This page gives answers to the questions international students ask us most often. CIFE is very happy to give international students advice, so if the answer is not here, do contact us for help!
The two main 'extra' qualifications are A level or Foundation Course. A levels are accepted by all British universities, whereas Foundation courses are only accepted by a more limited number. Our advice page on A levels or international foundation compares A-level and Foundation courses. If English is not your first language universities will want a recognised English language qualification. There are several which they will accept: GCSE, IGCSE, the Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English, IELTS, etc. Some but not all universities accept other English-language exams, such as TOEFL, . IELTS is one of the most popular qualifications. Most universities will accept a mark of 6.5, some will accept 6.0, and a few require 7.0, especially for courses such as Law which require very good English. The UCAS website has a great deal of information about the entrance requirements for each UK university course.
If the college then offers you a place it will explain what you must do to accept the place. That may include sending some money as a deposit. Please note that colleges will generally not give you your deposit back unless there is an exceptional reason why you can't join them: they certainly won't return the deposit of a student who simply changes his mind! Make sure you find out whether a college will give money back if you can't get visa.
The great majority of CIFE colleges hold 'Highly Trusted Sponsor' status which can help you get your visa more rapidly. Here's a link to the UKBA list of Tier 4 (Education) sponsors. The regulations dealing with student visas are quite complicated and change regularly, so it is important that you use the most up to date information. The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) is an excellent source of advice. The UKCISA information on visas is detailed and up to date. Colleges can also give you good advice about visa applications. It's really important to fill the visa application form in correctly and to provide all the information required. If you get this wrong you will probably not get a visa, and it will be more difficult if you apply again later.