One of the things that makes UK higher education so attractive to thousands of aspiring and bright international students who get enrolled in UK universities every year is the abundance of support they are provided with while studying here.
Students get help on a wide array of questions - from immigration-related information to charities and helplines related to wellbeing and mental health.
Keep scrolling to find out about some of the best support organisations available for international students in the country:
Your university’s international office
All universities in the UK have an office with a dedicated team that gives international students helpful advice on immigration matters (for example, visa-related questions), employment, tuition, and academic and personal matters. They can also provide services related to international funding and organising various events and activities for students from abroad. Such offices usually can be found on a separate page of the official website or a separate website with a list of their services and contacts.
The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA), an advisory body for international students, works in collaboration with students themselves to create training days for universities so that they can continue improving their support services. UKCISA also has a hotline students can call if they have questions, for example, about legal matters such as changes in visa requirements, or questions related to working on a student visa.
The Students' Union
The Students' Union is an independent, student-led body present in universities all over the UK and most often affiliated with the National Union of Students (NUS). Unions represent the interests of different groups of students on a local and national level. They make sure that international students' voices are heard, too: each student has a chance to vote to elect student representatives or stand for election, can get help with specific problems (for example, with accommodation or switching university courses), make new friends, and learn new skills as a volunteer (although you need to make sure that you are allowed to volunteer as an international student). Unions actively influence policy by campaigning on issues that students care about most.
You can find out about your university's students' union at Fresher’s Fair (this is often the week before classes start), by visiting your on-campus student union office or its website.
The British Council
The British Council is the UK's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. Their Study UK website has tons of useful information, student stories, tips and advice on UK education for international students. You can browse through UK courses and scholarships, learn about different learning paths, student visas, accommodation options and much more.
Student life abroad can take a toll on one's mental health. Student Minds is the UK’s student mental health charity. It helps students to look after their own mental health and support others by sharing useful resources like links to charities and helplines and running mental health support groups that involve trained student volunteers.
Want to know more about what it's like to study as an international student in the UK and how to become one? LEO International Online School offers a diverse and intensive two–year A-Level programme designed to prepare students for entry to universities in the United Kingdom. Learn more about this programme and our other courses here, and don't hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.