At Stellenbosch University there is a buzzword used by those responsible for welcoming first-year students: “culture shock”. Many students will also tell you that this phrase accurately describes their experience when first coming to Stellenbosch.
As an international student applying to an English-speaking university you will have to prove that you have a good grasp of the English language. In most cases this can be done through taking an exam called the Academic IELTS, which tests the strength of your English listening, speaking, reading and writing skills.
It might seem like a lot to take on, but having this under your belt will not only consolidate your English-speaking skills (which will be a great help when you are at university) but will open doors to which country you can study in.
My move to the UK was exciting and challenging in equal measures. There is so much to figure out and understand, and sometimes it can feel quite overwhelming, so if you’re thinking of moving to the UK, this is my lowdown on what you will need to do to make it happen and what to expect once you get here.
1. Figure out your costs and budget
Budgeting is key – make sure you consider course fees, rent, food, NHS (National Health Service) surcharge, mobile phone bill, internet, transportation costs, day trips, going home, socialising, books and other course materials.
Being an international student at a university can be quite a challenge, but the good news is that you are not the only one who has to face this.
I came to the University of Lincoln in the UK from Poland, and didn’t know anyone at all.
Many universities have established international exchange programmes that enable students to spend time abroad for their studies.
The dominance of China’s universities in the BRICS & Emerging Economies rankings 2016 highlights a wider trend for international students to consider China’s top institutions alongside leading universities elsewhere in the world.