Immigrant Students In UK

Overcoming obstacles: Stories and strategies of immigrant students in UK

Welcome to our new blog, friends! Today, let us dig deep into what obstacles immigrant students in the UK face daily. The total number of students who travel to study in the UK has potentially increased in the last few decades. Experiencing a new life and studying in the UK is rewarding in many ways. Yes, it is! But you may encounter many obstacles as an immigrant student in the UK.

Advantages of overseas education:

The UK is considered one of the top five host countries and has a continuous increase in the arrival of international students every year. It is because immigrant students in the UK have many benefits related to their international education.

Some are as follows:

  • Proficiency in a foreign language
  • Improve academic competence
  • Increase employment prospects
  • Experience the multicultural environment.
  • Nurture personal qualities.
  • Socialise with international people both personally and professionally.

Not only do the immigrant students in the UK enjoy advantages, but they also benefit their host country in one way or another.

Overcoming obstacles: Stories and strategies of immigrant students in UK studiesBelow are some of the social, economic, cultural, and political benefits that international students bring to the UK:

  • Immigrant students in the UK pay tuition fees and use food, accommodation, transport, tourism, and other education-related services in the UK.
  • It brings good revenue to the UK.
  • They are considered to be potential skilled workers in the future.
  • Raise the number of patent applications and improve the economy.
  • Enhance the cultural experience of the native residents.
  • Spread the culture of the UK in their home country after their return.
  • Tighten the political relationship between the UK and their home country through scholar exchange or post-study work programmes.

Motivational factors for overseas education:

Immigrant students in the UK have several reasons to pursue foreign education. There are many factors within their home country as well as in the UK that motivate them to migrate to a new country. It may include family, friends, teachers, and even political issues.

  • Lack of access to renowned universities in the home country
  • Availability of desired courses
  • Scholarships provided by certain universities
  • Better quality of education
  • Socio-economic status   
  • Improved living standards
  • Increased career prospects
  • Attraction to a new culture
  • Immigration opportunities   
  • Permanent residency and work visa advantages

Major obstacles faced by immigrant students in the UK:

1. Academic performance:

The culture and education system followed in the student's home country plays a significant role in determining a student's academic performance. Even a bright student who migrates to the UK for higher studies tends to perform poorly. This academic performance difference is mainly due to language barriers and text comprehension. Even then, the performance of immigrant students in the UK is strongly related to the attributes of the education system in their host country.

Other factors that affect the academic performance of immigrant students in the UK are:

  • Socio-economic status
  • The self-motivation of the students
  • Parent's emotional support

The academic system in the UK is better than in other countries as it nurtures the talents of immigrant students from different cultural backgrounds. Also, it has strict skill-selective immigration policies for overseas students, which improve academic outcomes.

2. Integrating with the new community:

Students can peacefully concentrate on their studies only if they feel at home. The psychological well-being of immigrant students in the UK is more important to achieving success.

The difference in culture, lifestyle, education, and other things they find between their home country and the UK significantly affects their mental health. Another critical factor we need to consider is how well the universities and the local native people are accommodating the immigrant students in the UK. If the universities and the local community provide support, immigrant students in the UK will integrate into their new surroundings quickly.

It will give them the feeling they belong in their new surroundings despite all the cultural differences. The help they receive in their new environment will help them overcome all the obstacles, succeed academically, and build a new life. However, their success rate will be mainly determined by to what extent the students are getting support from their new place or people.

3. Limited socialising:  

Humans have a common nature of sticking to people of our kind. So, it is no wonder that immigrant students in the UK like to settle with peers from their home country. Most students select their university and accommodations based on where their friend or relative is already staying. They make this decision because they feel safe around people who share their culture. Also, they can quickly get their help to adapt to the new environment. Hence, they choose to study at the same university and stay in the same neighbourhood as their friends.

It leads to immigrant students in the UK being concentrated in the same universities and neighbourhoods. This concentration of immigrant students in the same place does not affect the student's academic performance or their tendency to integrate with the locals. However, it led to socioeconomic disadvantage, indirectly hindering the students' academic achievements.

4. Language barriers:  

The major problem faced by immigrant students in the UK is the language. Many students have English as their medium of instruction and score well in their IELTS or other language exams. The local dialect and slang will initially be difficult to understand for immigrant students in the UK. It is a common problem, as immigrant students in the UK have spoken another language in their home country throughout their lives.

They had English as their only second language. However, the same language can look completely different when spoken in its native country. It may affect their listening and speaking proficiency in academics. A lack of familiarity with the new language and educational institution, along with insecurity about the new living environment, is a significant obstacle for immigrant students in the UK to excel in their academics.

Strategies for the immigrant student in the UK to overcome the obstacles:

In addition to the barriers mentioned above, immigrant students in the UK might face many other issues in coping with the new environment.

Below are some points that will help them overcome these obstacles and shine.

1. Parent's support:  

  • Establish close relationships with your family abroad. Parental support is of great importance to immigrant students in the UK.
  • Emotional support from your parents helps you achieve your academic goals and motivates you to master tasks.

2. Teacher's support:  

One of the significant factors affecting the academic performance of immigrant students in the UK is the support from teachers.

  • Teachers are always concerned about their students' mental and academic well-being.
  • Let them know if you have difficulties engaging in the classes or your academic performance.
  • The teacher support that you receive is positively and strongly associated with your competence in learning and achieving your goals.

3. Financial support:  

  • Financing your studies and living is a primary concern as an immigrant student in the UK.
  • Try to get financial incentives for oversubscribed universities to enrol overseas students.
  • Some institutions in disadvantaged areas may have more appealing courses and curricula with a lower fee structure.
  • Getting admission to such universities will help you overcome the socioeconomic barrier.

4. Language fluency:  

  • Mastering the host country's language may take more work for immigrant students in the UK.
  • Let the teachers know if you need language training. They will help you by providing strategies for developing second language skills.
  • Get language training provided at the universities along with our regular course. Make use of the language training activities.

5. Connect with other students:

  • To overcome the challenge of adapting to your new environment, try making friendships with the native students studying with you.
  • Join the student groups, unions, and communities facilitated by your university.
  • You can make new friends through these groups and learn about the new culture.
  • As an added advantage, you can know the local area very well for travel and accommodation if you have friends in the local community.


Immigrant students in the UK have high expectations for their future careers. They are desperate to make a better and safer life for themselves and their family. Being an immigrant student in the UK, you can face so many limitations that may distort your education. But you have several motivational factors to pursue your overseas education successfully. You have already made many sacrifices by moving to a new country. So, you should be determined to take up any opportunity that comes your way.

Your family's support and motivation will help you overcome all the obstacles of overseas education. If you are an immigrant student in the UK, you should have ambitious goals for your career. It would be best if you put great effort into learning and used the educational opportunities available to you better. It will help you overcome the disadvantages of poverty and your immigration status in the host country.

You will have the potential to make extraordinary contributions to your host country. Thus, you can succeed in your overseas education even if you face many challenges as a migrant.

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