Spotlight On… International Students

International 1By Hannah Reilly – Chief Features Reporter


Each year, over 430,000 students from 180 various countries make the decision to come to the United Kingdom to study their degree. Out of this, approximately 2,000 have chosen to swap their home lives for an alternative in the northern city of Preston, at the University of Central Lancashire.

There is an exhaustive list as to why the UK is an excellent choice for study such as the highly rated educational system, being the founder of the English language and the cultural mix of uniquely quaint towns just short distances from the many cities. Within the UK, Preston is an appealing area to reside in for its northern culture, cheaper lifestyle and excellent network links, and with the UCLan campus located so conveniently in the city centre it is no surprise that they have welcomed such a large portion of international students. Some students stay here for a single semester, others a year, as well as those choosing to study the whole of their degree here such as those enrolled on the new medicine cohort.

Aside from being in Preston, UCLan is an excellent choice of university as it obtained QS World University Rankings in 2010, scoring four stars overall and the highest five stars for internationalisation. Since then, it still continues to expand its international relations with the corporate plan for 2013/14 stating that internationalisation is one of the university’s core ambitions, both from the perspective of encouraging UK students to spend time elsewhere in the world and welcoming foreign students onto their campus. This is evident through the newly launched Cyprus campus which frequently hosts exchange visits and the thriving travel bursary budget which assists students in developing their global awareness.

Students currently studying at UCLan speak of a positive experience; Artem from Russia is studying for a year on an exchange with the belief that it will help his career in the future. He has taken the opportunity to explore nearby cities and get involved in the various events on campus. Violet from Lithuania has chosen to spend three years studying Asia Pacific Studies as the course outline sounded exactly like what she wanted to study and she thought that UCLan was not only a better university than others in the UK but also those at home. So far her experiences are living up to expectations.

Enjoying the Singing at Kareoke
Enjoying the Singing at Kareoke

International students undertake a thorough orientation programme upon arrival, including welcome drinks in the student union bar and cycle tours of Preston. Beyond the initial honeymoon period when home sickness and cultural shock may begin, there is an extensive range of continuing pastoral support aimed specifically at the anticipated needs of those studying in a foreign country. This includes language support through the Worldwise programme for those wishing to develop their English, a buddy system to help people get well acquainted with the city and meet new people, and various practical help with finance and support is available through the <i>.

The International and Exchange Student Society also offers support alongside providing excellent opportunities to broaden both friendships and experiences during your time spent at UCLan. They are a very active and friendly society who welcome all students to join them on their social activities regardless of whether or not you are internationally registered. Social events have previously included nights out and picnics, as well as trips visiting places such as Manchester, Liverpool and the Lake district. There are also larger great value trips to Amsterdam and Edinburgh which also incorporate other universities to allow further networking. The society is recognised by the Erasmus Student Network, connecting them with many other societies in seventeen different countries allowing for a greater opportunities and also entitling members to a discount card to allow for savings on a range of purchases. With such a large number of international students representing over one hundred countries, there’s no struggle to find someone with a familiar cultural understanding whilst integrating with all things British. Network with UCLan’s International Society on Facebook and Twitter to keep updated on future events.

For further information regarding any international enquiry, visit the <i> situated on the ground floor of the library, where staff will be able to assist with your query or point you in the right direction.

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