What to Expect When You First Arrive at a UK University
It’s exciting to be accepted to a UK university. The prospect of exploring a new place and getting a world-class education are something all international students look forward to. However, once you’ve gotten over the initial excitement and sorted out your accommodation and other factors, you may start feeling nervous. You may not know what to expect at university. While first arriving at university will be exciting, it’s also going to be stressful. In addition to adjusting to a new environment, you’ll face many challenges. Fortunately, knowing what to expect at university is something that’s bound to help with nervousness and feeling overwhelmed. This guide will go over what to expect from your first few weeks and how to make the most of this exciting time.
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What to Expect at University and How to Make the Most of It
No two university experiences are the same. Every individual has a different experience at a UK university. However, knowing what to expect at university beforehand can drastically improve your experience and prepare you for what lies ahead. Here’s what to expect from your first few weeks.
Arriving in the UK
When you step off the plane, you’re starting a new and exciting period in your life. Studying at a UK university can bring you several opportunities.
So, what should you expect when you land? Whether or not your journey was very long, you’re bound to feel disoriented and overwhelmed. However, depending on your arrangements and the UK university you’ve selected, you can expect to be welcomed at the airport.
Many UK universities offer pick-up services from the airport to ensure students know exactly where they need to go. Being in a new country can be challenging in the beginning, but your UK university will probably be there to help. You can also expect to meet university representatives and other international students at the airport. While this depends on the day you land the arrangements you’ve made, it’s an excellent opportunity to meet new people and get to know your new environment.
Paperwork and the Enrolment Process
One of the most challenging and stressful parts of your first week at a UK university is taking care of the paperwork. As a new student, you’ll have to finish the enrolment process and register as a student. When it comes to what to expect at university during your first week, a lot of it has to do with administration. Make sure to work out your timetable, fill out all the necessary forms, register for the classes you want, and get your student card.
While this can quickly become daunting, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether it’s the student office, the international office, or other international students, you should feel free to reach out for assistance.
Settling in and Becoming Familiar with Everything
Your new surroundings can seem impossibly difficult to familiarise yourself with during your first week. However, stay calm. Knowing what to expect at university makes this process easier. Once you’re shown to your accommodations, you’ll likely receive a tour of the facilities, so you know where everything is. Additionally, you can expect a welcome pack from your UK university outlining your responsibilities, introducing the university and city, and even providing you with a campus map.
What to expect at university soon after arrival includes one of the most important events you’ll attend – Freshers’ or Orientation Week. Freshers’ Week at a UK university is an incredibly exciting one and serves to welcome all new students to the university and the campus. Both academic and social events are held during this week, and students are given the opportunity to explore societies and organisations, meet other students, attend different fairs and workshops, and much more.
Whether you’re more interested in academic or extracurricular activities, Freshers’ Week gives you the chance to explore your new surroundings and immerse yourself in university culture. You’ll also probably get a tour of the campus and be able to familiarise yourself with the different buildings and facilities.
If you want to make the most of your UK university experience and take advantage of Freshers’ Week, we suggest signing up for activities you’re interested in and not shying away from meeting new people. Making friends during this first week will help you feel more at home and give you a group to hang out with once you start your classes.
First Week of Classes
Many students wonder what to expect at university in terms of classes and lectures. The answer is you can expect lectures and university work to be very different from high school. While the first week of university is exciting and focused on fun activities, it’s eventually time to study. Your classes may be more advanced, or you may come across classes you don’t like. During add/drop week, you can replace these and opt for classes more suited to your interests or career path.
If you want to excel at a UK university, it’s critical to take your academic career seriously. Depending on your courses, you can expect both lectures and tutorials. While lectures are usually led by the teacher and don’t have a lot of student input, tutorials are very interactive and allow you to ask questions and partake in discussions. Whether it’s discussing what you learnt during the lectures, clarifying concepts, or expressing your opinions on the topic, don’t be afraid of using your voice and making the most of this opportunity.
University itself can be an overwhelming transition. When you add studying abroad and the possibility of culture shock to the mix, it can become even more daunting and can leave you feeling helpless. However, knowing what to expect at university and being prepared for the challenges ahead can empower you and make you feel more comfortable as you navigate these new waters and begin a new adventure. We hope this article on what to expect during your first few weeks at a UK university was enlightening and helps you adjust to your new environment. Reach out to us here for more information.