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Heriot-Watt rises in UK university rankings

September 30, 2013


Some exciting news recently published in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2014 rankings– Heriot-Watt University has climbed the table into the UK’s top 40, now placed at a respectable 38th.

This news also sees the university now placed at fourth overall in Scotland.

The university is globally renowned for its excellence in areas such as Chemical Engineering and Mathematics. Both subjects were placed in the top five in the individual subject rankings.

As an international student at the International Study Centre, you will be at the heart of university culture with full access and exposure to all its fantastic facilities. We will aim to prepare you for degree success in areas such as Mathematics and Chemical Engineering along with many others. For more information on how to apply to study at this rising star institution, please visit the website.


Coming to the UK: What to pack

August 15, 2013

So you’re getting ready for your studies at the Heriot-Watt University International Study Centre but have absolutely no idea what you will need to bring? Look no further because we have a quick and easy guide for you.

The following items are the most important and will help with your journey through customs if you have them readily available in your hand luggage.

  • Passport
  • Visa/Home Office letter
  • CAS
  • Offer letter
  • Qualifications certificates
  • Accommodation documents
  • Travellers cheques or pounds sterling for the first few weeks you’re in the UK

If you are bringing your laptop and any other valuables with you, be sure to pack them in your hand luggage too. You may also wish to pack in your carry-on a few essential toiletries such as clean underwear, toothbrush, and medications – just in case your baggage is delayed.

When packing your main suitcase, you should keep in mind how the weather will change while you are in the UK. You can expect to see some potentially warm and sunny days in your first few weeks before autumn and winter set in and it starts getting cold, so be sure to bring a variety of clothing. But expect to see some warm and sunny days when you arrive in September too. A jacket, coat, and sweatshirt are must-have items. If you struggle to pack all the clothes that you will need, you will be able to buy them once you’re here.

Other key items to pack include:

  • Passport sized photographs
  • Photographs of friends and family to brighten up your new room
  • A towel
  • Essential toiletries and medications
  • An alarm clock – for those early starts!

You should avoid bringing cooking utensils and plan on buying those once you’re here. There are shops on and near campus that will provide everything you need.

If you have any questions or concerns about what to bring with you, then please post your comments in the box below.

We look forward to seeing you next month at the Heriot-Watt University International Study Centre!

English and maths tests at the International Study Centre: why you don’t need to worry

July 24, 2013

Tests.  As if you haven’t had enough of exams lately, suddenly you’re faced with more when you arrive at the International Study Centre. Not fun.

Student taking testBut fear not! We’ve got the lowdown on what the dreaded English and Maths tests are all about and why there’s really no need to get anxious.

Firstly, it’s important to realise that the test is merely to determine the level of support your teachers will need to provide you with throughout your ISC studies. That way, you can be sure to have the best possible chance of successfully completing your course and progressing on to that exciting degree at the university.

It’s also a legal requirement that we test you in English and Maths. Just like checking your passport, taking your next of kin’s contact details etc. It’s simply a formality.

So, now you know “why”, you probably want to know “what”. What does the test involve? Well, we’ll tell you.

The English Placement Test is one hour long and is divided into two parts. The first part is a multiple-choice section with reading and grammar based questions. The second part is a short piece of writing (about a page or a page and a half).

The maths test is based on the contents of secondary school (GCSE + A levels) mathematics. Some of the questions are easy. A few are a bit more complex.

We hope that helps and puts your mind at rest! If you have any questions, please feel free to post them in the comments box below.

We look forward to seeing you at the International Study Centre!

Sporting History at Wimbledon: The UK and its sport

July 8, 2013

Fantastic news about Andy Murray! In case you hadn’t heard, the boy from Dunblane became the first British player to win Wimbledon since 1977, when Virginia Wade took the title. The UK tuned in yesterday to watch a tense, yet exciting, match. Those of you that watched would have seen the crowds “rally” behind Murray with extreme pride over what has been yet another great moment in recent UK sporting history.

The UK is renowned for its sportrugby, football, cricket, tennis, and the Paralympics all originate here – and we have an impressive record of producing some of the best sports people around. Last year, the UK finished 3rd on the Olympics medal table and the Paralympics medal table with 29 and 34 golds respectively.

We are also home to one of the best, and most diverse, football leagues in the world and don’t forget the famous Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race or equestrian shows such as the Grand National.

At Heriot-Watt University, we have first-class facilities including international-standard pitches, a football astrodome, championship squash courts, Scotland’s only indoor Golf Academy, and a whole range of facilities for team and racket sports.

The Sports Union has almost 30 active sports clubs and gives you the ideal environment to participate in and compete in your chosen sport at higher education level.

Whether your needs are fast or slow paced, there is a sport for you. When you study at the International Study Centre, you will have full access to all sports clubs and facilities at the university.

For more information on studying at the International Study Centre, please visit the website.

Seven reasons to Study in the UK

December 17, 2012

…By the Study Group University Fair…

Choosing to study in another country can be a daunting prospect, but a brave one too. Here at the Study Group University Fair, we think you should study abroad and we think the UK should be your first choice.  Here are our top seven reasons why the UK is one of the best places in the world to receive your education.

  1. Arts and Culture: as a student in the UK, new experiences will be just around the corner. Museums and art galleries will be on your doorstep and you can make the most of the vibrant music scene.
  2. British culture has been very influential on the world. Some of our brightest stars of the last century include The Beatles, J.K. Rowling, Kate Moss, Adele, and Damien Hirst to name a few.
  3. Britain has a fascinating and complex history and people from all over the world come to visit our iconic historical sites.
  4. In the UK, we’ve contributed more than our fair share to the scientific world and, as a student here, you can expect university faculty to be leaders in this field, producing some ground breaking research.
  5. Studying in the UK puts you at the heart of one of the world’s best education systems. Our universities are both innovative and dynamic providing stimulating and challenging environments in which to learn.
  6. 88% of UK graduates were in work or further study within 6 months after graduation (HESA).
  7. Britain is a diverse and multicultural nation that welcomes people from all over the world. We are sure you will enjoy interacting with many international students while immersing yourself completely in British life.

The Study Group University Fair is here to help you make that decision to study in the UK. It is completely free to attend and we will have expert advisers to talk to you about what life is like living here and how to prepare for your arrival, so that taking that brave step to move to Britain is made as easy as possible for you.

Join in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter and let us know what excites you about learning in Britain!

The Study Group University Fair is the No.1 university fair for international students. The Heriot-Watt International Study Centre will be there, along with over 75 other highly ranked UK universities.  It will take place on the 9th February at the Park Plaza Victoria Hotel in London, from 12-4pm. Visit the website for more information and details on how to register.


Study Group University Fair for International Students

Volunteering for Transition Heriot-Watt

November 5, 2012

Volunteering with transition Heriot-WattI have always liked volunteering towards projects that enhance the quality of life and create awareness for a good cause. This was one of such projects. Transition Heriot-Watt is an independent community association and is a government funded project working within Heriot-Watt University. Its focus is on sustainability, click here for more information.

On this day, I heard they were organising a campus litter picking exercise and I decided to come along to join in keeping a cleaner Scotland. I had previously missed out on the first one organised in springtime and I was determined not to miss this one.

I left for the Chaplaincy about 5 minutes to the start of the exercise as it was kicking off from there. On getting there, I was surprised and humbled to see the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Heriot-Watt, Steve Chapman, heading the exercise and already dressed, wearing a pair of rain boots.

I took my nylon vest, took a litter picker and a pair of hand gloves, and I set out with another volunteer. We circled round the campus for 45 minutes under the cold and strong wind before finally returning to the Chaplaincy. After we were done, all the volunteers were treated to a barbeque. It was a fun exercise and I’m definitely volunteering next time!!

For More information in the International Study Centre where Paul studied, click here.

Night out in Edinburgh

October 19, 2012

…Read Paul’s latest blog about his night out in Edinburgh…

Nightlife in EdinburghThe nightlife in Edinburgh is awesome. You may be like me who always was too lazy to go out in the night because you couldn’t be bothered. Ha! Think again!! On the 28th of September, I was invited to a party by a friend and I decided to give it a try. I sure didn’t regret it.

Edinburgh has an excellent and frequent bus service and therefore it’s always easy to get to any destination no matter how far it is. Seems like this was one of the reasons I decided to give Edinburgh nightlife a try, I knew the buses were frequent.

I left my house with a friend by around 11:10p.m (Don’t worry; Edinburgh is one of the safest cities in UK), and it wasn’t long until we got unto the bus. We reached the destination at about 11:50p.m and walked to the club.

Clubbing in EdinburghOn getting there, our friends from Heriot-Watt University were waiting for us outside the club. We finally got into the club (My first time of clubbing) and Wow!! This proved to be a good decision made by me. There were many youths from different countries coupled with the songs. I danced till my legs started aching and of course, there were lots of drinks!! It was the bomb!! I am sure to go out late again!!

For More information in the International Study Centre where Paul studies, click here.