'Scientia potentia est' - Studying in the UK

The last two years of every undergraduate student's academic life are riddled with some tough choices, hard facts and prominent decisions. It is the time of life when every student faces the dilemma of choosing either higher studies or finding a suitable job. Whichever decision they choose to pursue, it changes their lives in more ways than they would have themselves prepared for.

Ask me, I have been through this terrific phase only recently. It has really been a tiring last few months for me - searching for courses, contacting the faculty, sorting universities made up nearly the whole of it. During the last few days in college, we had picked up on an anthem of sorts - assorted few lines from songs (such as the one below; selected few lines from 'What If' by Coldplay) and movies that reflected of the difficult quandary we suddenly found ourselves in. This quandary is only supposed to be the parts and parcel of the growing-up phase, the prospect of which we always have seemed to loathe.

    'Every step that you take,
    could be your biggest mistake.
    It could bend or it could break,
    that's the risk that you take..'

I personally believe that the path of higher studies is more promising than to pursue a line of work right after one's collegiate education. Albeit it requires an investment of a couple more years that many are not willing to risk. But then again, it is also not too far-fetched if one plans well in advance - where to study, what to study and why?

It is a common belief that India produces some of the brightest students coming off secondary school and junior college education, and that most of them become just another fish in the pond when they fail to get into the best universities in the country. This usually happens due to the high competition, illogical cut-offs, a refutable reservation system and the rampant ambit of dirty politics. Many among these students, frustrated, then apply to foreign universities and are readily accepted there.

Among all the popular destinations for studying abroad, the United Kingdom is among the most pursued country by Indian students.

Photo courtey - http://www.cam-ceeds.org/ckfinder/userfiles/images/cambridge_1

UK provides a wide range of subjects and academic fields to choose from. But from what I've learnt from my friends and peers and also from some of my own reading, United Kingdom is deemed the acme of excellence especially when it comes to studying Arts and Social Sciences.

The United Kingdom boasts of state-of-the-art courses in arts and social sciences, such as Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Art History, Politics and International Relations, Social and Biological Anthropology, Sociology, Linguistics, Modern and Medieval Languages, Gender Studies, Music, Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies. The luxury of studying such courses is neither found in India, nor in half of the other countries in the world. These are specializations within their respective fields and guarantee a selective advantage in placements and employment.

There is an obvious saturation in the contemporary scenario of studying engineering and medical in India. So much so that excellence in Arts and Social Science not only breathes a whiff of fresh air into the higher educational consortium of the country, but is also being considered as the most promising alternative to the others.

Among the top six universities in the world (according to the QS World Rankings) four are in the United Kingdom. From time immemorial, Cambridge is a revered name in higher education and is listed among the cream of the crop. Then there's Oxford, University College and the Imperial College of London, Bristol, Manchester, Edinburgh; all of them being pioneers of world-class education. Prominent personalities from all over the world are but part of the elite group of alumni of such amazing places.

I have both friends and peers studying almost all over the world. And while some note the absence of English as the spoken language in Europe, others in USA sometime mention a subtle religious discrimination. But those studying in the UK boast of a welcome, multicultural and tolerant community that has very positive effects on a student's intellectual growth. Great Britain, being home to the English language, also helps the Indian student to a great extent. After all, the Indians and the British cannot deny a shared history! For English is the language we inherited from our allegiance to the Commonwealth.

Financing one's education is relatively easy in the UK, as the tuition costs for an international student are generally lower than that in USA and other countries. Also, the time period required to complete a Masters or Doctoral program successfully is sometimes lesser than how much it takes in other places. There are also ample opportunities in acquiring prestigious scholarships for international and Indian students for studying in the United Kingdom - Dr. Manmohan Singh Scholarship, Commonwealth Scholarships, the Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarships and so many more that are handled by the British Council in India.

Whoa, will you look at that? I am starting to sound preachy, ain't I?!

Photo Courtesy: http://www.teachaway.com/sites/default/files/featured_teach_in_united_kingdom_2

Although finance, funding, coursework and faculty will be heavily considered by every prospective applicant, there's always something else that tends to lure them in at first. And in the case of UK, there are perhaps a lot more of those to think about!

For starters, every single football fanatic in the world adores the English Premier League, don't they? Out of every three football fans you meet down the street, two will swear by the names of The Gunners, The Reds, The Pensioners or maybe The Toffees (but come on now, we all know that The Red Devils are the ones who rule, right?!). UK also houses the mecca of cricket - The Lords - and the Indians will definitely remember what one defiant Indian captain did on the balcony after their famous 2002 Nat-West Series win.

Taking cue from the song I mentioned earlier in this post, United Kingdom is also home to some of the most famous acts in the history of music: Coldplay, Led Zeppelin, Queen, Adele, Oasis, The Who, Black Sabbath and so many more. Special mention of course, would go to the pioneers of Rock'n Roll - The Beatles. We have all sung, swayed, have 'twisted-and-shouted' to the sound of the four charismatic boys from Liverpool - John, Paul, George and Ringo.

United Kingdom houses the famous countryside (Scottish grasslands and the moors), the most famous addresses (221B Baker Street, cabbie?), the most popular monuments in the world (the Stonehenge!), the most famous personalities ('The name's Bond, James Bond') and a sophisticated accent that is music to one's ear. And oh, let's not miss the famous British humour!

Imagine, you are sitting in one of the archaic classrooms of Cambridge, waiting for the lecture on Art History to begin. Goosebumps! The United Kingdom is waiting for you, eager young minds of tomorrow. Grab your chance, make the most of it and don't let the opportunity go to waste.


This post is written under the topic #KnowledgeIsGreat, hosted by Indiblogger.in and The British Council. Know more at: http://knowledgeisgreat.in/

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