Being accepted to a university in the United Kingdom is a source of great excitement. The anticipation of discovering a novel location and receiving a high-quality education is a shared aspiration among international students. 

Nevertheless, after experiencing the initial surge of enthusiasm and addressing logistical considerations such as accommodation arrangements and other pertinent issues, one may begin to have a sense of unease. The unfamiliarity of the academic experience may leave one uncertain of what to anticipate. 

The initial experience of transitioning to university is likely to evoke a combination of excitement and worry. In addition to acclimating to a novel setting, one will encounter numerous obstacles. 

Fortunately, possessing knowledge about what to anticipate in a university setting is likely to alleviate feelings of anxiety and being inundated. This guide aims to provide an overview of the anticipated experiences during the initial weeks and offers suggestions for maximising the potential of this exhilarating period.

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What to expect at university and how to make the most of it

The university experiences of individuals exhibit considerable variation. Each individual’s experience at a university in the United Kingdom varies. However, acquiring prior knowledge about the university experience can significantly enhance one’s overall experience and equip them with the necessary preparation for the future. The following is an overview of what one may anticipate throughout the initial weeks.

Arriving in the UK

Upon disembarking from the aircraft, one embarks upon a novel and exhilarating phase in their existence. Attending a university in the United Kingdom can provide individuals with a multitude of advantageous prospects.

What may one anticipate upon arrival? Regardless of the duration of your travel, it is highly likely that you may experience feelings of disorientation and being overwhelmed. Nevertheless, contingent upon the specific arrangements made and the chosen UK university, it is anticipated that the individual will receive a warm reception upon arrival at the airport.

Several universities in the United Kingdom provide airport pick-up services to facilitate students’ arrival and ensure their seamless transition to the campus. This service aims to enhance students’ orientation by offering them clear guidance on the necessary transportation arrangements upon their arrival. 

The initial period of residing in a foreign nation may present certain difficulties; however, it is likely that your United Kingdom-based educational institution will offer assistance and support. 

Additionally, it is anticipated that university representatives and fellow international students will be present at the airport for the purpose of facilitating introductions and interactions. The extent of this possibility is contingent upon the specific day of arrival and the pre-established arrangements. 

Nevertheless, it presents a commendable prospect for socialising with unfamiliar individuals and acquainting oneself with the novel surroundings

Paperwork and the enrollment 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 enrollment process and register as a student. When it comes to what to expect at the 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 the 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.

Freshers’ week

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.

Freshers’ week

Whether you’re more interested in academic or extracurricular activities, Freshmen’s 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 the university in terms of classes and lectures. The answer is that 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 learned 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.

Final thoughts

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 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.


What amount of money should an international student bring in the UK?

It depends on where you will go for studying because London costs a bit more than other places. It will cost approxiamately £1,334 per month if you stay up to 9 months, or it will take around £1,023 per month till 9 months if you live outside of London.

What should a student do after coming in the UK?

You can call your family members back home to let them know you have comfortably reached the United Kingdom, arrange for housing, and pick up your Biometric Residence Permit. In addition, you will have to enroll online and review your schedule.

What are the new rules for an international student in UK?

If you want to go to the UK after January 1, 2022, you will require a visa. If you are living in the UK and still want to remain after December 31, 2020, you must fill out an EU Settlement application. You have to approach before June 30, 2022.

Can I bring my partner with me to the UK to study?

Dependants including family members like a spouse or child, and they are not eligible to apply for entry to or extension of stay in the United Kingdom.