Problems International Students Face When Studying in the UK

international students walking
May 2021 by


Studying in the UK as an international student can be daunting. Especially if you’re not entirely comfortable with the language, it’s not the easiest. That being said, there is plenty you can do to overcome these challenges despite how hard they might seem to you. We’ve listed many of the problems you might face as an international student and how to overcome them, so you’re ready for anything that gets in your way!

Writing in English

If it isn’t your first language, English can be complicated to learn. Some people say it’s a much more complex language than most others, so it’s okay if you haven’t managed to get it perfect. Universities don’t expect perfect English from international students, so you have nothing to worry about. You should also know whereabouts you are with your English from your IELTS results. If you do want to write a strong piece in English though, you could always go with a writing service. We offer our own assignment writing services as well as many others so you can get your work spot on. This could help you with getting better grades too, so if you’re struggling, it’s worth checking it out!


Even if you think you won’t miss home when you leave, you will be surprised how much you do. It’s very natural to feel homesick when you leave for university, particularly as, unlike many other students, you’re not just a drive away. It doesn’t have to be all bad, though! You should try and enjoy your time at uni while you can. Make lots of friends because that will help with feeling lonely! Also, you can always fly home during the holidays or give your family a call if you’re really missing them. They are probably missing you just as much!

Making friends

Speaking of making friends, it can sometimes sound a lot easier than it actually is. However, you have a good few opportunities to make friends, so hopefully, some work out for you. You’ll be able to socialise with the people you live with or even those in your classes. If you’re struggling in both of those areas, you can also try going to societies. Sometimes societies can be the best place to meet people as there’s plenty to choose from. It’s good to go to society in an area you enjoy meeting people with similar interests. All of these ideas are great, but if you’re struggling to meet people because of a language barrier, one alternative is people who speak your language. You won’t be the only student from your country and sometimes they have societies for people of different languages. Take a look at your universities website and see what they have to offer.

Communicating with people

As mentioned, if this is something you’re really struggling with, it can be great to find people with that issue in common. Although, that doesn’t mean you have to talk to only those people. It can be frustrating to have limited options just because you don’t understand one another. Thankfully, there’s a lot of support for international students at university. If it’s really getting you down, speaking to your university advisors is a great place to start. They are there to help you, so let them know how you’re feeling. People also don’t want to make things difficult for you. If you don’t understand something or you need something repeated, don’t be afraid to ask your friends. They won’t mind and at the end of the day, you’ll learn from it!

Culture shock

You may have heard of this phrase as it is passed around a little. It’s one of the most common things international students encounter. It’s defined as feeling disorientated when experiencing a way of life or a culture that is unfamiliar to the person. Things are different worldwide, so adjusting to your new way of life can be difficult. Our advice? Speak to somebody at university who can help you. There are plenty of advisors and ones, especially for international students, that can guide you through that adjustment. Over time it won’t seem so overwhelming, but there’s nothing wrong with feeling out of place at first. Check out your uni’s website for more info.

UK bank accounts

Spending your money while you’re in the UK can be quite complicated. We don’t have the bank accounts you might find in your home country, which means you’d have to set up a new bank account over here. The question is, how do you choose which one? Each bank offers an account and they come with many different benefits too. The biggest thing you need to consider is how much it costs to send money from your bank account to your UK one. There is usually a small fee, so it’s important you find the bank that works for you. If you want to know more about this, you can read our post on the best banks for international students. Hopefully, it’ll help you form your decision.

Let us know if you have experienced any other problems or difficulties – just mention them in the comments below!



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