Derby University Northumbria University University of Central Lancashire Ulster University Coventry University University of Huddersfield University of Wales Trinity Saint David


1. About Us

2. Living In Britain

3. The Honours System

4. Language Requirements

5. Studying in Great Britain

6. Visiting Great Britain

7. Currency

8. Contact Us


English Oak Recruitment is primarily (but not exclusively) concerned with recruiting students from HE institutions in central Europe (Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia) to study at British universities and colleges  every year. We help these students when they apply to the eight British Universities and higher education colleges that we represent.

We also represent a number of schools, further education and English language colleges.

English Oak Recruitment was formed in 2006, but Alan Hallett has been involved in higher education in central Europe since 1998, so we have the experience to help you make the right decisions for your future.


Life in Britain can appear daunting to a student coming from central Europe for the first time. However we hope the following information will help those contemplating study at an English university.

Finding a Job

Most students at English universities also work part-time. It is recommended that students do not work more than 20 hours per week, to leave sufficient time for academic work and relaxation. A wide range of jobs is available, with students from central Europe typically working in cafes, bars, shops and factories. Some students have even obtained employment in offices and on building sites.

The British Government introduced an employment law some years ago which means employers are required to pay their employees a minimum wage, depending on age:

18-20 years       GBP5.55 per hour (correct as at 01.10.16)

21 years +         GBP6.95 per hour (correct as at 01.10.16)

Each university has a “jobs office” which helps students find suitable work. Alternatively there are numerous private employment agencies in every town or city. Where possible, universities try to ensure your classroom commitments are concentrated on certain days, thus leaving you sufficient time to work appropriate hours for an employer.

Cost of Living

It is certainly true that the cost of living in England is significantly higher than in central Europe. As a student, you will need to manage your finances carefully, but you should still be able to enjoy an exciting and rewarding year in England. For example, if you:

Work for 20hours:  Earn approximately              GBP 139.00 p.w.

Rent               GBP50-75                      e.g.  –  GBP  65.00     

Groceries etc. GBP 25-40                     e.g.  –  GBP 35.00    

Money remaining                                            GBP 39.00

Pastoral Support

Sometimes students need a little support and for the foreign student many towns have clubs and social groups to cater for specific nationalities and regions. Enquire at the town or city’s tourist information centre or contact the student services office of your chosen university.

All towns and cities have Catholic churches, which always welcome newcomers and which might be suitable for the foreign student. Many campuses also have a pastor available on site. Check out the website of the university of your choice.


The towns and cities of the UK have excellent public transport networks with frequent buses and frequent train services. You pay for tickets on the bus when you travel, though many companies have special week or monthly tickets that can save you a lot of money. Call in to your local bus station when you arrive and the staff will be happy to advise you what the best option for you is.

If travelling by train, you might wish to consider a Young Person’s Rail Card. This lasts for one year, is reasonably priced and saves you 33% on all tickets


The honours classification system is a means by which students in Britain can be graded when they graduate with a bachelor’s degree from a higher education institution. This grading system is very important to students, employers and higher education institutions: it helps to determine the status and reputation of the student and his/her institution and is also a major factor for employers to consider when seeking new staff.

There is therefore considerable interest in the classifications achieved by students and they are commonly used to determine the level of success achieved by a student/faculty/university.

The usual way of determining a classification is shown below, but please remember this is only a guide: universities may adopt different procedures and follow different rules in determining a classification.

Overall average mark                                          Classification

over 70%                                                            First Class Honours 1st                                          

over 60%                                                            Upper Second Honours 2:1

over 50%                                                             Lower Second Honours 2:2

over 40%                                                             Third Class Honours 3rd

40%                                                                   Unclassified or Ordinary

It is very difficult to determine with any accuracy what percentage of students obtain particular classifications, but in very general terms this is what students who graduate achieve:

 1st                            12%

 2 : 1                         30%

 2 : 2                         45%

 3                              10%

 U/Ord                     3%

Classification matters a great deal and students will strive very hard to achieve the best possible classification, because they know it will have a major impact on their future career development.


To study successfully in England, you obviously need to be confident and accurate in your use of the English language. Remember that you will be reading, writing, listening and conversing in English. You will even need to think in English! Lecturers, students and those you meet will forget – or not know – that English is not your first language, and you cannot keep asking them to ‘slow down’ or repeat what they have said!

In order to determine your suitability to study in England, universities use a variety of methods to assess your language skills. The most common of these is the language test. There are a number of recognised tests universities deem acceptable (see accompanying chart) but generally, the following standard is required:

Cambridge Advanced



London Chamber of Commerce Level 3

Some universities may be willing to accept a reference from your language tutor in lieu of a recognised qualification, but you are strongly urged to obtain one of the qualifications listed above. It will ensure you have a fair chance of obtaining a place at one of the universities and it will prove a useful additional qualification on your curriculum vitae after you have graduated.

Universities may also make reference to the personal statement in your application form or invite you for a telephone/videoconference/personal interview as a means of assessing your language capabilities.

You can obtain an initial indication of your language ability when you attend Alan Hallett’s presentation at your college/university.  Alan will speak to you at a speed – and using language – that is commensurate with a typical lecture in England. If you can understand him clearly and easily (though not necessarily his awful jokes!) then you can feel rather more confident that you would be able to study successfully in England.

If you are interested in taking one of the language examinations listed above, you should contact your International Office: they will be able to provide you with more detailed information.


Studying in Britain is a challenging and exciting experience for many overseas students. In some European countries higher education involves the acquisition of large tracts of knowledge, which is then learned and recycled in examination answers. That is not the way learning is organised in Britain. Our universities encourage understanding, analysis, discussion and debate.

The Learning Experience

We do this by structuring the learning experience in a rather different way:

1. Many subjects are taught for the whole of the academic year (i.e. from September until April)

2. Most students will study a maximum of 5-7 subjects during an academic year.

3. Lectures play only a small part in the learning process. Extensive use is also made of  tutorials, seminars and presentations

4. You must be prepared to make a significant contribution in the classroom, if you are to be successful. Universities encourage you to state your opinions  and defend them;  both verbally and in print. The most important point is that you should be able to justify your arguments

5. Students spend relatively little time in the classroom (c.10-14 hours per week) because most of the learning takes place elsewhere. Universities in Britain have large, well-equipped libraries that enable you to research a topic before the lecture/tutorial and then to develop your knowledge more fully afterwards.

How Will I Be Assessed?

Students are assessed in a variety of ways but the most common are certainly the assignment and the examination: 

The assignment is an essay of 2-3,000 words on a title provided by your lecturer. You will be expected to make use of extensive published sources and to provide a detailed analysis of the subject.

Examinations are set at the end of the teaching period and will generally be of 2-3 hours� duration.

Other means of assessment may include:

Tutorial Assessment

Presentation (Group or individual)

In-Class Test

Multiple Choice Test

Extended Assignment

Many courses also require students to complete a dissertation. This is rather like a very long assignment and may be 7-15,000 words in length. Some students (particularly those on business courses) opt to finalise their dissertation title before they leave their own country. This means they can discuss the title with their own tutors and choose a subject area that reflects their own knowledge and interests within their own country. Students required to complete a dissertation will be assigned to a dissertation tutor who will maintain close contact throughout the year, offering advice and support as appropriate


  • Great Britain is an ancient country with a long and fascinating history.
  • Every town and city in the country has its own character.
  • There are loads of opportunities for shopping, clubbing, music and sports.
  • Check out the local Tourist Information Office to find out what’s going on near you.

For more tourist information on the UK have a look here.

Northern England

England has enjoyed a renaissance over the last ten years and the combination of vibrant exciting universities, stunning settings and young modern cities have drawn students in from across the world. From the beautiful countryside of the Pennines, to the shopping centres of Leeds and Manchester there is something for everyone. Frequent trains link the north’s main town and cities and there are fast hourly trains from the main cities of the north to London while international airports connect the region with Europe, Asia and America. Each of the four universities that we represent in the area has something unique to offer the student, however all share access to one of the most exciting regions in Europe.

The Midlands

The central area of England has, as its focal point, the city of Birmingham. Whilst this large conurbation can offer all the services and excitement you would expect of England’s second city, it is surrounded by some of the most beautiful countryside to be found anywhere in Europe. The rolling hills and pretty villages of the Cotswold Hills present an image of England that is famous throughout the world, but there is also a stunning array of architecture, including magnificent castles, stately homes and inspiring churches.

Living in the Midlands means you have easy access to all parts of country, whether it be the delights of London or the breathtaking mountains of Wales. There is no better place to live if you wish to experience the best of all worlds!


Is London the greatest city in the world? That may be debatable, but there is no doubt that it offers an incredible range of attractions to the overseas visitor. Perhaps you would like to visit Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament or the Tower of London – or maybe watch a top West End show, travel on the London Eye or watch Chelsea play Manchester United? There are so many things to do, see and experience – and the excellent tube, bus and rail system means it is so easy to travel around the city! As Samuel Johnson famously said, “He who is tired of London is tired of life.”

South Wales

The valleys of south Wales were once the home to a network of coal mines, producing millions of tons for the rest of Britain. Those mines have all gone now, to be replaced by modern light industries and a ‘return to nature’. Wooded hills enclose sweeping green valleys in an area that has been transformed in recent years. The area is dominated by the capital city, Cardiff, which has benefited from extensive redevelopment recently. The city offers every type of leisure and entertainment activity you might wish for, as well as fast, direct trains to London and other parts of Britain. Together with its own airport, nearby beaches and that wonderful rolling countryside, south Wales really does offer the student everything that might be hoped for in a visit to the British Isles.



The following gives a rough guide to converting currency into and from British pounds (GBP) for a selection of countries. As exchange rates are subject to daily currency fluctuations this is only meant as an approximation.


GBP 1 ≈  5 Zt                

1 Zt ≈ GBP 0.20

Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia

GBP 1 ≈ 1.17 Euro

1 Euro ≈ GBP 0.85

Find the current exchange rate for your currency here:


There are many cheap supermarkets providing good food at reasonable prices which are ideally suited to students. As many of the cheaper stores are run by central and eastern European companies they also tend to have more products familiar to the eastern European student than are unavailable in main stream stores. There are now many independent European shops in British towns which cater for the growing eastern European community in the UK. These shops have many of the more unusual or specialist ingredients and products and it is worth finding your local one.

If you are eating on a budget, you can find cheap and nutritious recipes here:


Most banks are international and you can access all your normal facilities in England, however it is worth checking before you travel just to make sure. You will need an account set up if you are doing any part time work.


T: +44 (0)1422 825623
M: 07821016794


English Oak Recruitment
Cock Pit Cottage
Lower Hall Green
Nr Sowerby Bridge
West Yorkshire
United Kingdom


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I wanted to thank you personally for everything you did for me. Rzeszow 15 September 2013  

- Michal

Sure, thank you once more for everything, I very much appreciate your help. I will definitely tell everyone about you, I have some friends who might be interested in studying in the UK Denisa, Presov. 4 July 2015


I got a contact to you from my very good friend J—  S—— who you helped a year ago and he told me that you are really a big professional in this area Boris, Kosice, August 2013  

- Boris