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London university planning

Research & attending student fairs

Doing your university research

There are multiple things to consider when deciding which London university you'd like to attend. There are obvious things like what’s included in your course and the campus location within the capital, but also some crucial items you may not have thought of too... Like, how many students secure a job right after graduating? How does the culture compare with what you’re used to at home? And what experience do your potential tutors have?

Here are some key factors to consider when choosing your course:

 -  What do you want to do once you graduate?
 -  Do you prefer coursework or exams?
 -  Are there any Erasmus programmes or industrial placement years?
 -  How does the course rank across different universities?
 -  How is the course valued by future employers?
 -  Are there any language or additional entry requirements?

Plus you'll want to think about the following when choosing your London university:

 -  What area in London do you want to live in?
 -  How does the university rank? Check out the Top 10 Ranked Universities in London
 -  What are the work experience opportunities through the university?
 -  How much will being at university in London cost you?
 -  What are the student accommodation options?
 -  Are there any open days or student fairs you can attend?

You'll also want to make sure your second and even third choices for courses and universities are as well researched as your first. While we're sure you'll achieve all the grades you need to secure your first choice, it's always good to have a backup plan that you'd still be happy with. 

The importance of university fairs

Deciding to go to university in London is a major, life-changing decision. Alongside buying a house, a university education is one of the biggest financial investments you can make... You wouldn’t want to buy a house without seeing it first, so why consider doing so with your university?

When deciding to spend the next few years of your life studying and living in London, you'll want to know a bit more about the university, the course and accommodation that you’re about to invest your hard-earned money and time in. This is where student fairs and open days come in - here's just a few of the reasons why they're so beneficial:

 -  Get to see the university campus
 -  Ask about different courses
 -  Ask about the application process
 -  Talk to professors
 -  Meet current students
 -  Get a feeling for what the university and culture is like
 -  Practise your interview skills
 -  Find out about tuition fees
 -  Ask about scholarships and bursaries 
 -  Ask about any language requirements
 -  Attend seminars with local professionals
 -  Tour the student accommodation options

Don't worry if you can't get to an in-person fair due to being an international student, many universities also hold virtual events and you can book in a virtual tour with London student housing providers to view the room options and facilities.

Making the most of student fairs

There will be a lot going on at any university fair or student event that you attend, simply because there's so many different courses and topics to cover for such a wide range of prospective students. Check out our top 5 tips to help you get the most out of attending:

1) Prepare questions

If you already have an idea if you want to continue your studies at a London university, or the course you want to focus on, you can prepare questions for those universities and departments. It can be useful to do a little research before going to these events so that you can ask specific questions, however there's no pressure and you'll also be inspired to ask additional questions once you're there.

2) Take a friend

The university teams will always be super friendly, but we appreciate that it can still be a bit nerve wracking striking up a conversation with a stranger at a stall, so take a friend or family member with you to provide some moral support. If your school doesn’t already provide any university fair trips, maybe suggest it to a teacher - not everyone is able to travel to events like these so it could also be beneficial for some of your classmates.

3) Grab a brochure

Make sure to grab a brochure or prospectus from each stand you visit as they're super handy to read once you're home and can properly digest all the info. We also recommend taking a bag with you so that you can carry anything you’re given as lots of university and accommodation stalls will hand out freebies and tasty treats to make the most of. 

4) Talk to everyone

Even if you're almost certain which path you want to take, it's important to keep an open mind and talk to a range of people who provide different things. Sometimes a path you may not have considered yet could be the perfect next step in your education or student housing journey.

5) Ensure you have all the info you need

The admissions officers will be able to give you a rough idea of what grades you need to achieve in order to move onto the next step. This is essential in helping you stay motivated! By finding out exactly what qualifications you need in order to get onto the course you want, you'll be able to ask your teachers exactly what you need to do to make sure you achieve those grades.

Time to apply

After attending your chosen student fairs and deciding on the university or universities you'd like to apply to in London, it's time to submit your official application with UCAS.

The application is made up of 10 key stages and can be submitted via the UCAS website:

 1.   Register with UCAS
 2.   Complete your details
 3.   Add your education history
 4.   Complete any employment history
 5.   Select your course choices
 6.   Write a personal statement
 7.   Submit your application to your referee
 8.   Get a reference
 9.   Pay your application fee (if required)
10.  Send your application through to UCAS

Don’t leave applying until the last minute as there’s quite a bit to do – but you don’t need to complete the application all at once. Take your time and check in with your school and referee to make sure you're submitting your best work and really selling yourself.
Now you're all set to apply for your London university place. Got any other questions about student living in London? Chat to our team - they'll be more than happy to help.

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