small exams, the so-called mid terms, or in small term papers such as papers or essays.
The deadline for the written evidence is fixed. Submitting the term paper late always affects the grade and is only possible for a limited time. Students can usually find all other important dates of the academic year on the homepage of the respective university.
Campus life in the UK
Why is Great Britain so popular as a study country? This is partly due to the well-organized and diverse campus life in Great Britain. In the UK, students do not come to campus just for class during their day-to-day studies.
Rather, the campus is the social meeting point. During the day, students can take part in many activities, sports courses and workshops that take place in the Students’ Union building. At night, the students meet there for parties, cinema screenings and concerts.
At UK universities and colleges are available for almost any hobby or activity, a society or a club – and if not, the exchange students can create them yourself. Being creative and exercising with other students is an integral part of everyday study life in the UK.
The libraries are also modern and generally very well equipped. They offer students the best possible learning atmosphere: from comfortable lounges for discussing group work to separate quiet areas where students can concentrate on preparing for their exams.
Services offered by universities in the UK
Another reason why Great Britain is so popular as a study destination is the wide range of services offered by British universities. The most important point of contact is the International Office. There, students can clarify all important formalities and ask questions immediately upon arrival.
The many events offered by the International Office, which is usually located in the center of the campus, are particularly recommended for semester students. At the beginning, the new students are introduced to the new university in a playful way during Orientation Week. During the semester there are many activities, such as dinners or excursions on certain public holidays.
These campaigns are often offered in cooperation with the Students’ Union. The Students’ Union organizes services from students for students. This also includes services such as help with financing questions or problems with the landlord. In addition, the UK universities provide the following advisory services, among others:
- Additional help for students with disabilities, learning difficulties or chronic illnesses
- Psychological care
- Child care and support for students with children
The extensive service is primarily made possible by the tuition fees and should therefore always be used to ensure that you study abroad successfully.
Accommodation for studying in the UK
In order to feel comfortable in everyday study life in Great Britain, accommodation plays an important role. Whether it’s their own apartment, a shared flat in a student residence or a room with a host family – in Great Britain students can choose accommodation according to their own individual needs and budget.
Student residence is the most popular form of accommodation for UK students. You can usually choose between the university’s own and private student residences. Most of the student residences are in close proximity to the campus. There, students usually share the common rooms such as the kitchen, bathroom and living room. Anyone who wants to experience a typical British student life is therefore best advised to have a place in a student residence.
The apartments or your own apartments, which are offered by the university as well as in the private rental sector, offer more privacy. The classic homestay option offers an insight into British family life.
Catering while studying in Great Britain
The meals during the academic life in the UK is never boring. Because the multicultural influences of the former colonial power are mainly reflected in the food on offer.
In large supermarkets, students could get ingredients for almost every dish imaginable. There is also a growing awareness of people who cannot or do not want to eat certain ingredients. The ingredients are therefore always clearly labeled, even in most cafes and restaurants. Increased attention is also paid to the origin of the food, which is why there are many new organic supermarkets, known as organic shops.
On and around the campus, students usually find a variety of dining options: from cafes, bars and snack shops to classic pubs. The food is offered at student-friendly prices and opening times. In contrast, there is no central cafeteria like in Germany.
If you want to reduce costs while studying abroad, you should also use the cooking facilities in the accommodation. International students shouldn’t miss a typical English breakfast or fish and chips.