In this post I will be talking about how I became a student in England. Because I'm Finnish, this is mainly for Finnish people, because I only know the experience and process on that aspect. That's why the title is also in Finnish :)
So I started thinking about studying in England in the beginning of this summer 2014, because my friend had already applied here earlier this year. She applied through Kilroy, which is a travel agency in the Nordic countries that also organizes studying abroad. In England they have 5 Universities that they co-operate with.
I went to their website to just look at some options they had. I found out that there is still a late apply-process going on, and I really started to think about it. I sent them an e-mail asking what options do I have. I love the staff there! They are really helpful and they answered really quickly on any questions I had. I told them about what I am interested in, and they told me some good options to choose from.
The application happens through this website called UCAS. There you have to give your details, tell your choices on where you want to apply (you can choose 5 options) and then you have to write a motivation letter. You also need a recommendation letter from someone who knows you and can tell that you are ready to study in a university. I got this from my teacher. They also need your grades from your previous studies. (Ylioppilastutkinto tai ammattikoulu)
The motivation letter you are writing only once, so the same letter goes to all of your chosen universities. So this is why you can't say the university's name (unless of course if you are only applying to one university). In the motivation letter you simply tell a little bit about yourself, what you want from your future, your work experience and why you want to study this subject in England. They have tips on this on their website :)
The applying costs some money, but only like 20 pounds.
The applying process is quite simple, but you really have to put some thought on it, especially on the motivation letter, because this is what makes you different from everyone else.
Depending on what you are studying you may have something else in addition to these. I study marketing so that is all I had. But, if you are applying to study arts or design, you may have to do a portfolio and also interviews. The interview can be arranged via Skype for example.
Studying in England is expensive, let's just face it :D The tuition fee for one year is 9000 pounds! This scared me at first, but if you just think that everyone else has to do the same thing, you just kinda ignore it.
AND if you are a citizen of the EU, which you probably are if you are from Finland, you can get the tuition fee loan to cover your tuition fee. This you have to pay back, but only after you've finished your studies and only when your salary is above (about) 21000 pounds a year. So if you are broke after your studies and don't find a job, don't worry, it's fine :)
You can apply to this separately, but Kilroy will provide you with information regarding this :)
You also get money from KELA, and you can also take a loan from them. These should cover your living costs in here, and trust me, they do.
Just don't think that only rich people can study abroad, because that is not how it is!
So where to live?
This was the next question I had after sorting everything else out. Every university has their own campuses, where you usually have your own room and a bathroom, and shared kitchen and living room. These are not that expensive and most of the first year students live here. There is also most probably different student accommodation companies all around the city you live. They are listed in the university's website. Some of these you have the same idea than living on campus, or then you can have an apartment that is only for you, which I have. The rents for these varies depending on location and how big your apartment is. You can also rent from the private market, but they don't recommend it.
Commonly people think "ooh you have to be so good at school to go studying abroad". The fact is you don't :D I was in upper secondary school (lukio), which can be compared to college in England. The only thing I was good at was languages. I failed on maths and chemistry, and did really poorly on physics, religion and almost everything else too.. This doesn't mean you can't apply, you just have to do average on the finals (yo-kirjoitukset). Of course it depends on what you want to study and where, for example to study medicine and doctor things you have to be almost perfect. But everything else I think you just have to be average. The average of my grades were between M and C (L, E, M, C, B, A, I) and that is what they expected.
I was really scared to come here. I would have never believed that I would do this, but looking back, it is the best decision ever. The school is going fine, I have AMAZING friends here, and I'm not homesick at all! This experience gives you so much more opportunities in future and it also forces you to become independent.
So, I think thats all that I can think :D I will add something if I forgot. If you have any questions, feel free to comment!!
Thank you for reading!!
-S from Paradise x