1. Fresher’s week
The first week at university can seem daunting, particularly amidst rumours of Fresher’s week antics. However, all students maintain that Fresher’s week is the most important in terms of making a good first impression – yes that does often mean wearing ridiculous fancy dress costumes to join in. Also increasing numbers of student unions are now hosting alcohol-free events in order to cater to an increasingly diverse student population.
2. Join clubs/societies
University clubs and societies are widely considered one of the best ways to meet new people and make new friends, as well as occupy the vast amount of free time students seem to have. For example, London School of Economics has a prominent Amnesty society whereas the University of Nottingham is proud of its physics society and the University of Exeter hosts a renowned Arabic and Middle Eastern society.
3. Social life
All students would agree that social life plays a significant part in their life at university, beyond that of Fresher’s week. Whether it be through society events or the Fresher’s ball, it is important for students to take part in such events in order to make the most of their experience at university.
4. Get to know the area around your university
Moving away from home to university is intimidating enough, let alone moving to an entirely new continent. Therefore, exploring the surrounding area of your university before you go is a must if you wish to make the move less overwhelming; even if only to find out where the nearest Starbucks is to your halls of residence.
5. Learn a few simple recipes
Being able to cook, if only very basic meals, will stand you in good stead for life at university. Whether it be a cheat spaghetti bolognaise, curry or soup, being able to cook can help you make friends with your flat mates, as well as help prevent scurvy.
6. Making your room homely
The likelihood of any student feeling homesick is high, however adding personal touches to your room can help to make it feel more like home. I.e. photos of family and friends, posters or even just nice bedding.
7. Make sure you’re aware of reading lists
Although it is not necessary to purchase all of the texts on your reading list, it is worth identifying which of them are the most important and trying to find as many second hand editions as possible as it can become costly. Don’t forget the possibility of local libraries stocking these texts as well.
Although it sounds tedious, budgeting is what will prevent you from running out of money half way through the term leaving you with only a tin of baked beans and bread that is past its best.
9. Sign up to a Doctor’s surgery
As international students, it is important to remember to sign up to a local doctor’s surgery to ensure that you are looked after should you fall ill to the inevitable “Fresher’s Flu”.
Completing a degree now is practically impossible without a personal laptop or at least access to a computer. So in order to make your final dissertation easier, having a laptop is essential.