We have heard that there are benefits of living in the UK. But, what are the benefits of living in the UK for Indians? What does the UK have that India does not? What indeed are the benefits of living in the UK that all Indians are talking about? Specifically, what are the benefits of living in the UK as a student? Let us explore all the benefits here.
If you migrate to the UK as a worker or even as a student, then your entire life changes. You don’t know anyone there? Brilliant. Your life starts from scratch. From finding a home, to finding friends, from finding your diet, to finding a life. Everything starts again.
The beauty of it?
You learn. You learn a lot about yourself, about your life, your aspirations change. And, you grow. You start thinking differently, you start fighting harder, you strive for a better life. And if you keep at it, you grow and grow. And grow.
I remember, the biggest benefit that I felt was that I had to manage everything of myself on my own. Whether it was from maintaining my finances, to doing my laundry, to keeping a track of my meals, to understanding how much time I needed to give to my studies. No one was there to look at me and supervise.
Although the supervision-less freedom does make you feel proud of who you have suddenly become, but it is only after a few months you realise that it is difficult. However, if you pull through, you grow exponentially.
And once you feel that you have understood how to live and how to sustain yourself without having to rely on anyone else, it gives you strength and confidence.
Settle in the UK
Studying in the UK does not guarantee you getting a settlement visa. However, with the 2-year PSW, you can stay in the UK for 2 years and look for work. What this means is that you do not have to worry about visa sponsorship anymore. Once you do get a job, you can continue to stay in the UK for five years and apply for settlement.
Although a lot of people talk about this, no one talks about the Immigration Health Surcharge! It is true that medical services (non-dental) are free in the UK owing to the NHS, however not for us Asians. We have to pay about INR30,000 for each individual that is moving to the UK. This is part of the visa application process. So, next time someone tells you that healthcare in the UK is free, inform them about this.
Although, yes, for general consultations with the GP, you do not need to pay anything. And that is a huge plus. By paying that amount at the beginning, you can avail of the healthcare benefits for your duration of stay in the UK. Now, compare that with spending thousands of rupees in getting a consultation from a doctor in India.
When you live in the UK and, if you get a chance to live in London, you experience the world. The cosmopolitanism of the city gives you the knowledge and experience to survive in a global atmosphere.
You get to meet so many different type of people that your perspective on life changes. You learn from them, you get inspired by their aspirations and they push you to unimaginable heights. Moreover, the friendships made in a global city last long. Why? Because they are not made out of any culture, finances, or common background. You become confident of handling (read: shining) yourself in unfamiliar situations, thereby adding that extra amount of confidence to your personality.
You up-skill yourself in your own field
This is a massive benefit of living in the UK. Because of the international exposure that you get, you get massively up-skilled in your own field. This helps you grab much better jobs, earn higher incomes, and lead a happy life. Remember that the UK is a global country, and London is a global city. If you happen to study in the latter, you are becoming a global citizen. It means that you can take on challenges that other people cannot. It adds to the overall value of your personality.
Become a Global Citizen
By gaining international skills you become a global citizen who adapts quickly to changing environments. Knowing how to work in an internationally diverse atmosphere along with being able to perform effortlessly makes you stand out. The exact skill that you need to perform at your job is something that can be learned by anyone. However, the skill required to perform in a global company is not common, which you have.
Overall Experience and Quality of Life
Some would say that the previous benefit of living in the UK for its safety has lost its importance. Crime in the UK has gotten worse over the years. In a city like London, especially, cases of knife violence have gone up by 80% between 2014 and 2019. For even the quality living index, London ranks at a shocking 41st position.
However, that apart, it is one of the greatest countries to live in. Why? Because of the amazing opportunities that cities like London provide. Added to that is the cosmopolitan nature of the city, which enable you get international exposure.
Quality of Academic Resources
The other benefit of living in the UK is that the UK is well-equipped with academic resources. Think of the British Library, Oxford University and the like. It is because of these resources that make it a perfect place for students. It is true that students gain international exposure by interacting with students from all over the world.
But, more importantly, they are tutored by well-reputed and experienced professors. These professors guide the students to new heights in their disciplines.
Education for kids between the ages of 5 and 16 and it is provided by State Schools. If, however, you desire to send your kids to a private school, then it is expensive. And state schools do have a good reputation.
Safety and Security
One other benefit of living in the UK is the safety. It feels like a safe and secure country to live in. There are hardly cases of terrorist attacks, or riots, or mob violence. This is due to the diligent efforts of the Police and a perfectly placed law and order system. Surely, London is infamous for knife-crimes, but then what city as big and diverse as London can boast of 100% safety from crime?
Remember that some of these benefits are consequential, meaning that they are bound to happen as a result of you moving abroad irrespective of who you are.
I believe that the maximum knowledge that you can ever receive in this world is via people, so be as social as you can, as interactive as you can and you will realise these benefits to be coming true for yourself!
What should I do next?
Now that we have covered the benefits of living in the UK, aren’t you curious about the challenges? Is it all rosy and beautiful as the benefits make it sound like? Especially for us Indians? Let’s find out!