Home or away?

 

For most people studying for a degree used to mean leaving home at the same time, and for lots of people that will still be their top choice.  But with the growth of HE across the country many students now choose to live at home while they study.

It's important to think carefully about whether staying at home or going away to study is the right choice for you. Here are some pros and cons for you to think about:-

Home

  • If you want to minimise the amount of debt you leave university or college with, studying close to home can be appealing and is certainly one way of cutting down your living expenses.
  • You may not want to move away from your family or friends.  And if you've already got a part-time job and can carry it on by studying locally, the change between school and higher study won't seem so great a step.

Away

  • You can immerse yourself in student life, living with other students and enjoying all the activities and entertainment on offer.
  • It gives you the chance to live in a different town or city, make new friends and have a more independent lifestyle.  You might find you miss out a bit on this if you are travelling to and from college or university every day.

Whether living at home or away you don't start paying any of your student loan back until the April after you graduate and are earning over £21,000.  See our page on student finance for more information.

Study Abroad

There may be opportunities for you to study or work abroad as part of your degree course - and this isn't just for those studying or good at languages - some degree courses in European universities are now taught in English.  You may want to consider studying for your entire degree course overseas.  There are lots of issues to consider such as funding and you might need a visa or to sit entry tests.

If you are serious about studying an entire degree abroad you need to start your research at least a year in advance (preferably 18 months ahead) to give yourself enough time to apply, complete any tests required, organise visas and find funding.

There are several websites that provide information about studying abroad.  For starters take a look at A Star Future and the Study and Work Abroad section of the British Council.

So will you stay or go?

It really comes down to your own personal choice and priorities. Whichever you decide, though, it's very important to choose a course that's right for you and that you'll enjoy, so that you stay motivated.

Do weigh up all your options carefully. Don't settle for something just because it's close to home.

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