Moving abroad to study in a foreign country is a huge decision, and it is often a life-changing experience for the student. There is something really incredible and special about moving on your own to another country, to experience the culture and lifestyle first-hand. It will allow you to have new independence, and it’ll also be a time in your life you always remember.
For many international students, they choose London because it’s a city they have always dreamt of living in, and it’s not hard to see why London would be someone’s first choice. London has multiple colleges, schools and universities, and it is a vibrant, bustling, friendly city where entertainment, culture and history can be experienced around every corner. It’s a wonderful place to live – so applying for courses and school can be competitive and confusing.
The journey to being accepted onto your ideal course and ensuring the whole process runs smoothly, is something you might want a little help with. But don’t worry, that’s what this article will help you understand, and will give you key ideas and insight into ensuring your study experience goes seamlessly.
Finding Study Agents in your Home Country
If studying in London has been a lifelong dream for you, and you’re looking to begin making it happen – one of your first steps should be finding an educational agent, or (as they’re also known) a study agent in your home country.
A study agent is someone who will help you locate the right course for you and ensure you have all the qualifications or experience to get accepted onto said course. They can help manage your entire application journey – making things much less stressful or time consuming for you, and ensuring you’ve maximise your chances of getting accepted.
The best way to find a study agent is to look online. Many countries have their own educational travel associations that the study agents belong to. Usually it is the most reputable agents that are linked to such associations. For example, BELTA is the “Brazilian Educational & Language Travel Association”. If you are a student from Brazil, and you want to identify a reputable Brazilian study agent, then BELTA is a great place to start. Another reputable association is FELCA. FELCA describes itself as a “federation of language and education consultant associations from all over the world”.
If you already know which UK school or university you wish to study at, then another option is to contact them directly to ask for recommendations on study agencies in your home country. Many educational institutions have “preferred partner” or “affiliate” relationships with study agents from all over the world. So, if you are a student from Japan for example, and you know that you want to study Economics at London’s UCL, then contact UCL directly. Ask them to recommend and put you in touch with their affiliated (or preferred) educational agents in Japan.
Of course, if you have friends or peers that can recommend a reputable study agent, then this is also a great way to get started. Maybe post on Facebook or LinkedIn and ask for recommendations. You never know which of your contacts might be able to suggest a good study agent in your home country.
What to Consider When Looking for a Study Agent
Choosing the right study agent could be a big factor in your own study experience, as it could affect the course or the school you get accepted into.
It’s important to remember, some study agents will have existing relationships with certain schools, universities or colleges – so you may stand slightly more chance of being accepted for courses / spaces if this is the case.
If your chosen study agent has experience with certain schools or universities – they probably know the application process very well – which again, puts you at an advantage and means the process may be slightly quicker or more efficient.
You may not have a particular school or university in mind at all (which is normal and completely fine!) so in these cases, you’ll want to make sure your chosen study agent has plenty of local knowledge and can recommend the best courses or schools for your field of interest / skillset.
Once you’ve Found a Study Agent… Then What?
Then the exciting stuff begins, and you get to start planning your future. Depending on how involved your study agent is, will depend on what happens next.
If you have your heart set on a specific course and a specific school, your study agent will work with you to make your application as good as possible and as tailored as possible to that course’s and that school’s specific requirements. They may also research and present to you some alternative courses and schools as a back-up plan, that are similar to your initial choice.
If however, you’re a little more flexible around course, subject and school – your study agent will most likely have a few questions for you – all so they can begin finding some fantastic choices for you to look at. They’ll probably present you with several options and choices, and you’ll then be able to pick the ones you want to apply for, with their help and assistance.
The key here is to listen to their advice and trust their experience in the education system. The end goal of a good study agent is always to place you in the best placement suited to you.
Your Study Agent Might Offer Other Recommendations Too
Your study agent isn’t just there for course and school applications. Many of them will give you advice on wider topics too – and will help make the entire process of studying abroad easier for you.
A good study agent will likely give you guidance on visas, which can be confusing and overwhelming, as well as accommodation, travel and lifestyle too – to ensure that your move over to the UK is as stress free as possible.
One of the services your study agent may recommend to you during your meetings, is HFS London – and we actually get a lot of our business through the recommendations of study and educational agents. Our hassle-free system of finding local and trusted homestay accommodation in London, means that it’s easy and simple for you to find a wonderful home during your time studying in London. Our host families are welcoming and friendly that they come highly recommended by many study agents across the city, and our system for booking is easy to navigate too.