Every year, over 430,000 international students come to the UK to study from over 180 countries and more often than not it’s a new, unfamiliar country for them. If you’re one of them, fear not, because here are some top tips from a few UK universities to help you settle in…
University of Southampton’s international students have some great advice for their fellow overseas friends who are due to start university in the UK this year:
Get to know the university through its website - that’s where you can find out about the campus, classes, halls, the student union, lecturers, etc. The website will help you feel familiar with the university once you arrive there.
Set yourself a goal - the grades and study kind yes, but also one that will make you feel at home in your new environment. For example, set yourself the task of making at least one new friend.
Join a society - become part of a club. You can take your pick from a variety of options – salsa, sports, dramatics, etc. This will help you make loads of friends in no time. Remember, sharing common interests is the first step to starting great friendships.
Research accommodation and travel - make sure you do proper research on your living arrangements and expenses before you come all the way to the UK. Find out about travel links to and from the university, alternative routes, costs, etc.
Jade at Southampton University has a great one - “listen to your mother when she says to wear tights under your jeans. Winter really IS that cold. Thick everything – jumpers, gloves, coats will help too.”
Brush up on your English but don’t be afraid to show your unique cultural side. It’s important to be able to communicate so working on your English speaking skills will help. Manchester University has some great tips for international students who want to work in the UK:
Understand the job market and what UK graduate employers are looking for. Show enthusiasm and passion for your chosen career path along with strong leadership, teamwork and problem solving skills.
Gain some work experience by working part-time or doing voluntary work during your degree. Most undergraduate international students can work in the UK during their studies for up to 20 hours per week and full time during the holidays. You can do most types of work as long as it is not a permanent full time position or self-employment*.
There are loads more tips and advice available here:
UCAS – for university application help and advice
Visit Britain – for travel links, maps, accommodation tips, etc.
GOV.UK - for advice on working and paying taxes as an international student
TFL.Gov.UK – for London travelling advice, routes, costs, etc.
Foreignstudents.com – for advice on studying in the UK
Student Beans – for student discounts, latest offers and other money saving tips
*Terms & Conditions may vary for Bulgarian and Romanian students.