It is no secret that the quality of higher education abroad is considered significantly higher, and British universities regularly occupy the first places of the rankings. Let's see how you can go there right after a foreign school.
We must begin with the fact that the school system of Great Britain is significantly different from foreign ones, which is the first difficulty. British schoolchildren study up to 18 years, and in the last grades only those subjects that they need for admission to pre-university studies are held. In this regard, foreign applicants most often also need to finish a year in a British school in order to then pass exams in the specialty, language test (IELTS) and master academic English. Nevertheless, there are different ways to prepare for admission.
- The first way. The most popular solution before the closure of the borders was to send the child to a British student camp, where you can learn English and get a certificate of the International Foundation program, which serves as an analogue of university preparation for foreign students. Right now, that opportunity is significantly limited by the pandemic, so other options are worth considering.
- The second way. When the task is to enter a particular university, the best option was to enroll in the International Foundation program of this university. Thus, it is possible to immediately kill two birds with one stone: prepare for exams and begin to merge into student life. Unfortunately, this option has the same limitations as the first.
- The third way. Another opportunity was to enroll in a two-year A-Level program and study with British schoolchildren. This requires an excellent command of English, since there will be no additional language courses there, well, the actual trip to the UK with the ensuing features.
- The fourth way. Finally, there is an option to prepare for admission - specialized centers for preparing for admission to foreign universities. They offer both two-year programs (A-Level and IB) and one-year (ALF). Having received a diploma of such a center, you can safely enter any British university.
What do foreign students need for admission?
To enter a British university, you will need the following documents:
- Diploma of A-Level, IB or International Foundation
- IELTS Certificate
- Properly executed application to the university.
Now let's talk more about programs
- A-Level. This is a classic high school diploma. It is it that British graduates submit when entering the university. Designed for two years.
- International Foundation. Special program for foreign applicants. You can study on it in the UK or in a special center with a license.
- IB. An international program for high school students, giving a certificate of complete general education. It was created in Switzerland for children 16-19 years old.
Features of the ALF program
In the development of this program, materials of the classic British course for high school students A-Level were used, but with a focus on teaching foreign students. The ALF program will take 9 to 12 months to complete, which saves one year compared to other programs. The course includes compulsory subjects, elective disciplines, assistance with the choice of profession, university and the preparation of a properly executed entrance application.
Studying takes place in English, which allows the student to gradually prepare for the realities of studying at an English-speaking university. The schools employ both native speakers and native teachers who have received a certificate in the UK. The obvious advantages of this program include the usual learning environment, the absence of the need to go to the UK, high-quality preparation for exams and personal recommendations and help from experienced mentors.
Also, the school offers the opportunity to actively participate in conversation clubs, thematic classes and consultations on career opportunities in the framework of additional activities - this creates a prototype of the atmosphere of a rich student life on campus.
The ALF structure consists of three blocks:
- Basic subjects. Within the framework of this block, students will master the skills common to all specialties that are required for successful study at the university and work: courses in research and communication, data analysis and statistics skills, preparation for IELTS, essay writing assignments and presentations.
- Elected subjects. In this block, the subjects that are required by the applicant for admission to the chosen specialty will be studied.
- Career guidance. This block involves the preparation of a correctly executed application to the university, registration in the UCAS system, personal consultations of the mentor on studies and admission.
When entering through such schools and colleges, the application to the university will be sent in January along with the main stream, as well as all the required documents: the results of the ALF program, the foreign certificate and IELTS. After consideration of the application, British universities send the selected students information about conditional enrollment, after which it is required to send the rest of the documents after the June exams. When making a decision on enrollment, the student's work during the year is taken into account.