Problems facing International Students in the UK

Studying abroad may not be a pleasant experience for everyone. If you are an international student pursuing higher education in the UK then you will know for sure that there are a lot of potential problems that you will have to tackle on your own. It is essential to identify those problems and find solutions to them so that you can feel confident, relaxed and happy throughout your stay in the UK. Some of the major problems facing international students in the UK are briefly discussed below, and recommendations are provided to address the concerns.

problems facing international students in UK

  • Homesickness

Homesickness is perhaps one of the most common problems faced by the international students. Your personal circumstances might become even more challenging if you are following a tight schedule that restricts you from visiting your country even during the holidays. Homesickness can force a student to fall into depression, stress and anxiety and have a negative impact on your academic and social life. Some students may opt for student counselling services to learn to control their emotions in challenging times.

  • Integration problems

International students are usually not familiar with the culture of United Kingdom. They might have lived a very different life in their own country, and therefore can expect to face problems when adjusting to a new lifestyle. It takes time to integrate into the new culture. Counselling can help students to adjust to the changed environment.

  • Language barrier

A lot of international students experience this problem. The inability to properly make use of language can restrict them from effectively communicating with others and achieving high academic grade. If you are struggling with academic writing tasks such as coursework, assignments, dissertations and reports then it is recommended to obtain help from a reputed student writing service. Moreover, many international students might lack the confidence to engage in conversations. Learning the British accent present another challenge for international students. It is recommended to engage in conversations with the locals and listen to live radio programmes to successfully learn the British accent.

  • Financial problems

Studying abroad can take a toll on your own or your parents’ financial situation. Financial burdens that international students have to bear can make it difficult for them to manage their finances and studies simultaneously. Therefore, it is vitally important that you take maximum advantage of scholarships, financial aids and on campus jobs to improve your financial situation without compromising your education.

  • Immigration issues

Students may suffer from strict immigration laws concerning student visa extension and post study stay in the UK. If there are dependents involved then additional issues such as the increased visa processing fee and increased fund requirement will also have to be considered. Therefore it is advisable to plan in advance to ensure that their immigration needs are met in a timely manner.

  • Accommodation

With their limited network and connections in the UK, international students may also struggle to find a good, secure and cheap accommodation. It is possible to find affordable houses and rooms on various student network websites such as Facebook and GreenTree.


Five Differences Between British and American Education Systems

Academic Writing HelpThe United Kingdom and the United States of America both out-stand rest of the world in terms of having a distinguished and an exceptional education system because every other top university is located either located in the USA or the UK. Here students get to explore an environment which is not only rich in terms of gaining knowledge theoretically but also provides opportunities to them to master the art of implementing their knowledge practically. There is no doubt in the fact that both the countries cater their students in an incredible way and facilitate them in terms of completing higher education. However, there are some notable differences between the two education systems concerning the quality of student life and the education system. Some of the key differences between the UK and US students are given below.

Time duration for Degree Completion

Time length required to complete the degree requirements is the most important difference between the UK and the US education systems. Following are some of the differences between the two regarding time period required for degree completion.

  • It takes one year more in the US than the UK.
  • In both cases the student can opt for PhD program after his or her undergraduate degree but in the UK it’s more common to start with PhD program after the completion of master’s degree.
  • Students under the UK education system have to write course works that are not much diversified and they stick on to the major areas that they have selected unlike the US students who apart from their major course work also get to explore other subjects of various fields.
  • For the US students it takes longer time to complete their degree requirements than the UK students because the US students have to cater for more subjects and activities.

Focus of the Education System

  • The UK education system encourage students to review their concerned fields which keeps their focus mainly on the aspects of their own area of study. It aims to make students excel in the area of study they have opted for whereas the students of the US, apart from their major subjects, study other subjects outside the scope of their majors and experience the breadth of various fields.

Student Homework and Grading Criteria

  • As the education system of the US gives more consideration to the breadth of different academic fields of study, students have to prove their capabilities by undertaking assignments, quizzes, presentations, and formal exam covering percentage of the overall course mark. The rest of the grading depends on other tasks of the semester.
  • Unlike the US education system, in the UK the students undergo one final exam mostly with some occasional assignments. At times no assignments are required to be completed rather the final grade is based on one final exam.

Cost and accommodation



Education cost Type of accommodation
US Higher

Public institutions 2 years cost: Around $ 3000/year

Private institutions 4 years cost: $ 50,000/year

Provide students with residence halls to live. Students also share bedrooms with at least two students in each.
UK Moderate

Approximately $ 14,300/year

Usually it’s common to have single bedrooms. Bedroom sharing has also become common in the recent years.

Student traits

  • US students love having parties and drinking alcohol though the legal age for drinking is 21. In UK students can drink at the age of 18.
  • UK students are more self-disciplined than the US students.


Top 5 Dissertation Writing Mistakes Made by UK Students

Dissertation is the pinnacle or the culmination of your degree course. It provides you with the opportunity to test your own understanding of a subject by applying the knowledge which you have received over the entire course period. Dissertation can help you get your skills and abilities acknowledged by the potential employers, and therefore can play a valuable role in your professional career as well. However, there are some mistakes made that can prove disastrous and prevent your dissertation from being considered impeccable. The top five mistakes are given below.

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  • Plagiarism

Plagiarism is when you present another author’s work and findings as your own. As there is a lot of information available on the internet, some students find it easy to simply copy and paste that information in their thesis. There is nothing wrong with you wanting to quote some other research in your dissertation to strengthen your arguments but this should be done after changing it into your own words coupled with proper referencing. Plagiarism not only leaves a bad impression on the reader but also shows the lack of critical thinking abilities in the writer.

  • Lacking Structure

For your research to look impressive it is necessary for it to have a proper structure. Lack of structure can confuse the reader and also make your arguments sound not very convincing. Any dissertation should start with the very basic concept and then gradually move on to more complex stuff. Initially it should start with introduction then move on to related researches that are to be mentioned in the literature review. After that your own findings along with the supporting arguments should be presented and in the end a short but well written conclusion should be given.

  • Lack of supporting arguments

One of the biggest mistakes which you might make is not provide any supporting arguments to their findings and observations. Even though their stance can be totally correct but still in order to strengthen it, supporting arguments in form of similar researches and findings should be given. These arguments play a very convincing role when a reader is going through your dissertation.

  • Bad referencing or unauthentic sources

Sometimes students forget to use enough sources in their research or forget to mention them in their dissertation. References give the impression that the topic is well researched. Sadly students don’t realize their true worth and therefore suffer in the end. Another problem with referencing is when the material you have quoted comes from an unreliable and erratic source. Therefore it is recommended that students use enough, credible and properly formatted references when writing their dissertation.

  • No proofreading

Proofreading is done when you have finished writing your dissertation to check for any grammatical or formatting errors and missing arguments or information. This is very important but unfortunately is taken very seriously be many students. Therefore, it is highly recommended that before you submit your dissertation you go through it at least once or twice so that you can spot the mistakes on time and eliminate them from your dissertation.

Writing a dissertation is an easy task but writing an outstanding dissertation is a tough job to do, so it is recommended that students should seek expert advice and guidance before writing their dissertation.

Some Useful Tips to Write the Perfect Main Body of Your Academic Paper

Essay writing Service

Essay writing Service


Since the body comprises of 80 % of the paper it is essential that it covers all the supporting opinions in a rational and consistent way. The ultimate purpose of this section is to convince the reader that the main idea is correct and right, by backing it with relevant argumentations and evidences.   The contents of the body are given below.

Contents of the body

Writing the Main Body of Your Academic Paper

Writing the Main Body of Your Academic Paper

  • Main Ideas:

Main ideas are a set of reasons that firmly support the proposition presented as thesis. They cover all the main aspects of the thesis and give the reader an idea that the topic has been thoroughly researched and looked into.  However it is necessary for these arguments to be presented in a very organized manner, starting from the very basic concept and slowly built into a complex idea. If these arguments are not arranged in a systematic way then they may not sound convincing.

  • Supporting Ideas:

Supporting ideas are basically the supporting pillars of the main arguments. They consist of evidences that can strengthen the main ideas. The supporting ideas for one main idea are usually grouped together in a single or multiple paragraphs depending on the requirement however it is important that the consistency between the paragraphs is not compromised when the selection of transition words is done.

  • Evidences:

Evidences act as proofs and confirmation that the view point presented in thesis is right. These can be in form of other researches, reports or papers and therefore the main source of evidences is secondary data available on that particular thesis. However there is a proper manner of using these evidences. This manner is presented in the following steps. I was able to find some great report writing tips and advice on this page.

Writing the Main Body of Your Paper


Topic: Connection between Ungolu Rainforest Destruction and Red tailed Swallow Extinction

  • The main idea in this case would be that the extinction of Red Tailed Swallow would adversely affect the Rainforest and would contribute to its destruction.
  • The supporting idea would be that as this bird is the only insectivorous bird in the region and plays a crucial role in keeping the population of Cockscrew Beetles under control, in its absence the population would grow and destroy the forest.
  • The evidence for this destruction is presented in an earlier research in which Cooper has stated that these beetles make holes in the tree barks and makes them hollow from inside and thus killing the tree within three weeks.

This example clearly shows the approach which should be taken in order to make the entire idea sound convincing. It is in form of a pyramid where the base consists of all the proofs that fortify the supporting ideas on the second level and these supporting ideas act pillars for the top level by providing reasoning for the main ideas.


Body is the central and most important part of a thesis. It presents the main findings and also provides supporting arguments along with evidences which further strengthen idea or the concept presented in the paper. Therefore in order to make the entire argument sound convincing the body should be well organized and systematically arranged. The evidences should be consistent with ideas and should be relevant.


Some Useful Tips on Academic Essay Writing

Essay Writing Help and Tips

Academic Writing Help

An accomplished academic essay requires students to dig deep and pay attention to details rather than simply making miscellaneous observations on a research topic. It is absolutely critical to include strong and relevant arguments in your essay in order to address the research question. The primary aim is to add value to the existing literature and also prove a set of points through evidence, research, arguments and reasoning. Use of relevant and authentic reference resources within the text and in the list of references adds weight to the arguments.

Sometimes it may be difficult for students to establish the questions they need to seek answer to in their essay and this is where their ability to formulate the research problem can come handy. It can be helpful to start with thinking, reading, browsing and jotting a provisional hypothesis and thesis. According to writing guidelines provided by most UK universities, student should not prematurely commit to their first answer. It is rather recommended to test different arguments and theories. The ability to develop counter-arguments and qualify or revise the evidence and answers along the course of writing is the best possible strategy particularly for beginners.

“Are you Struggling with Academic Essay Writing? Get help from a  professional essay writing company.”

Arguments can be presented in a range of ways. However, what will make your essay stand out is how you begin, develop and end your essay to present your arguments in a precise and clear manner. The flow of the essay should be assessed and revised before submission.

There are many ways of composing a great essay. Some useful tips to help you write a perfect essay are given below:

  • Successful writers love to write and therefore they tend to start writing relatively earlier, even if they are not even fully prepared and ready to write. Gifted writers use their writing as a means to discover and explore rather than using it simple to transcribe.
  • They do not write the entire essay from start to the end in one go. They take their time and write what comes to them naturally or whatever seems readiest to them.
  • It is important to keep the key objectives and purpose of the essay in mind even if you write freely. A recommended approach is to amend and improve as your proceed. It can be helpful to prepare the essay outline before starting to write about the technical issues.
  • Revise, Revise and Revise until your essay does not need any more redrafting and revision. Good writers attend to the whole essay and continue to draft until all pieces of the puzzle are solved. Subtracting, adding and editing different sections of the essay throughout the course of writing helps them to make sure that they stay on the right track. Good writers will also revise sentences once they have prepared a well-organized draft. This help them to make sure that their audience is able to interpret their arguments, statements and ideas, from sentence to sentence, and from paragraph to paragraph.

Writing an Abstract


Faced with the daunting task of writing an abstract for their article, dissertation or thesis many academics and research students get abstracted. They allow themselves to get separated from the job in hand, they withdraw from making a serious attempt to do what is required and they absent themselves from the task. How, then, can academics and research students stay focused on writing a good abstract and not let themselves get abstracted in or disengaged from the process?

Structuring a PhD abstract

A typical way of structuring a PhD abstract is:

  • Paragraph 1 – research purpose: an outline of its context, rationale, research question and limits = what was investigated
  • Paragraph 2 – research design: an outline of the research paradigm/conceptual framework and methods used = how the topic was investigated
  • Paragraph 3 – research findings = what was found
  • Paragraph 4 – contribution to knowledge = research conclusions (after Trafford & Leshem, 2008: 149-150)

Most universities require abstracts to be written according to their own specific requirements which you must follow. There is little or no scope for you to be creative in writing an abstract for a dissertation or thesis. You are required to write your abstract in exactly the way the university’s research committee has decided. If they want it written using a specific structure but without sub-headings and in a stated number of words then you must comply.

Another approach to writing abstracts suggests:

  • Two sentences summarizing the literature
  • Three sentences on the conceptual contribution or main theme
  • One sentence on the methods used
  • One sentence each to summarize the argument of each main chapter
  • Two sentences crystallizing and evaluating the main conclusions (based on Dunleavy, 2003, 204-205)

Abstracts for journals

Writing abstracts for journals requires you to include key details. Failure to include key details in abstracts may be remedied by writing structured abstracts using such headings as: Background, Aims, Methods, Findings, Limitations and Conclusions (see Hartley and Betts 2009, 2016). Another version of the structured abstract uses the following headings: Purpose, Design/methodology/approach, Findings, Practical implications, Originality/value (from Education + Training at These headings have the merit of making you focus not only on providing a well-structured abstract but of also helping you consider the most important content or issues to be covered.

As ever, writers of articles are advised to read the target journal’s Author Guidelines for clear advice. Reading the instructions may well save time and effort. This is especially true when it comes to the number of words allowed and whether or not subheadings are required.

Main requirements for writing abstracts as seen by PhD students

The requirements referred to here are based on analyses of abstracts made, during an academic writing workshop held in April 2010, with over 20 PhD students:

  • The research question, gap in knowledge and rationale for the research needs to be addressed with clarity
  • The methodology used should be succinctly and accessibly expressed for its expected audience
  • Key findings which reflect the main contents of the paper/thesis should be carefully set out
  • The main conclusions, contribution to knowledge and major recommendations need to be made explicit

Other points that abstract writers need to bear in mind include:

  • The need to structure the abstract clearly
  • The need to make a careful selection of keywords and key terms (many journals require writers to produce a separate set of three to six keywords)
  • Because abstracts are usually the first aspect (after the title) of their article or thesis that readers see then they become an important marketing tool for the rest of their work
  • Abstracts should not contain either acronyms or references and should always meet the requirement of conference/journal/university regulations
  • Abstracts should always be written and seen as free-standing and therefore as clearly understandable texts

Common errors or failures in abstract-writing

These errors are based on an analysis of 40 abstracts submitted for a prize awarded for the best abstract at a research conference for PhD students in May 2010. In the call for abstracts all candidates were provided with a set of guidance notes about what the abstracts should contain, how they should be written and a specimen of how they should be formatted.

Of the 40 abstracts submitted:

  • only 16 conformed to the correct format
  • only 21 provided a set of keywords
  • only 16 conformed to the four paragraph requirement

In all, only six candidates managed to produce an abstract which fully complied with the specified requirements.

Typical format errors included:

  • A total failure to pay any attention at all to the specimen abstract provided
  • Failure to follow requirements in the use of upper case, lower case and underlining
  • Inappropriate use of punctuation
  • Use of abbreviations in the abstract title
  • Spelling errors

Abstract writing errors or failures included:

  • Failure to specify, in four separate paragraphs, what was investigated, how the topic was investigated, what was found and what conclusions could be drawn
  • The use of one, two, three or five paragraphs instead of four
  • The use of abbreviations such as ‘c.’ for ‘about’ or ‘etc.’
  • The use of paragraph headings
  • Spelling errors
  • Poor grammar
  • Poor sentence construction (including one 89-word sentence)
  • Use of references
  • Inappropriate use of bullet points
  • Inappropriate use of jargon

Overall conclusion

Abstracts should comply with the requirements set by universities and/or journals and should be written in a clear, direct style. Abstracts are ‘tiny texts’ (see Kamler and Thomson 2006) which compress the argument of an article or a thesis into a small number of words and a small textual space. As such they also invite public interest in the topic investigated and the methods used as well as in the findings and conclusions reached.


© Copyright for this article belongs to Dr Graham Badley

This document was re-printed with the kind permission of Dr. Gerard Sharpling. Original Source of the article is located here:


How to Write an Introduction

writing an introduction

writing an introduction

Writing an introduction is often seen as a relatively straightforward element of the assignment writing process. The reason for this may be that we often find typical ‘ingredients’ in an introduction that we can use, regardless of the assignment we are writing. One of the challenges of writing a good introduction, however, is to be brief, and to stay focused. A rambling or unfocussed introduction, or one that is over-lengthy, will get the essay off to the wrong sort of start an will not create a good impression. In particular, you should avoid being ‘anecdotal’ in your introduction (i.e. writing as if you are telling a story) and you will also need to avoid wasting words by ‘stating the obvious’ and writing a series of over-generalised statements. Below you will find some helpful suggestions for writing introductions to essays and assignments.

What are the typical ‘ingredients’ of an essay introduction?

Trzeciak and Mackay (1994) have identified a number of ‘ingredients’ of an introduction. It will not always be necessary or desirable to include all of them, but they will generally be used in some combination or other, in order to introduce an academic argument.

·         a statement of the importance of the subject

·         mention of previous work on the subject

·         a justification for dealing with the subject

·         a statement of your objectives

·         a statement of the limitations of the work

·         a mention of some of the differing viewpoints on the subject

·         a definition of the topic being discussed

Swales and Feak (2004), meanwhile, focus on the research paper in particular. They attempt to place introduction ingredients into a sequence. They identify the following series of ‘moves’ in a typical introduction to a research paper:

·         Move 1: Establishing a research territory

– by showing that the general research area is important, central, interesting, problematic, etc. (optional)

– by introducing and reviewing items of previous research in the area (obligatory)

·         Move 2: Establishing a niche

– by indicating a gap in the previous research or by extending previous knowledge in some way (obligatory)

·         Move 3: Occupying the niche

– by outlining purposes or stating the nature of the present research (obligatory)

– by listing research questions of hypotheses

– by announcing principal findings

– by stating the value of the previous research

– by indicating the structure of the research paper

Should I follow introduction structures closely?
The above-mentioned elements of an introduction are helpful, and could be followed quite systematically to produce a reasonably acceptable introduction. However, there might be several problems associated with an attempt to follow these introduction structures too closely and to include them in every assignment you write :

·         Your introductions might become too predictable and ‘formula-written’, and may lack a sense of enthusiasm and commitment;

·         Your introduction may become too lengthy in relation to the remainder of the essay (depending on the length of the paper);

·         Your introduction might become too ‘detailed’ and this may spoil the ‘surprise effect’ of what you go on to say next;

·         The existence of an ‘introduction’, as described above, is not self-evident or natural in all disciplines; and even within subjects that commonly require an introduction (typically, social sciences and humanities disciplines) there may be some types of question that do not especially need one (e.g. document commentaries, unseen commentaries on literary texts, business plans, some short law questions, etc.);

·         One of the key aspects of writing an introduction, in many disciplines, is to attract the interest of the reader – if you give the impression that your writing is ‘formula driven’, you may fail to make the sort of impact you want on your reader. Sometimes, of course, the reader is not looking for interesting introductions (especially in fact-based or mathematical work).

Dissertations and theses

In many respects, the procedure for writing an introduction remains the same for a longer piece of writing, such as a dissertation. In particular, it is still very important:

·         To write an ‘eye-catching’ opening sentence that will keep the reader’s attention focused;

·         Not to say everything you have to say in the introduction – save some of your good material for later.

·         To try to keep the reader in ‘suspense’ and to make them read on;

·         To ensure that there is a direct relationship between the introduction and the remainder of the dissertation;

·         To ensure that you do not promise what cannot be fulfilled or what goes beyond what can reasonably be expected.

At the same time, there will also be some differences in your approach. Among these differences are the following:

·         As well as having an overall introduction to your dissertation or thesis, each chapter should also have an introduction (as well as a conclusion). The reason for this is that in a longer piece of writing, it becomes more important to ‘remind’ the reader of what you are doing and why you are doing it, before each chapter continues.

·         Because of its length, there will be more opportunity to introduce a sense of ‘debate’ into the introduction to a thesis; and you will have time to bring in a wider range of references from outside.

·         It is a good idea in a chapter introduction to remind the reader what happened in the previous chapter (e.g. In the previous chapter, the literature relating to the teaching of vocabulary was considered. From this discussion, it was seen that….).

© Copyright for this article belongs to Dr Gerard Sharpling

This document was re-printed with the kind permission of Dr. Gerard Sharpling. Original Source of the article is located here: