You did it! You have landed in the UK, made it to your housing after a very long flight, and as it is incredibly exciting to finally arriving in the UK, we are all overwhelmed with the thought of “what do I do first?”. As I am sure every international student coming to the UK gets some sort of Induction Planner, here are the top 5 things you need to accomplish as QUICKLY as possible when you arrive.
Stress is something that no one wants to deal with, yet we all struggle with. Some days are worse than others, but as long as we know how to cope with the pressure of school, stress can be battled effectively. Life is about balance and in order to efficiently handle the pressure of school while adjusting to an unfamiliar environment, I found that it is tremendously important to find the balance that works best for you.
When I went the UK, I thought I had a pretty good idea of what to expect - turns out, there were a couple of things I wish I'd have known! Below are the 10 things America did not teach me about England and the English people:
I just finished my MA here in the UK and have recently accepted a place on a Ph.D. course. When I discuss this with my friends back home, I often hear “Why are you deciding to go back to the UK?” In this blog, I’ll briefly discuss the reasons I feel doing two degrees in the UK is beneficial.
Topics: Alumni Ambassador
While preparing to depart for the UK, you’re likely to come across many references to “Freshers’ Week”, whether it be in communications from your university, student’s union, or soon-to-be fellow students. Some of you may be familiar with Freshers’ already, but for those who aren’t, this introductory week is a chance for you to settle in and get to know your chosen university before lectures start. If you’ve studied at university in the USA, Freshers’ Week is similar to what you would have experienced at a freshman orientation; you will have a chance get to know the academic staff and your program of study, as well as review university procedures and systems that are in place to help you succeed. Here at the University of Southampton (where I’ve chosen to study for my bachelor’s degree!), a timetable was distributed shortly before my arrival with dates of the welcome talks for the university as well as my individual course.
Have you found the nearest Tesco’s yet? Do you know how to navigate around town? How was Fresher’s Week? You’ve missed a video call home already, haven’t you? Still jet-lagged?
One of the first things I thought of after accepting my offer from the University of Kent was, “how am I going to cope with the unpredictable and often wet and windy weather that the United Kingdom is so well known for?” My first impulse was to run right out and buy rubber boots “wellies” here in the UK and a really heavy rain coat, some plastic ponchos for my handbag and of course, a great umbrella. Weight restrictions on my flight prevented that shopping spree and I learned quickly that everything I could possibly need is not only easy to find once I arrived it’s also less expensive especially with the plethora of charity shops around every town finding an inexpensive option can be easy!
It was finally time to prepare for this day: the day I had to get a job after earning a master’s degree – Day one of “adulting”. I followed the steps to get a good job– took my academics seriously, and earned not just an undergrad, but also a master’s degree. In my world, these achievements seemed like the prerequisite to get the “good” job after graduation.
So, you’ve finally made it to the UK, and you’ve found out it’s not exactly like home. Now what? Have no fear, I am going to walk you through 3 points that will help you totally immerse yourself in British culture. When I first landed in the UK, despite the similarities between the UK and US, I found myself with a bit of culture shock, but I made the UK my home through following these three tips.
Throughout my time in England I enjoyed living on campus and my studies very much, and although I spent much of my time engaged in classwork, I found several opportunities to explore cities outside Canterbury and within an easy train ride from London.