Applying to a UK Uni: What You Need to Know About Late International Applications
Sponsored by City, University of London
Applying to university, let alone a university abroad, can be a stressful experience regardless of how well prepared you are.
All sorts of questions have to be answered as part of the process. Where are you going to live? How are you going to pay for everything? Can you make sure you get your visa application approved in time? Are they even still accepting applications for this year?
The answer to that last question is yes. Many universities in the UK are offering a number of places through Clearing this year, including City, University of London. So, we spoke with them to find out more about the Clearing process, including how it works, what you need to do, and what one of its students thought about their own Clearing experience.
What is Clearing and what does it mean for me?
Clearing is part of the application process, and involves universities filling any remaining places they have on their courses for the upcoming academic year. You can apply through Clearing even if you’ve not applied to any university before, if you don’t hold any offers or if your exams results don’t meet the requirements set in your offer.
Ayse Enver, who got her place at City to study BSc (Hons) Computer Science through Clearing, considers it a great way to give people a “second chance” when it comes to applying to university: “Clearing provides spaces at universities that you may not have considered, or that did not end up as your final two choices.”
Know what you want to study and where you want to study
Take a step back and think about what it is you’d like to dedicate the next three (or four) years of your life to. What is your passion? What are your interests?
Consider what your academic strengths are too. Are you analytically minded? Or do you enjoy tapping into your imagination and thinking creatively? Knowing this can help you decide which undergraduate program is for you.
Of course, it’s important to know what you want to study, so take some time to figure out what subjects you are passionate about. You’ll then need to do some research to identify and narrow down potential courses available and what universities offer them and where.
We appreciate moving to a new country can be daunting, but it really doesn’t need to be. Do you enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside, or do you like the hustle and bustle of the city?
These are the questions you should ask yourself before applying.
Where do I start?
Despite the common misconception that Clearing only opens once A-Level results in the UK have been released, it actually opens in early July.
In order to make the process as easy and successful as possible, you’ll need to research degree programs and universities. Once you’ve got a good idea of what and where you want to study, find the relevant contact information for the university, and find out as much information as you can on its website, which is the best source for all information.
You may think you’re in a race against time but consider your options carefully and don’t rush your decision making.
This short video below sees Dominic Davis, Head of Admissions at City talking through the Clearing Process.
What about funding?
Understandably, funding is one of the biggest concerns international students have when it comes to wanting to study abroad. Although tuition fees can be expensive, if you know where to look, it’s possible to secure some form of financial aid, including scholarships.
Websites such as TopUniversities.com have a number of articles dedicated to outlining the costs of studying in the UK for international students.
What about visas?
Once you’ve received your offer, you’ll then need to obtain a visa (this will depend on which country you’re from). Applying for a visa can be a lengthy process, so it’s vital you have all the necessary paperwork prepared in order to get your application underway as soon as possible.
Fortunately, many universities including City, have a dedicated Visa Advice Team that can assist and guide you over the visa application process.
What about accommodation?
Even if you’re sorting out accommodation at the last minute, you’ll be amazed at the various living arrangements available to you. From student halls, to private renting in a house or flat share, to being a lodger (where you stay with a live-in landlord), the options are endless and universities such as City have their very own housing support teams who are on hand to help with any accommodation queries you may have.
Finally, don’t panic!
Trying to make a decision while panicking can make the whole situation feel even more stressful than it needs to be, and you could end up making a rash decision you may regret later down the line.
“Do as much research as possible. Find out the various deadlines for applying, visas, accommodation and so on, so you can make sure you can meet them. You’ll also need to ensure you have the necessary documents needed for your visa as well as applying to the course,” says Rolf Jespersen, Joint-Head of International Recruitment at City.
This article was originally published in June 2019 . It was last updated in January 2020