any international (pref. American) students willing to share UK uni experiences? Watch

username4172266
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Hello!

I am a high school student from NYC thinking about applying to two universities based in London - King's College and London University's College of Economics and Political Science. I love the city and have been considering the prospect of studying in another country for a long time, as I'd really love a new change of pace.

I won't be able to visit either of these schools before applying so I was hoping that I might be able to gain some info from students on here. More specifically, I was wondering if anyone on here (preferably Americans but anyone is great) could share their own experiences on what it was like to leave their country and study in the UK. Are there any noticeable differences between typical US university life and typical UK university life? Do you have any regrets?

Thanks
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(Original post by Sadieh2000)
Hello!

I am a high school student from NYC thinking about applying to two universities based in London - King's College and London University's College of Economics and Political Science. I love the city and have been considering the prospect of studying in another country for a long time, as I'd really love a new change of pace.

I won't be able to visit either of these schools before applying so I was hoping that I might be able to gain some info from students on here. More specifically, I was wondering if anyone on here (preferably Americans but anyone is great) could share their own experiences on what it was like to leave their country and study in the UK. Are there any noticeable differences between typical US university life and typical UK university life? Do you have any regrets?

Thanks
Heya! It's awesome you're considering studying in the UK! I'm not American, but grew in America and the American school system (and obviously study now in the UK) so I can probably relate to what expectations you have about uni from the US vs. what it's like in the UK.

I really loved my time at uni here; and there's a lot of similarities. Freshers is the first week or so of uni in the UK (usually the last week of September), and it's when everyone gets to know everyone and goes out to party most. Where in the US the first few weeks is when Greek life gets started, there's none of that in the UK--though we have societies (which will advertise themselves and what they do in Freshers week). On the social side, I think things are pretty similar--after all, young people all over the world are pretty similar!

Academically, the UK is starting to bring up GPA but for now, you'll have the terms "first","two one (2:1)", "two two (2:2)", and "third" more often--these are the degree classifications. I think lectures and so on are pretty similar in format to the US, but you'll probably have smaller class sizes and more one-on-one time with lecturers, especially if you're in a small school.

Those are the things at the top of my head that I think most people aren't aware of, coming from the US to the UK. Let me know if you have any questions or want to know anything else though!
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username4172266
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(Original post by Michelle Bieger)
Heya! It's awesome you're considering studying in the UK! I'm not American, but grew in America and the American school system (and obviously study now in the UK) so I can probably relate to what expectations you have about uni from the US vs. what it's like in the UK.

I really loved my time at uni here; and there's a lot of similarities. Freshers is the first week or so of uni in the UK (usually the last week of September), and it's when everyone gets to know everyone and goes out to party most. Where in the US the first few weeks is when Greek life gets started, there's none of that in the UK--though we have societies (which will advertise themselves and what they do in Freshers week). On the social side, I think things are pretty similar--after all, young people all over the world are pretty similar!

Academically, the UK is starting to bring up GPA but for now, you'll have the terms "first","two one (2:1)", "two two (2:2)", and "third" more often--these are the degree classifications. I think lectures and so on are pretty similar in format to the US, but you'll probably have smaller class sizes and more one-on-one time with lecturers, especially if you're in a small school.

Those are the things at the top of my head that I think most people aren't aware of, coming from the US to the UK. Let me know if you have any questions or want to know anything else though!
thank you so much for your response! i had no idea about the GPA thing, very interesting.

i know that universities vary from place to place, but would you say that most UK unis put a large emphasis on club/organizations? i'm part of a bunch of different types of clubs in high school (Model UN, track and field, agriculture club, etc.) and definitely plan to join more clubs in college as a way to meet new people and get involved. a lot of U.S. have "club sports" which are essentially more-casual teams for different sports like equestrian, golf, etc. do schools in the UK have any sort of equivalent to that?
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pollydee
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(Original post by Sadieh2000)
thank you so much for your response! i had no idea about the GPA thing, very interesting.

i know that universities vary from place to place, but would you say that most UK unis put a large emphasis on club/organizations? i'm part of a bunch of different types of clubs in high school (Model UN, track and field, agriculture club, etc.) and definitely plan to join more clubs in college as a way to meet new people and get involved. a lot of U.S. have "club sports" which are essentially more-casual teams for different sports like equestrian, golf, etc. do schools in the UK have any sort of equivalent to that?
It really depends on which university you look at, but most will have a lot of societies. You can find A LOT of information on university websites these days and they will often tell you the different levels of sport available and the different societies. Usually, these are run through the Student Union.
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(Original post by Sadieh2000)
thank you so much for your response! i had no idea about the GPA thing, very interesting.

i know that universities vary from place to place, but would you say that most UK unis put a large emphasis on club/organizations? i'm part of a bunch of different types of clubs in high school (Model UN, track and field, agriculture club, etc.) and definitely plan to join more clubs in college as a way to meet new people and get involved. a lot of U.S. have "club sports" which are essentially more-casual teams for different sports like equestrian, golf, etc. do schools in the UK have any sort of equivalent to that?
pollydee has the right of it with her reply!

Those high school club experiences are going to be great for your applications! UK schools definitely have different types and levels of sport available--for example, at Hertfordshire (where I go) we have Active Students, where you don't have to sign up to anything, you just show up and play for the hour for free. Then we also have campus leagues for certain sports--for if you want to concentrate on one particular sport, play with a team, and compete against similarly-talented teams throughout the semester. Then there is our Athletic Union--which is a bit more serious than campus leagues, requiring more time and more money. This is most similar I think to the sports teams in the US!

I would guess that most unis have something similar--though some unis might have less variety in sports, or less variety in the level of competition.

Societies in the UK are, in general I believe, less intense than clubs in the US, which seem more dedicated. But they're fun and an amazing way of getting to know people! I know a lot of people who have become really tight knit with their society mates and have done amazing things with their society. Societies are usually under the umbrella of a uni's Students Union, which also usually a great resource for students, providing academic appeals information, local part time job postings, local housing information, etc.

You can find all this kind of info under a university's website or Facebook pages!
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