A dedicated team and a programme of events are available at Lancing College to support pupils who wish to consider continuing their undergraduate studies outside the UK. The programme has been very popular, with two Lancing students moving to USA and France to read English and Biotechnological Engineering in 2017/18. In 2016/17, four students chose to study abroad, with popular destinations including Canada, Hong Kong and the USA.
We spoke with Lucy Freeland, Teacher of English and Overseas Higher Education Coordinator, about the all-important questions to ask when considering overseas higher education:
What are the benefits of studying abroad?
Overseas institutions can offer first-class higher education and often be considerably cheaper than the UK. The benefits are not only financial: it can broaden horizons, offers a breadth of experience second to none while living and studying in another country, and provides an opportunity to learn a new language in an international environment. A degree overseas can also provide a huge help when looking for work after finishing their studies: employees are interested specifically in maturity, flexibility and cultural awareness, often found in students who have experienced a year or more abroad. The other good news is that both overseas and UK applications can be submitted, albeit through different channels and at different timings, thus keeping all options available.
What are the entry requirements?
Requirements vary between countries/universities. Most public universities ask for A Levels or for an equivalent qualification. Usually two or three A Levels should be sufficient to meet the requirements for most bachelor degrees.
How long is the application process?
Applying abroad does not preclude from applying through UCAS to keep the UK five places. Pupils will be able to dual track their UCAS application with applications to overseas universities, and the final decision can be left until A Level results are announced in the summer. Process and timings can be very different from the UK system, with offers usually made in the spring. This just takes a little more planning and thought, which is where the College is now well-equipped to help. Application procedures vary between countries/institutions, with some universities opting for a central application service whilst others preferring direct application.
Do all universities offer courses in English?
An increasing number of overseas universities and colleges now offer several courses in English. For example, Denmark offers over 700 higher education programmes in English; in Spain the number of courses taught in English is on the increase as a direct result of the Spanish government’s interest in attracting more international students.
What are the most popular destinations for undergraduate studies?
Europe: European study brings the benefit of new cultural and linguistic experience without having to travel too far from the UK. Many institutions have a long tradition of higher education, and offer good value for money and a vibrant student life.
USA: American degrees offer a wider choice of subjects than the UK. Also, according to the US-UK Fulbright Commission, over 600 universities support their international students by offering scholarships of over $20,000 (£13,672) per year for undergraduate study, with many institutions offering considerably more than this. Compared to other countries the application process is generally more complex and will vary between state/institution.
Canada: Canada is really worthy of consideration for undergraduate studies: they do not require specific tests, many of their colleges have excellent facilities and are featured in the top 100 universities in the world; applying is also often a case of sending across grades and a personal statement.
Australia: Australia offers great weather, a good quality education and a fantastic lifestyle. There is an emphasis on practical learning, independent study and critical thinking. On a negative note, most courses tend to be more expensive than those on offer in the UK, with annual tuition fees between £7,947and £17,480 for an undergraduate degree.
Is it expensive?
UK schools provide an attractive recruiting opportunity for overseas universities, and scholarships are often available for pupils with a British education. Cost of living should be considered when applying as some countries will be more expensive than others.