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Why doing a short course before university can help international students enhance their employability long term

One of our aims here at GradLink, is to show international students and graduates how to increase their employability and reach their career potential after university. It’s important not only to focus on what skills employers are looking for, but how you can increase your options by being proactive during your university course or, in this case, before starting a UK degree. Today we’re looking at short courses in the UK, what they are and how they can help you reach your career goals.

What are the options?

So, what are short courses? The courses we’re talking about are specifically built for international students and prepare you for UK and university life. There are several courses you can choose from. Some are linked directly to your prospective degree and help you prepare for your course, these are called Pre-sessional courses and others focus more on acclimatising students to life in a new country while learning, these are summer schools.

Summer schools are a good way to get a taste of life in the UK, you don’t need to have an offer from a university to attend, so these can be useful when deciding which institution to apply for. Summer schools also help you adapt to life in Britain and highlight the cultural differences in learning. Language sessions are provided as are trips to sights around the country. Summer schools can be course-related and linked to Tourism and Hospitality, Radiography, Business or Engineering just to name a few.

When trying to increase your employability, courses such as the Pre-Sessional English programme at UWE in Bristol are ideal for building your skills and confidence before your degree starts. This course is designed to bring your English to the necessary level and provides a number of key skills needed to start your degree. These include referencing, paraphrasing, avoiding plagiarism and other academic skills for the UK.

How can they increase employability?

Short courses are a great example of how you can gather skills for your career before your degree has begun. By getting a jump-start, you’re positioning yourself in a more informed career path and enabling yourself to develop the study skills you need to succeed in your chosen degree. As an international student, there’s a lot more to digest when starting a new course as moving to a new country also brings with it cultural differences. Some of the skills you can expect to learn are presentation skills, teamwork, communication, problem-solving, research skills and autonomy. The course not only helps you become exposed to the higher education experience earlier but equips you with robust training that takes you through university into your first career.

Moving to a new country to study can be a daunting idea but don’t forget that all GradLink services are free for international students. We provide blogs on issues for international students and graduates, careers advice, Go-CV! our resume building tool and a global jobs page that connects you to opportunities with companies across the world. Register today for more information!

By Jen Garmston Published: July 19, 2019

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