Hi, my name is Emma and I’m the Senior Education Counsellor at Oxford Education Consulting and I work with international students who want to attend university in the UK. In November I visited Surrey University for an Agent training day run by Study Group, who partner with universities across the globe to prepare international students for degree level study.
Visits to universities are very useful as they give you a much better appreciation of the university as a whole, not only the courses they offer but also the myriad of other considerations that a students needs to think about when choosing a university, such as accommodation, location, facilities, leisure activities, and many more. The day was set up to learn about Surrey University and their International Study Centre (ISC) and finished with a tour of the campus. I had a great day meeting other agents, academic staff and also students currently studying at the ISC. We heard about their experiences of studying the different preparation programmes offered at the ISC and also about their thoughts on Surrey University as a place to study and live as a student.
Here is what I learnt on the day:
What are International Study Centres?
At Surrey ISC you can study pathway programmes providing a route to your chosen degree. The academic programmes are flexible and help students to gain the level of language, learning and academic knowledge needed to progress study at a UK University. They also help with cultural and study skills and provide pastoral care for overseas students.
How are these programmes useful for international students?
It can be daunting coming to another country to study at undergraduate or graduate level. Your language might need a bit of improvement or you might be used to a very different style of teaching in your home country. The preparation programmes can help you to learn what to expect.
Students on the courses unanimously said that the small class sizes and care and support on offer helped them enormously to integrate into life at university and to progress onto degree courses.
What are the preparation courses international students can take at the ISC?
The International Foundation Year Programme (FYP) and the Pre Masters Programme (PMP) are programmes of academic subjects, study skills and english language training.
There are three pathways at foundation level:
- Business, economics, law and social sciences
- Engineering and Physical Sciences
- Life Sciences
There are three pathways at pre master level:
- Management, Hospitality, Finance and Tourism
- Health and Medical Sciences
Successful completion of the programme is a pathway to studying at undergraduate degree level or masters level at Surrey University. the programmes are led by expert tutors in their subjects and specialists in university preparation.
There are also separate English language preparation courses for both foundation and masters level.
What are the 6 best reasons to study at Surrey University?
- Top ranked University – Surrey is ranked in the top 25 universities in all 3 of the major UK league tables
- Top Ranked Degree Programmes – the following subjects at Surrey rank in the top 5 in the major UK League tables: criminology, electronic engineering, hospitality, leisure recreation and tourism, music and food science.
- Location – Surrey University is set in a lovely lakeside campus in the beautiful Surrey countryside and yet it is less than 40 minutes on the train to central London.
- Facilities – Surrey has state of the art facilities including a new Library, Sports Park and Art Centre.
- Unrivalled Work Placement Programme – Surrey has partnerships with over 2,300 world employers such as IBM, HSBC and British Airways which offer students fantastic work placement and career opportunities.
- 6. Culturally diverse – Surrey has international students from over 120 different countries making up 37% of the student body.