For many years, the UK has been a very attractive place for overseas students to come and study. With some fantastic academic institutions, a wide array of programmes of study and opportunities to enjoy and learn about the rich social and cultural heritage of the UK while in the country, it’s easy to see why over 300,000 people per year currently choose to come and study here.
Once in the UK and starting to study, finding time to get to grips with English can seem like one more thing that there just isn’t time for on top of everything else. However, it’s something that it really makes sense to prioritise as for those who do take the time to learn they find it really helps them in a number of ways.
Getting the Most out of your Course
The vast majority of courses taught at UK colleges, universities and language schools will be delivered in English. As such, it’s important to have at least a basic understanding of the language in order to take in what you’re being taught.
Even for those who have just enough English to get by, learning and practicing your English with people who understand how to teach the language can help boost your success even further. With a better grasp of the language, written and spoken assessments on courses will be easier to complete and students will be better able to express themselves to further their understanding of the subject matter and improve their grades.
Of course, for those who want to go on to carry out higher academic study and research, the benefits of good English only increase. With the majority of academic papers written in the English language, it’s a distinct advantage to be able to use it effectively.
While there is a tendency for people from any country or culture to gravitate towards like-minded individuals with similar backgrounds, this misses out on one of the big opportunities of studying in the UK – mixing with different people.
While studying in the UK, English is likely to be the common language to communicate with people from all over the world including those from Britain, so learning early can help forge new relationships and learn things about people from cultures across the world.
Amongst friends and sometimes even with course tutors there’s likely to be people who between them understand most languages to assist those for whom English is not a first language. However, once you step outside the protected environment of the college or university campus, most people aren’t able to communicate using any language except English.
Learning to speak the language means gaining self-sufficiency, getting by in shops, doctor’s surgeries and other places everyone needs to navigate in everyday life. It also helps make it much easier to enjoy the social and cultural activities that are specific to the UK and gain the full benefit of the experience of living and studying in Britain.
Once students have completed their courses, many would like to remain to work and live in the UK. Due to the new immigration legislation being proposed by the current government, students who have lived in the UK on a study visa who wish to remain after graduation need to find a job that pays at least £20,000 in order to stay in the country.
In terms of employability, the ability to speak English fluently is a huge boon and makes candidates much more likely to be successful at securing more highly paid jobs that will enable them to stay in the country if they choose to do so.
These are just some of the reasons why it makes good sense for students to learn English if they are coming to the UK to study. In order to get the most out of the experience of learning, having good English skills is a distinct advantage. This also enhances experiencing the culture and potential employment prospects.