All posts by Matthew Leake

Studying in the UK: One US Student’s Perspective

Aiysha Whitfield

There are more than 17,000 US students pursuing college degrees in the UK, a number which has grown by 17 percent since 2009.

Many are attracted by the possibility of broadening their international experience without struggling with a language barrier. Others relish the chance of learning at world-famous institutions older than the United States itself.

For others, it may also be an opportunity to get back to one’s roots as it was for Aiysha Whitfield, a student from Portland, Oregon, who has just finished her combined bachelor’s degree in film studies and communication, media and culture at Oxford Brookes University (UK).
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Pathways into UK Degrees


Studying in a new country can be an exciting, inspirational, and mind-opening experience (trust me, I’ve been there). But, let’s not kid ourselves, it can also be challenging at times (trust me, I’ve been there). Getting used to a new lifestyle, culture, and food — “you mean, you guys really eat that?” — as well as taking time out to explore everything an adopted country has to offer are just some of the distractions students might encounter. Perhaps the greatest challenge, though, is understanding the norms and expectations of a different education system.

This is where pathways courses come in. Many universities across the UK offer such courses to foreign students before they start their degree program. Operating like a bridge program, a pathways course will develop a student’s study skills and subject knowledge while getting them used to the UK university environment. These valuable educational offerings allow students to hit the ground running when it really counts, giving them their best chance for success in their subsequent degree program.

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