Life in the UK: How to prepare to study at University
Congratulations, you have made it to the University of your choice and have got the visa to travel to the UK and start your next journey. The adrenaline is running high, you are excited, and you cannot wait to meet new people, integrate into a new culture and get the ball rolling!!! It is a massive achievement and should be celebrated. However, there are things that are absolutely important that needs to be taken care of before you start studying at your university. “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” This motto from Benjamin Franklin is one that I believe in and its importance is immeasurable. I would like to share the steps an international student can take that will not only help them in their academic life at university but will also help them to develop their professional/personal life too.
Registration is one of the first steps that you will take with most universities sending you an email reminding you to register at the university as well as to choose a date so that you can attend an open day. This is done before you even get to the UK as it makes the process of issuing your ID card easier and faster once you get to campus, so it is important to check your email and register yourself with the university as soon as possible to avoid any complications. Secondly, it sounds obvious to book your accommodation, however many students leave it too late and as result are put on the waiting list which is a risky affair as it does not guarantee you to have an accommodation by the time you reach the UK. Knowing this I would advise you to look into university accommodation as soon as you have received confirmation that you have been admitted to your chosen university!
Now that registration and accommodation has been sorted it is time to attend the welcome week at your university (you will be informed about it through emails or on your registration day). It is important to use this welcome week to get used to the campus as it can be challenging at first to memorise the buildings you will need to be at for different lectures and seminars. You may also be provided with an invitation from your University’s immigration team to book yourself into a TIER 4 induction which will explain about your rights in the UK as well as actions that could result in your visa being terminated. All of this sounds hectic but believe me, it is very straightforward and if you have any confusion the University is always there to help your queries so do not hesitate to contact them if you are in doubt.
After Welcome Week/Freshers Week has ended, University life officially begins, and you will be attending classes regularly. Universities have their own methods of monitoring the attendance of International students which will be explained by your immigration team and if you are not attending the classes regularly then the chances are high that your TIER 4 visa will be terminated, and you will be sent back home. So please attend your classes and follow the methods to inform your university about your attendance. Of course if you have any problems which are forcing you from going to class then I would advise you to speak with a member of staff from university, they will be there for you and can provide you with assistance. Moving on to your classes, you are expected to be on time and be prepared as most of the classes do start with a discussion or in many cases a revision of the previous teachings.
Furthermore, please do try to make friends students from the UK and from other countries as there is a tendency for international students to join students from their own country. It is normal to make friends from your home country and so it’s absolutely fine for you to make those friends but it can be beneficial to make friends with others. These benefits are that: · When you are part of group assignments you are expected to work with others no matter what their background is so have an open mind to being sociable with a new set of people. It is nice to learn about a new culture and meet new people who have similar goals as you.
Lastly, a way to combat living in a new country is to join a local sports club or any club that interests you as you get to meet people from outside your university and is a great way of networking which goes a long way in your professional career. Do make use of your university’s careers services as they can help you to improve your CV and covering letters when applying for a job. Your university will also include a student’s union which will have many clubs for you to join so take advantage of the opportunities that your universities provide! I am hopeful that my personal experience and this blog will help you to enjoy your time in the UK and lead you to greater things in life. Good luck on your new journey!!
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