Universities in London are among the best in the world. It is home to the University of London and the Imperial College. Spending a semester or two in the city will give you a wider perspective and better prepare you for life after you graduate college. There are a lot of students who enroll in these short courses not only because of the quality of the universities, but also because of what London has to offer.
London also has some of the best language schools in the world. If your intention is to improve your English, then London is a first rate study destination.
The first thing you need to do is to get a short term study visa. To facilitate your visa processing, you need to have chosen an educational institution (e.g language school or university). One of the most important requirements in obtaining the visa is that you are studying at an educational institution “approved” to sponsor overseas students. Start by looking at the UK’s Trusted Sponsor’s List [link to https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/register-of-licensed-sponsors-students]. You can contact the institution directly to enquire about available short term study programs. If you wish to study at a university, you may be able to go to the university’s international office in your home country to ask about partner universities in London.
Once you have been accepted, you will be given the necessary documents that will help you during your application.
Prepare all the documents
There are a lot of requirements to process your visa. Some of the documents you will be asked for:
• a current passport or other valid travel identification
• evidence that you can support yourself during your trip, for example bank statements or payslips for the last 6 months
• details of where you intend to stay and your travel plans
• your tuberculosis (TB) test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test and you’re coming to the UK for more than 6 months
• contact details for at least one parent or guardian in your home country (if you’re under 18 years old)
• proof of the course you’re studying, for example a letter of acceptance from the educational institution
You will then have an appointment at the British embassy or consulate in your country for the visa processing. If everything is approved, your passport will be collected and you will be informed on when you can get your passport back. You can visit https://www.gov.uk/study-visit-visa for more information regarding the visa processing requirements.
Always check your email
You will be notified via email if you visa is already approved. You will also be informed if there is a problem regarding your application and you need to submit additional documents before they can continue processing. You just have to follow the instructions and send them on time.
Double check your visa
Once the visa has been approved, you will be informed about it. This takes a couple of days or weeks in some cases depending on your country of origin. Double check every information on the visa page. Make sure that it covers your entire dates of stay in the country. Your personal information must also be spelled correctly.
Plan your stay in London
Getting the visa is just the first step. Once you have survived this phase, you can now plan your time in the UK. There are a lot of amazing places to visit so you definitely have to start planning. You should also decide where to stay. Choosing to stay in homestay (or “host family”) accommodation [link to www.hfslondon.com] is a nice option as it allows you to have more of a “local” experience. Staying with a host family will likely be much cheaper than other short term accommodation options too, especially in London.
It takes some time before your visa is approved, but once it is, you can look forward to exciting times ahead.