UK University International Students

Groups and Organisations for International Students in the UK

As a foreign student in the UK, it is normal to feel alone, out of place and out of your depth. Add to this the cultural shock that you are likely to experience, and your first few weeks or months in the UK may be the most challenging.

But there really is no need to feel lonely for a long time in this beautiful part of the world. To feel more at home and settled in the UK there are a number of helpful and useful organisations set up that can ease you into the UK way of things. As one of the most popular destinations for international students, UK has one of the highest percentages of higher education enrolments in the world. This calls the need for groups and organisations to manage international students’ experiences.

Some groups cover a wide range of aspects in a student’s life, while others are specific to a course or activity.

Social Psychology Section

The Social Psychology Section was founded in 1953 and is part of the British Psychological Society (BPS), a non-profit making educational and professional organisation specifically for psychologists in the UK. It receives financial support from BPS and is represented in major committees and conferences by the Society. With a thriving community of social psychologists, it aims to encourage and promote research in social psychology, support activities such as workshops and conferences, and impact positively on global social psychology, among others.

The Social Psychology Section is open to all members of the British Psychological Society and postgraduate students. To join, you can contact the society or fill out the application form. Applications must be made through BPS.

UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA)

UKCISA is the national advisory body in the UK that serves the interests of international students and those working with them. It aims to support and raise awareness of the values and benefits of international education, promote opportunities for student mobility, and encourage excellent institutional support for international students. As a member, you will be entitled to high quality advice line services; up to date electronic and print publications on legislation, regulations and resources; and wide-ranging support.

To be a member, you only need to sign up for My UKCISA. Once done, you can then go to the Members Area to access resources, training and conference, info and guidance and many others.

Study Group International

This limited company specialises in teaching English to international students and providing courses aimed at preparing them for university-level education. In the UK, Study Group International has partnered with a number of universities that will allow them to teach students in an “International Study Centre” found within the university’s premises. The ‘host’ universities include Kingston, Lancaster, Leicester, Surrey and Sussex.

National Association of Student Employment Services (NASES)

NASES is the representative body that supports Student Employment Services. It has over 110 college/university members that help reach NASES’ goal of increasing the number of quality jobs in the UK that are suitable for students. Membership is open to student employment services owned by colleges or universities.

Association of Graduate Careers Advisory (AGCAS)

AGCAS is a professional body for prospects entering higher education and for “careers and employability professionals” that are working with students and graduates of higher education. The organisation offers several membership categories, including Service Membership – International, and Student Membership for those who are studying full-time for Level 4-6 careers guidance qualification, such as Qualification in Careers Guidance or Qualification in Career Coaching.


Photo by Wes Hicks on Unsplash

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