Life After Brexit: Welcoming International Students
In a recent decision witnessed worldwide, the British public voted to leave the European Union. Now that some time has passed following this momentous decision, the dust has begun to settle and people are coming to terms with how Brexit will affect their day-to-day lives. But what does this mean for international students looking to study in the UK?
As a global company with a number of schools in the United Kingdom, Kaplan International is a welcoming and diverse learning institution. With learners from over 140 different nationalities, we have always loved how unique our extended family is. Students come to Kaplan for a number of reasons, whether to gain overall improvement in their English skills, to access the best English-speaking universities, or to travel the world and connect with different people and cultures. Our UK schools offer all this and more, providing a rich diversity of locations in cities brimming with culture, history, and stunning natural landscapes.
To help you make sense of how the British Exit (Brexit) will affect potential study abroad students, we’ve put together a couple of answers to common questions on everyone’s mind. Although many of the intricate details are still being finalized, we are happy to provide more clarity on what this decision means for you.
What is Brexit?
On June 23, the United Kingdom voted out of the European Union as part of an EU in-or-out referendum. For over 40 years, the UK has been a member of the EU, an economic union that allows the free movement of goods, capital, services, and people between its member states. Throughout the UK’s membership, European citizens have been able to work, live, and study in the UK without restrictions, and vice versa.
How will it affect you?
For EU students:
Currently, there are roughly 125,000 European students studying in the United Kingdom, and it is unlikely that the EU students already in the UK will see any major changes to visa requirements once the exit has officially gone into effect.
For non-EU students:
If you previously required a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, then you will still need that visa with the same conditions. There should be no major changes regarding visas for non-EU international students.
When will Brexit go into effect?
Leaving the EU is no small task, and it will take some time to finalize the details of the UK’s new relationship with the rest of Europe. This means that things are not going to change right away. Once the UK triggers Article 50, the formal process of leaving the EU, it will take 2 years for the UK and the EU to negotiate a leaving deal. The UK has not indicated when Article 50 will go into effect.
Although many have been wondering whether or not European students will now require visas to study in the UK, nothing is likely to change between 2016-2018.
Will this affect traveling in the UK?
Since the UK voted to leave, the pound (the British currency) has fallen in value, which means it’s now cheaper for foreign students traveling and living in the UK. Day-to-day living costs will also be less expensive if you are relying on paying for things in a foreign currency or exchanging your local money for pounds.
So whether you are already in the UK, have a trip planned in the near future, or are looking to book a course, there are still plenty of reasons to be excited about your experience studying English in the UK. Benefit from the historical heritage of the birthplace of the English language and experience the iconic landmarks, the British seaside, and the quintessential traditions that make the UK such a popular destination. Both Kaplan and the UK welcome international students, and we are eager to include you in our international family.
Hopefully, this creates a clearer understanding for what the future holds for international students looking to learn English abroad. If you would like to learn more about our English schools in the UK or just have any questions, feel free to contact us or leave a comment below.