Monthly Archives: April 2014

Could you give some ideas for accommodation – should I stay in university residence or rent outside with someone?

Halls of residenceToday’s blog post is in reply to a question from a student on the Question Wall:
“Could you give some ideas for accommodation – should I stay in university residence or rent outside with someone?”

As an international student you may need to decide where to live during your studies in the UK. Many UK universities will offer international students a room in a hall of residence – this can be convenient and removes the work of searching for a place to live in the town or city. A hall of residence may be located on- or off-campus but all costs will usually be included in your rental fee.

The most common alternative to this is renting a shared house or flat with other students. You may feel more immersed in the local community if you choose this type of accommodation but you will also need to budget for other costs such as utility bills (e.g. electricity and gas use).

There is likely to be detailed information about the accommodation choices available to you on the website of your college or university, or you can contact the accommodation office. Some useful information for international students about living in the UK, including detailed information about paying rent and other costs and signing a contract, can be found on the Choosing accommodation page on the UKCISA website.

If you have a question related to academic life and study in the UK and you can’t find the answer in the Prepare for Success learning resources, write it on the Question Wall and we will try to answer it here in the blog next time.

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I heard there are many accents in UK. How will I understand different English speakers?

Today’s blog post is in reply to a question from a student on the Question Wall:
“I heard there are many accents in UK. How will I understand different English speakers?”

This student is right in that it is normal to hear a range of accents on campus at your college or university as well as in everyday life when you come to study in the UK. On campus, in addition to different varieties of British English, you can expect to hear varieties of English from around the world spoken by international students and staff. Your ears will soon get used to this variety and you can expect your listening skills to be one of the first to improve as you learn to communicate with people from lots of different places!

For ‘a tour of the British Isles in accents’, listen to this short recording of a small number of them, made by dialect coach, Andrew Jack, on the BBC website: A tour of the British Isles in accents. Can you hear the differences as he changes accent?

To listen to more accents from around the UK, visit the BBC Voices website where you can click on a map and listen to some extended speech recorded from a speaker originating from that part of the country: BBC Voices. These voices show a range of accents, as well as a range of examples of formal to extremely informal styles of speaking.

If you have a question related to academic life and study in the UK and you can’t find the answer in the Prepare for Success learning resources, write it on the Question Wall and we will try to answer it here in the blog next time.

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What digital literacy skills are needed for study in the UK?

Two students using laptopsThis week’s blog post is in reply to a librarian who has been asked to help identify resources for teaching literacy skills relevant for students coming to study in UK higher education from her college. The student needs she mentions are “adapting to big libraries; information search skills (online) and use of e-resources expected in the UK.”

Mobile phone showing a PLEA free resource that may help educators and support staff as well as students themselves is The Digital Literacies Toolkit – a free set of learning resources to help students and educators explore a range of web 2.0 tools that can be used for study-support purposes, and to raise awareness of good practice in relation to social software.

If you have a question related to academic life and study in the UK and you can’t find the answer in the Prepare for Success learning resources, write it on the Question Wall and we will try to answer it here in the blog next time.

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Can I work in the UK?

This week’s blog post is in answer to a student’s question about doing a part-time job while studying at university in the UK. To find out whether you, specifically, are allowed to work while studying as an international student in the UK, you will need to check your own passport (or possibly identity card). This is quite complicated as there are various categories and levels of permission associated with working. It is also possible that your passport stamp will say ‘work prohibited / no work’. For the information you will need to decide whether or not you are allowed to work while studying in the UK, and to see examples of the different passport stamps relating to work permission, you are advised to look at the UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs) website: UKCISA: Can you work?

If you are already studying at university in the UK and are wondering if you can do any part-time work or not while you are here, the Student Services department of your university or college may be able to help you find the answer.

If you have a question related to academic life and study in the UK and you can’t find the answer in the Prepare for Success learning resources, write it on the Question Wall and we will try to answer it here in the blog.

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