International Students

We help young people to develop the self-knowledge and decision-making confidence to be successful at school, university and throughout their career. We are currently working with international students applying to the UK from the Middle East, Russia, Greece, Malaysia and India.

We help them to find a course and university that best fits their undergraduate or postgraduate study needs. Our Undergraduate Guardianship programme offers a friendly face and practical support during their course too.

With 372 universities and colleges offering 54,000+ courses, the UK is a great place to be a student. And with 23% students failing to complete their degree, it is more important than ever to make sure that you find a course that matches your interests, learning style and career aspirations.

We start working with students from 14 years old, getting to know your academic potential, aptitudes and interests, often using online profiling.

Isnt’t 14 too young? The UK university admissions process, specifically the personal statement, means that longer-term planning can be an important part of your success. Want to know more? Sign up for our free guide for parents and students, IntheKnow.

We can help with GCSE choices and support post-16 decisions, advising on work-experience, volunteering and insight activities that will make you a stronger applicant. Although we are based in the UK, we are familiar with most qualifications available at international schools.

Many of the students we work with have excellent support at school and we work well with in-house advisors.

Using our experience and expertise, we can help you at every stage of the process, from selecting a course to shortlisting the ones that reflect your subject interests, learning style and ambitions plus extras such as societies, sport and music which are so important to student life. We will also help you to develop your personal statement so that it fully demonstrates your suitability for your chosen courses.

We can help you complete your application on UCAS and manage the universities’ responses. We can offer advice on choosing your Firm and Insurance choices and any support you need with Apply, Adjustment and Clearing.

We often work directly with parents who want to know how they can better support their children through this process. The UKSO team are available in the evenings, weekends and school holidays.

To find out how we can help you start planning your future, email us at

Making the transition from school to university seamless and stress free!

We believe that every student should have the best opportunities in life. Every person is unique, with individual academic aspirations, specific pastoral needs and social requirements. Having worked closely with international students for twenty years in over 30 countries I have had the satisfaction of building long and sustainable relationships with them and their families: from initial meetings considering subject and university options to seeing students successfully graduate from their first degree. At the University of Warwick we used to call this the ‘cradle to grave’ model! We prefer to think of it as a holistic approach. A happy student is a successful one!

We can help you:

  • Explore your aspirations, get to know what makes you tick
  • Undertake a skills and aptitude assessment; learn more about yourself
  • Navigate UK university courses and institutions
  • Help you to understand qualifications and convert them to university requirements
  • Identify a suitable International Foundation Programme if appropriate
  • Keep you on track with the UCAS application
  • Support your ELAT, LNAT, STEP, UKCAT or BMAT test if required
  • Provide you with a wealth of valuable resources in the run up to university life
  • Assist you in writing a compelling Personal Statement
  • Help you weigh up the pros and cons of your offers
  • Prepare you for interviews

Together, our small and exclusive team of experts have accumulated over 50 years of knowledge and expertise in the UK education system. We offer a comprehensive and truly personal approach.

  • Geraldine was in admissions and recruitment for the University of Warwick – as Admissions Tutor she knows what competitive universities are looking for when assessing applications. Working with thousands of international students and their families she understands exactly what the families need to know.
  • Wendy, until recently a Careers and University tutor in a top UK grammar school has a wealth of knowledge covering all subject areas and very experienced in preparing students for Oxbridge or Competitive entry such as medicine, veterinary, law, economics and engineering.
  • Ann worked for many years in admissions and recruitment in the prestigious Warwick Business School, travelling overseas and assisting students at all levels; undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD students

Follow Wendy’s Twitter feed to tips and advice on @uk_studyoptions

Geraldine Raison founded her business in 2009 to provide quality independent advice on the UCAS university application and more specifically to assist academically bright students who are applying to competitive institutions such as Oxford or Cambridge and/or competitive courses like Medicine, Law, Economics, Dentistry and Veterinary Science.

Most competitive courses and institutions will have between 12 – 14 A grade candidates, competing for each place. Geraldine’s first-hand experience travelling the world as an Admissions Tutor at the University of Warwick, (a position normally reserved in the UK for academics), means she knows exactly what Departments are looking for when assessing each student’s application. She knows what it takes to compose a compelling and well written Personal Statement, which is personal, succinct and effective. The Personal Statement is probably the most important piece of prose a student will write as it will set them off on the right path from the beginning of their academic life.

The Personal Statement is a process whereby the student gets to know themselves, their preferences, how they think and approach their studies, how they react and overcome challenges and what skills they have to offer the institution or the course. Even if you are not applying for the most competitive courses the process of learning about yourself is incredibly empowering – you take control of your own future! Whatever your subject from Architecture, Art and Design, English, Engineering, History, Law, Medicine, Philosophy, Politics and Economics to Journalism, Theatre Studies or Zoology – we can help!

This year Geraldine and her colleagues have helped students successfully apply to Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, Exeter, Warwick, Bath, UCL, Imperial, City and Manchester just to name very few.

Geraldine has a Teaching qualification, a Bachelors Honours degree from the University of Warwick and a Postgraduate qualification in Career Guidance. She has over 25 years’ experience in coaching students through the UK university application process. Professionally Geraldine is a UCAS Adviser, a member of UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs), the Society of Education Consultants, the Career Development Institute and the Chamber of Commerce.

Some recent comments about her work:

“Thanks for all your help and encouragement. It was definitely a supporting crutch during that long tedious and sometimes stressful process.” A Parent – Dubai April 16th 2016

“Glad to hear you are still helping Shell families, we of course, still recommend you and thanks so much for your help! Greatly appreciate it!” Shell International – Education Department Head Office – The Hague