Why study in the UK? (Part 2) – What steps do you need to take?

In our previous blog post, you had the opportunity to answer a host of questions relevant to your future. If you missed that post, find it here! Taking the time to answer such questions will allow you to understand and describe in a more precise manner your long-term goals. So, here are 2 more questions: Where…

In our previous blog post, you had the opportunity to answer a host of questions relevant to your future. If you missed that post, find it here! Taking the time to answer such questions will allow you to understand and describe in a more precise manner your long-term goals.

So, here are 2 more questions:

  • Where do you see yourself 5, 10 or even 20 years from now?
  • If you could design your dream life, what would it look like?
Study in the UK

Now that you have visualised what your dream situation looks like, what are the concrete steps that you need to take to make this dream come true?

The truth is: it depends! So, let’s assume that you are now more clear about what your dreamed future looks like. Picture yourself 20 years from now. You are exactly where you hoped to be. How did you get here? What steps did you take to achieve this level of success and get to where you are? What obstacles did you have to overcome to make your dream come true?

Put your answers to those questions on hold for a while and consider this:

World-class universities and academics

UK universities are among the best and most prestigious in the world. According to the 2016 Times Higher Education University Ranking, 3 out of the 10 best universities in the World were in the UK. Indeed, UK universities benefit from a world-class reputation as well as incredible infrastructures, funding and research.

Moreover, the prestige of some UK institutions and the quality of their research allows them to attract the top professors from around the world. One striking example is the University of Cambridge where since 1904, 96 of its celebrated professors have won the Nobel Prize for their work.

As a student, you’ll benefit from approachable, top-notch academic leaders that you’ll interact with on a daily basis. Indeed, in contrast to France, professors in the UK are significantly more accessible and informal. They will generally provide their email address and contact details at the beginning of the year and stay after class to answer all of the students’ questions.

Moreover, students’ opinions are genuinely valued in the UK system. This means that you’ll be required to reason and to share your opinion. On the other hand, you’ll rarely be asked for your opinion in the French system.


A truly international environment and an opportunity to build an international network

In many UK universities, the number of international students has almost superseded the number of British students! Studying in the UK will truly give you the opportunity to meet and make friends from all over the world. For instance, at University College London (UCL), 34.8% of students are international.

Imagine having the opportunity to study with classmates and friends from many different cultures and broadening your perspective on any given subject. This type of diversity contributes to vibrant and passionate class discussions.

UK studies

An opportunity to become fully bilingual in English and even to learn another language

In our globalized world, fluency in English has become a key requirement in most fields and industries. Studying in a university in the UK will give you a head start to perfecting your English. Not only will class discussions, readings and essays be done in English, but also the highly international student environment will mean that you’ll be spending time outside of class speaking English with your peer group. Of course, this will depend somewhat on your initiative to make friends who don’t speak French.

Furthermore, many programs will even allow you to spend your third year abroad in another European city (Madrid, Rome, Berlin, etc.) or perhaps in other part of the world (Asia, the US, Australia, Brazil, etc.). You’ll therefore be on your way to fluency in a 3rd or 4th language!

A sea of opportunities for graduates from UK universities

Graduates from leading UK universities are highly sought-after both in the UK and abroad.

Indeed, many students who completed their undergraduate studies in the UK have gone on to complete their studies in a masters or PhD in top American, Asian or European universities or pursued international careers directly after graduating with their BA or bachelor’s degree also called an “undergraduate” degree.

Many French students also choose to return to France after their undergraduate studies. This allows them to apply to French Grandes Ecoles through the “International Admissions” path and thus to avoid the “classes preparatoires” system.


What are the alternatives in France?

As you may already know, the French system does not always offer the same prospects to all students. While the highly selective system of concours and Classes préparatoires may lead to the France’s top institutions for students earning the highest grades, this model isn’t ideal for all students. Dedicating some of the “best years of your life” to working towards an exam with results that can often be random at best or that doesn’t necessarily reflect the true academic level of a student can be both frustrating and discouraging.

Some very capable students simply don’t have the grades in high school that would allow them to enter the most prestigious classes prépas.

Moreover, going to classes prepas generally doesn’t give you any time to pursue other any non-academic interests such as sports, volunteer work, travel or a host of other possible interests you may have.

Early specialisation

Some students wish to specialise – or choose a major – in a given subject immediately after the bac. As the English system is more flexible than the French system, students can study subjects as varied as aerospatial engineering or Classics (Latin and Greek) right after finishing high school.

However, the French “grande école” system does not allow this type of specialisation and thus forces students to follow a very general and structured curriculum even once they have entered their business or engineering school.

Likewise, the employment market is significantly more flexible in the UK than in France. Thus, companies don’t generally require new hires to have studied a specific subject. Unlike in France, it isn’t rare to find a History graduate practicing in a law firm, working a large marketing firm or trading oil and gas in the City, London’s financial district.

UK spécialisations

Do you wish to apply to a UK university?

Get in touch today to find out more about our admissions coaching packs to help you successfully apply for admission!

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