The United Kingdom consists of England, Wales, Scotland (which together make up Great Britain) and Northern Ireland. The capital city of the UK is London, which is also the capital of England. For Wales the capital is Cardiff, for Scotland it is Edinburgh, and for Northern Ireland it is Belfast.
The population of the UK is estimated to be around 63 million; the area is close to 95,000 square miles stretching from the Shetland Islands off the north coast of Scotland, down to the Isles of Scilly in south west England, and across the sea to Northern Ireland. The UK’s long coastline is around 5,000 miles. The geography ranges from green meadows and woodland to rugged moorland and mountains. The highest mountain is Ben Nevis in Scotland at just over 1,340 metres.
The UK has a fascinating history dating back to 6500 BC. All over the UK you’ll find monuments marking its history, from Stonehenge to Buckingham Palace. The UK is also home to over 28 cultural and natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Heritage Cities including Edinburgh, Bath, Canterbury, Chester, Durham, Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon and York.
The UK is one of the world’s leading business locations and the number one destination for inward investment in Europe. The UK is one of the top ten manufacturers in the world and has the largest industries in Europe for life sciences, ICT and the creative industries. Find out more at UK Trade & Investment.
The United Kingdom is a parliamentary democracy – this means the government is elected by the people. There is a general election once every five years. The Prime Minister leads the government with the support of the cabinet and ministers. The Queen is Head of State in the United Kingdom. As a constitutional monarch, Her Majesty does not 'rule' the country, but the royal family fulfils important ceremonial and formal roles with respect to Government.
Singapore is a cosmopolitan city in the heart of Southeast Asia. With over 7,000 multinational companies operating here, global citizens will feel right at home. With a population of just under 5 million, Singapore is home to a multicultural local workforce of Chinese, Malaysian, Indian origin. An excellent workplace integration policies and a common working language have made unity and diversity prominent features of its workforce. Many companies here ensure fair working environments that reward individuals based on merit. The workforce in Singapore is known for its high literacy rate, competency levels and ability to bridge Asian and Western cultures.
Singapore has six national universities, with its two largest universities having more than 30,000 students each. The most prestigious university is the National University of Singapore (NUS) which is ranked 12th in the QS World University Rankings for 2017 and is one of the highest-ranking universities in Asia.
In many of the subject areas, the National University of Singapore is ranked within the global top 10, such as- law, computer science, mechanical engineering, geography, materials science, accounting and finance, pharmacy, communication and media studies, modern language and statistics. Other highly ranked institutions in the country are Nanyang Technological University and Singapore Management University
Singapore also has a wide range of private institutions, along with foreign universities with campuses in Singapore. The universities Singapore regularly collaborate with the leading universities in other countries. These connections and collaborations contribute to the overall quality of education offered by universities in Singapore. This is yet another positive factor for international students who choose Singapore as their destination.
Currently, international students account for around 18 - 20% of all students in Singapore. However, the government is currently making some cuts to international funding opportunities to ensure more places for domestic students. Despite this, there are still thousands of places available for international students who wish to study abroad in Singapore. Another important fact for all prospective international students is that the official language of instruction in Singapore is English. At the same time, the nation is officially bilingual as English is combined with one of 3 mother tongues (Mandarin, Malay and Tamil). This is a great opportunity for international students to study in English but to also experience a new language and culture while studying abroad.
If you wish to study abroad in Singapore, it is important to understand that the deadlines surrounding administration are made within an institution itself. In addition to this, universities and colleges may limit the number of courses you can apply for, so it’s important to take this factor in consideration.
New Zealand, truly is one of the most picturesque and photogenic places on earth. A small island nation of just over 4.5 million people, New Zealand is made up of two major land masses and a number of smaller islands including Stewart Island located in the south-western Pacific Ocean. The two main islands are divided by a 22km stretch of water called the Cook Strait.
New Zealand is located approximately 1,500km east of Australia and about 1,000km from the Pacific Islands. Due to its relative remoteness and being water locked, New Zealand was one of the last countries to be found and settled. The country is made up of some of the worlds most spectacular landscapes, from vast mountain ranges, steaming volcanoes to sweeping coastlines. It is a natural playground for thrill seekers and adventurers and those who simply want to visit for the culture and landscapes.
New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy under England and while the Queen is the head of state, New Zealand effectively governs itself through its parliamentary system with a Prime Minister. The public votes every three years which often sees a change in government. The two main political parties are the National Party and the Labour Party. New Zealand was the first country in the world to give women the vote in 1893.
New Zealand's free trade economy is dependant on International trade, with the principal export industries being agriculture, horticulture, fishing, forestry and mining. The major export partners are New Zealand's trans-tasman neighbours, Australia, as well as the USA, United Kingdom and Japan. China and Asian markets are increasingly export destinations.
The climate condition in New Zealand varies between the North and South Islands and is quite complex. The general climate is mild and temperate however areas in the far north experience warm subtropical temperatures while the far south is much cooler. Alpine conditions ensue in mountainous areas.