Tag Archives: Student

The Truth About Foreign Student Visas

1 Dec

You may have heard in the press recently that the British government has put a cap on student visas that will make coming to study in the UK much harder. However, we would like to tell you the real facts, which show that for the vast majority of foreign students this is not true.

The sensational headlines in the UK media tell how the number of non-EU student visas is being slashed as the Government attempts to fulfill its pledge to bring net migration down from 196,000 to the tens of thousands by 2015. However, the full truth is a little different.

British Home Secretary Theresa May recently emphasized that this new policy was not a blanket reduction of all student visas, but actually a crack down on a very specific group. She explained how the government would be targeting non-EU students coming to study at privately-funded colleges and on long courses below degree level. She reasoned that many of the students applying for such courses may be exploiting the visa system.

Therefore, for international students who want to study in the UK to actually enhance their career options and gain a worthy qualification, the reduction of visas should not be a problem.

Indeed, the General Secretary of the University & College Union Sally Hunt said

“We need to be able to offer places to the world’s best students. The last thing we want to do is send a message that those students are not welcome here”.

If you are thinking about coming to UK to study, then check out our comprehensive guide with all the application information about universities, courses and visas you need.


A Poppy to Remember

12 Nov

You have probably seen people in Britain wearing paper poppies over the last few weeks and may have wondered why.

The poppies are a symbol of Remembrance Day which commemorates everyone who was killed during the two World Wars and other conflicts. It is held around this time each year because on ‘the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month’ (11 a.m. on 11th November) in 1918, the Armistice was signed that signalled the end of World War I.

To remember the dead, memorial services are held and there is a two minute silence, both on 11th November and the second Sunday of November (this Sunday coming) each year.   

But why wear a poppy? Well, it all comes from a poem written by a Canadian doctor serving in the army in WWI, named John McCrae. He wrote In Flanders Fields, which describes how poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields during the War and how, because of their bright red colour, they came to symbolise the bloodshed of the battles.    

 From 1919 onwards then, poppies began to symbolise the loss of soldiers during war and slowly, more and more people started to wear one to show their support. In the UK these days, paper poppies are sold by volunteers of the Royal British Legion (a charity dedicated to helping war veterans), for people to pin on their clothes. They have no particular price but are exchanged in return for any donation you like.

So now you know the reason for the poppies, why not donate some money towards a very worthy cause, wear a poppy on your chest and join the two minutes silence this Sunday.

New to the UK and want to learn about other British traditions? Have a look at our Guide to British Culture.  

Images: ahisgett and comedy_nose on Flickr

Student Tuition Fees Protest Turns Violent

11 Nov

Protests in London yesterday turned violent as students marched against the proposed increase of university tuition fees.

It all started peacefully when an estimated 50,000 students and lecturers arrived in the capital from all over the country on Wednesday morning. They converged on Westminster to demonstrate against tuition fees rising to £9,000 a year and against plans to cut higher education funding by 40%.

However, violence broke out when a small group began to gather around the Conservative Party headquarters, burning placards and banners. This then quickly escalated as protesters began to force their way into the Conservative headquarters, smashing through the large glass front before destroying anything they could inside the building.

The police were heavily outnumbered and failed to cope with the sudden outbreak of violence which resulted in 14 injuries and 35 arrests.

The violence has been roundly condemned by politicians and student leaders. National Union of Students (NUS) president Aaron Porter (who helped organize the original demonstration) criticised the actions of the violent few, saying:

“we’re now having to spend time talking about the rights and wrongs of violence and criminal damage, so actually in many respects I think it undermines our argument rather than allowing us to concentrate on the devastation to our universities and colleges.”

Similarly, Prime Minister David Cameron slammed the attacks, whilst saving praise for the “brave” police officers. He insisted that the protests would not cause him to abandon the plans for increased tuition fees, arguing that the reforms would create “a more progressive system than the one that it will replace”.

Image: Manfred Werner on Wiki Commons

‘Universities UK’ President Joins David Cameron in China

10 Nov


Relationships between British and Chinese universities are being strengthened this week as Professor Steve Smith- President of ‘Universities UK’, has joined senior figures from the UK government in Beijing.

Prime Minister David Cameron has spent the week in the Asian country with Vince Cable, George Osborne and Michael Gove among others, forging business relationships.

Steve Smith was full of praise for the growing relationship between the two countries, and particularly their higher education systems:

“There has been substantial progress in recent years in strengthening links between universities in the UK and China. Our research collaborations with China are increasing in number more quickly than with any other international partner. These partnerships are very important to the higher education sector in the UK…Education and research are central to our increasingly close relations.”

China already sends more students than any other country to come and study in the UK- with numbers reaching 47,000 in 2009- and judging by Steve Smith’s words, that number is going to continue increasing. Here at ForeignStudents.com we’re sure that it will continue to be to the mutual benefit of both countries, and to the students themselves.

Thinking of coming to the UK to study next year? Read our easy step-by-step guide to help you break it down into to simple, achievable stages.

Image: Francisco Diez on Flickr

Are the Brits Finally Tired of Queuing?

5 Nov

The British are known across the world for our supposed love of queuing. At post offices, banks, supermarkets, airports, theme parks…the list is endless. However, a new survey shows we may finally be losing our patience.

A Payments Council survey has found that it takes 10 minutes and 42 seconds before British adults start to get fed up, though this figure varies depending on age and location. Surprisingly, Londoners are the most patient and are prepared to wait for over 12 minutes, whilst unsurprisingly, people over the age of 55 become restless the fastest.

To fight the one long queue that life can sometimes seem like, the British people have started to use ‘queue dodging tactics’ according to Sandra Quinn who helped carry out the survey. Such tactics include paying bills online, shopping at night and even taking time off work (!), though jumping the queue is of course never an option for us mild mannered Brits.

Personally, here at ForeignStudents.com, we still think that 10 minutes and 42 seconds still sounds like quite a long time, but then again, maybe that time can be used productively. Next time you’re in a queue, why not try making a new friend, coming up with an invention worthy of Dragon’s Den, or simply imagining you’re on a tropical beach. Anything to make the time go faster eh?

Is a love of queuing starting to become a misconception about the British? Read about some other common misconceptions in our light hearted guide for foreign students.

Image: Gadl on Flickr.

UK International Students

29 Oct
Foreign Teacher with students.

Image via Wikipedia

UK International Students


ForeignStudents.com has established itself as the leading web site for all foreign students contemplating or currently studying in the UK.

We provide foreign students with essential information about life in the UK includingBankingCurrency ExchangeInsurance,Entertainment and Eating Out. All our guides include useful links to reputable service providers and we also use these relationships to get you premium, exclusive Student Discounts.

We also provide a comprehensive student guide to UK universitiescolleges andlanguage schools covering courses,rankingsapplication information and costs as well as the ability for members to post listings for accommodationjobseventsand travel.



Inspiring Words: University, an Important Step

26 Oct

Photo by – partie traumatic

An inspirational quote can say a lot about a person’s outlook on life, many great figures in history leave us with words which inspire the world, as a student, one is often told that the time at university will be the ‘best years of your life’.

So what shapes and develops our time at university? Is it our studies or the friends we meet?

For an International Student, it may be a mixture of the two; as gaining new friends in a foreign country is a touching and important connection to make, as well as this the desire to study abroad indicates a high level of passion in a specific academic area – which is fulfilled by attending a course in the UK.

Both these aspects (the studying and socialising), involve the exchange of many ideas which will mould a future student’s outlook on life. While at Harvard University in the USA, Mark Zuckerberg created the online social phenomenon Facebook

Mark did this with the aid of his college dormitory roommates, inspired in-part by his own experiences of ‘student life’ and the knowledge gained from his lectures.

On his Facebook profile he lists one of his favourite quotes as ‘Make things as simple as possible but no simpler’, maybe this sentiment is reflected in the simplicity of the design of his own social network. 

About.com has compiled a great ‘Top 15’ list of popular quotes, here’s a few:


(1) “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” ~ Thomas Edison

(10) “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt 

(14) “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ~Albert Einstein 


The real question is, will you be the next generation of great thinkers quoted in a blog post?

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