The United Kingdom is one of the most popular places for US students to study abroad, and with good reason. Britain does a great job of making student travel to the United Kingdom simple and accessible. Though they may sound quite different, the fact that most people in the United Kingdom speak English makes traveling through this country much easier for US students than non-English destinations. For many college students, studying abroad is the first opportunity to live and learn overseas, so going someplace as easy to navigate as the United Kingdom is a safe and exciting first step.
Anyone who holds a US passport can visit the UK for up to 180 days without obtaining any United Kingdom visas. If you plan to study abroad in the United Kingdom, however, you will need to obtain student UK visas. Fortunately, this process is pretty straightforward. The team here at Swift can help you get all of your application materials in order and ensure that your visa comes through without any hitches. Keep in Mind processing is 2-5 days during low season, and 5-10 days in high season (right before the start of a semester).
Getting Ready for Your Trip to the United Kingdom
When you pack for your trip, remember to keep all of your most important documents with you, and to keep them safe. It’s a good idea to have your passport, driver’s license, student ID, health insurance card, and a list of emergency contacts, including your local consulate’s phone number. Keep all of your important documents somewhere safe where your r
oommates and the other people in your building can’t access them.
While you’re in the United Kingdom, be sure to make the most of your trip. Of course, you’re there to study, but that doesn’t mean can’t also take weekends to travel around Britain. You won’t need any visas or special travel documents to get to Wales, Ireland, England, or Scotland.
And remember that the UK is a great jumping off point for the rest of Europe. If you have a US passport, you can visit most countries in Europe without a visa. There are also lots of great discounts and programs that make it even easier to travel around Europe than it is to travel in the US. You can get a discounted student rail card to visit different countries by train, and you should certainly consider staying in hostels that are designed to help young travelers get around inexpensively and meet a lot of other travelers along their journey.
Again, contact the Swift team if you have any questions about how to obtain a student visa for the United Kingdom, or anywhere else that you might be studying.
Rob Lee is co-founder of Swift Passport and Visa Services. Originally from Michigan, Rob is an avid fisherman and SCUBA diver who enjoys adventure travel.