When choosing an institution for your study abroad experience, not everything is about rankings or qualifications. For international students acclimatising to a foreign culture and curriculum, compatibility could be the key determinant between success and failure. That’s why Loughborough College in the UK has cultivated an environment where students feel at home, wherever they come from.
Since its inception in 1909, the college is reputable not just for its teaching excellence, but also for its student-first approach in inspiring success and enriching lives. The proof is all in the ratings: accommodation in Loughborough College was rated “Outstanding” by the 2021 Ofsted Report in terms of offering exceptional support, valuable experiences and instilling leadership in its students.
Rishabh Khandelwal knows first-hand how important it is for a college to have your back. “My early days were not that good to be honest, because I had to move from hotel to hotel as I had no accommodation when I arrived,” he muses. “But as soon as the college accommodation got to know about my situation, they arranged a room for me in their halls.” The residence halls are only a five-minute walk from the college, which makes learning even easier for students like Rishabh.
He is now pursuing a BSc (Hons) in Applied Sports Science with Management. With the full breadth of the college’s support system, Rishabh has grown into an active member of the student community through his sporting involvement. “The type of sporting atmosphere and competitiveness I found there was amazing,” he says. “I enjoyed and loved that the most.”
Community support and wellbeing
Whether in classrooms or gyms, students at Loughborough College can forge meaningful friendships by participating in various clubs and activities on campus. Enrolled students automatically become a member of the Loughborough Students’ Union (LSU) — one of the biggest and best in the UK — within a relaxed campus setting. The students agree — the college achieved 89% in overall satisfaction in the 2018-19 National Student Survey, surpassing the national benchmark.
“Young people who reside at this college receive excellent care and support. This is provided by a dedicated, committed and highly motivated team of accommodation support staff,” the Ofsted Report reads. The rating is a testament to the college’s embrace of holistic care in safeguarding student wellness. From mental health counselling to free meals during lockdowns, the college ensures that all students receive the assistance they need even before enrolment.
For 19-year-old Mansoor Pirbhai, his initial days at the college were rocky. “I was homesick after spending 19 years of my life in Kenya,” he reflects. “I found it a bit difficult to settle in, but I eventually met with new flatmates and friends in college, which made me feel better.” Today, the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Engineering student credits his experience at the college for his newfound confidence and independence as a student abroad.
Transition seamlessly into British higher education
As a Further Education (FE) college in the East Midlands, Loughborough College prepares students for academic rigour in higher education, a journey aided greatly by its small class sizes. This allows instructions to be more focused and individualised to fit the learning needs of students. The college also offers a select suite of Higher Education courses that provide the benefit of a peer community, unlike large campuses in a traditional university.
Students can choose from a range of programmes that include undergraduate programmes in sports and sustainable engineering (awarded by Loughborough University); apprenticeships and vocational training; A Levels and Access to Higher Education courses, to name a few. The lower living costs in the Midlands translates to affordability; students enjoy all the perks of a quality British education at a lower price in a close-knit community. The bonus? International students pay the same price as home students for Higher Education programmes.
Nadon Utintu came a long way from Thailand to further his education at the college. “I chose to study at Loughborough College because I did the Access to Higher Education course here last year, and I enjoyed it, as well as the town’s love for sports,” says the BSc (Hons) in Sports Coaching student.
“I have received a lot of support from the international team for everything in my struggles. I also received support from my classmates,” he elaborates.
Utintu’s experience encapsulates the value of Loughborough College’s pathway programmes. International students require time and adequate academic assistance in adapting to a new education system. The college is proud to steer students towards their educational aspirations through a wealth of support from tutors, faculty members, student support workers and campus staff who are all invested in seeing its community thrive.
To join the dynamic group of students at Loughborough College, click here to apply now.