Congratulations! You’ve booked your place at University for this September and decided on choosing the UK as your place of study. The weather might not always be the best but this is a great vibrant country with a high intake of international students (as of 2018 106,530 Chinese students are enrolled at UK Universities) and there’s lots to do whilst you’re here.
We want to help you settle in as quickly as possible so have listed below some advice on what to expect as an international student.
1. Prepare for a change in weather
Try to prep for a change in climate. In case you weren’t already aware, the UK is known for its cold and wet weather! Pack lots of warm clothes and a waterproof coat for the winter months, and don’t expect summer to be hot all the time.
2. Be Student Visa Ready
Depending on what country you are coming from you might not need a student visa, so it’s worth checking at www.gov.uk to see if this is the case. You can apply for a student visa 3 months prior to moving to the UK if you are staying here for longer than 6 months.
Get some passport photographs- it’s handy to have these with you, especially for check in and for getting your student ID card from your University.
3. Get to know the culture and language
With so many different accents in the UK and different styles of living, it can be a shock when you first move to a new city. Before arriving, check out the best places to visit and eat and take the time to learn what you can about your new home. Take a look at Korean Billy for different accents within the UK.
4. Once you arrive!
Welcome to the UK! Make sure you know your route from the airport to the student accommodation. It might be worth making a note of the accommodation address on your mobile phone or in a notebook in case you forget. If you aren’t sure on the best way to get to your chosen site, you can contact the Residential Life Team on firstname.lastname@example.org for support on transport routes in your city.
5. Set up a Bank Account
You cannot open a bank account for the UK until you have arrived here, so make sure you have money with you to get you by for the first two weeks. If you aren’t sure were your closest bank is to open an account, ask our team at reception, who will be happy to direct you to the nearest branch.
6. Enroll and Register
Make sure to enroll at the University you are studying at. Check what documents you need to take for this and make sure you know where you’re going and at what time. You should be able to find all information for international enrolment on your chosen Universities website.
Usually within a week or two of arriving within the UK you may need to register with the local authorities. If you are uncertain of how to do this, your support team at your Student Union should be able to help out.
7. Look after your health
Register with a doctor- if you aren’t feeling well or are feeling under the weather you can register with a local GP in your city. If you are struggling with feeling homesick or are overwhelmed by all the sudden changes, you can also come and speak to our team at reception who will be more than happy to listen. In the meantime, check out our wellbeing guide and our blog ‘How to manage Culture Shock’.
8. Keep your belongings safe
When you are out in the city be aware of your surroundings. Keep your phone within close range and don’t be a target for pick pockets or people on bicycles who can try to snatch your phone from you.
9. Have fun and get involved
Finally just make the most of your time here! During welcome week there will be a Fresher’s fair for you to sign up to many societies. Whatever your interests are there will usually be a society for it at your University. You can also sign up to the international societies to meet other students who are managing being new to the UK.
We hope this makes you feel more settled and assured about your new student journey. If you have any questions or need to know anything further before you arrive. Please feel free to send an email to our Residential Life Team at wecreate@Dwellstudent.co.uk.
Advice from Assam- dwell student living resident
‘Hello to all Incoming International Students arriving in September to study in the UK. My name is Assam, I came as an International Student from Pakistan to study Engineering and Computer Science in London, I recently moved to Manchester for two years Graduate Internship in Computer Science. UK is culturally very diverse country and is home to students from across the globe which makes the country one of the most attractive places in the world to study and experience the best student life.
Students union of every university host a variety of events for international students to help them adjust to university life, make new friends, and get to know the city better. Such events will enable you to meet people who are going through a very similar experience to yourself.
Every University in the UK has different cultural and faith societies where people come together to celebrate special occasions such as Chinese New Year and discuss aspects of religion and faith and simply come together to reminisce about home, joining societies is one of the best ways to make new friends and meet new people so I would strongly recommend incoming international student to join different student societies.
Regarding Food, Some of the main UK supermarket chains include Tesco, ASDA, Morrison, Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose, and many of them have aisles dedicated to international cuisine. Most cities also have specialist international supermarkets, where you can find foods and ingredients that you are familiar with back home.
Regarding travelling around the city, the local bus service is often the most convenient way of travelling around the city. If you live far away from campus, consider investing in a student bus pass to save some cash.
Luckily there are many discounts offered to students in the UK. You can get discounts on food and shopping, nights out, getting around, and wellbeing. You just need to keep an eye out for available discounts and don’t be shy to ask.’