Ever Consider Hitting the Books Under the Union Jack?


Salmon Advising on UK Colleges

Wyatt Page, Staff Writer

Students expect many things from college. For some, the sheer freedom and independence suffices, for others, more is needed to fulfill their dreams of an adventurous experience.

What better place for an adventurous college experience than in the United Kingdom?  The UK college experience offers a plethora of exclusive opportunities.  Their philosophy governing course selections ensures students be “put into a program that is extremely specific to your desired career,” says college counselor Michael Salmon.

This unique curriculum begins in the second year of high school for UK students.  For example, if you express interest in becoming an engineer as early as sophomore year, your course load will be tailored to fit the criteria for engineering i.e. math and science.  In addition to individualized curricula, the cultural exchange offered by living in the UK is unprecedented, says Salmon.  This opportunity to live in another culture was the catalyst for Senior Cheyenne Kerekes to apply to Kings College in London and University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

“I like to experience different cultures,” says the aspiring international student.  Cheyenne is majoring in international relations.  She hopes an out-of-country endeavor will further “prepare her for the career [she] wants in the future: a journalist or diplomat.”  Considering the extent of today’s globalization, a college experience at either King’s or Aberdeen could give Cheyenne a career advantage regardless of her career choice.

If this undeniable career head-start isn’t enough to sway you, consider the “history of some UK schools. Some are 400 years old,” says Salmon. These seasoned colleges attract the most brilliant professors to share knowledge from their extensive careers.  Teachers in the UK have all had a firsthand experience with the curriculum they are delivering.  One may anticipate that conferring with these iconic captains of industry would cost a pretty penny. Think again.

The cost of attending college in the US trumps that of the UK by a wide margin.  Despite political pundits’ incessant contentions about our need to reduce taxes, our tax policies aren’t comparable to that of the UK’s.  In fact, the average income tax rate in the UK is a daunting 40%.  This seemingly excessive rate is necessary to fund the vast range of government programs, which offset tuition costs.

As international students, we can exploit the misfortunes of the UK taxpayer. This instance of shaudenfreude allows us make use of a loophole and get the best of both worlds, assuming the UK doesn’t get wind of this article before you apply.  Even after accounting for the occasional increased tuition of international students and the dollar to euro/pound exchange rate  (which many say is narrowing), it is still optimal for students to consider this option.

Culture, tuition, and curriculum aside, setting out for another continent to become an expert in your field is bound to offer a richness of experience that is unlike any American college venture. Think about it. You’ll be the kid from the faraway place, an object of interest and attention all while you soak up an entirely new experience of your own.