Study in the UK Blog

Top 5 Post-arrival tips

Posted on December 8th, 2007 by Stephen

With my first semester here in Leeds now over, I’m counting down the days till I fly over for a trip around Europe. Over 25 day’s I’m traveling to The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, France and Scotland. I should be spending Christmas in Paris, France and New Years in Edinburgh, Scotland. This’ll be my first real trip traveling – so it’s pretty exciting! It’s going to be tricky juggling the travel with study, but I think it’ll be worth it.

In keeping with the theme of my last post, here are my top 5 post-arrival tips. Hope they’re of some help :)

  1. Get in early. Most likely you will have arrived early as an international student, as universities often have an International orientation week before Fresher’s week. Make the most of it and beat the queues by sorting out subjects, bank accounts and registration in that first week. It’s also a great opportunity to explore the more deserted campus, so that you know the layout by the time busy fresher’s week comes around.
  2. Be social. The first couple of weeks at university are quite unique, and a new place brings new faces for everyone. Small things like leaving your door open (when you’re around!) and chatting with neighbors are great ways of meeting new people. The friends you make during those first few weeks are often the ones you’ll stick with throughout the first year, so you don’t want to miss out no matter how bad the jet lag is.
  3. Join groups. During Fresher’s week you’ll find out about lots of clubs, societies and groups through the university’s union. Ranging from sports, hobbies and cultural, these groups offer the opportunity to meet domestic and international students at the university, as well as engage in great activities.
  4. Be prepared for change. The change in country obvious brings out differences to what you’re used to at home. At university it might be the expected study load, structure of lectures or layout of campus. In life, it might be the living conditions away from family, shopping in stores you’ve never heard of before (with strange currency too) or weather that is completely different to back home. Whilst you’ll quickly get used to the differences, over the first few weeks they can be quite a shock – so research what to expect before leaving.
  5. Explore. With the study load of university, there’s always the temptation of staying close to uni and keeping on top of work. Don’t forget how far you’ve come to be there: make the most of it – get out there and see the world!

66 Responses to “Top 5 Post-arrival tips”

  1. William Says:

    Hey Stephen, sorry to post a comment again – but I am really liking the blog so that I can get some perspective and information about what its going to be like when I get over there. One thing I have been wondering is (apart from your big trip coming up) have you travelled much in the UK, or had the chance the travel much? Is it easy? Thanks Will

  2. Stephen Says:

    No worries William, it’s good to have some feedback.

    I’ve pretty much covered most of North England since arriving, I really only want to make it up to Newcastle before leaving. Then there’s Scotland, still plenty to do up there.

    Fortunately I found a group called early in the semester, who run day trips out to various cities and towns accross england. They mainly service uni’s in West Yorkshire, but I’m sure there’s plenty more options accross the rest of the country.

    If you decide to go it alone, it’s really easy and you’ll still have a fantastic time. Student Rail cards go cheap, allowing discounted rail travel all over the UK and deals on busses are often really low. You’ll have no problem finding somewhere to go!

  3. Jocelyn Says:

    Hi,what about your easter travel plan?

  4. Monika Says:

    Hi Stephen.
    I only just found your blog, and i really liked your post arrival tips. What made you decide to go to Leeds? How did you find the univerisity etc.?

  5. Stephen Says:


    My university provided me with a list of exchange partners in the UK. I made a list of the subjects that I needed to take in order to complete my degree in time. I then went through the subject catalogs of all the partners, and ranked them on compatibility with my degree, it. the one that offered the most equivalent subjects to the least. This ensured that I’d be able to gain credit for the subjects I took there.

    That was the main criteria really. When it got down to just a few choices, the real possibilities for my degree, I researched the universities and cities they were located in. In hindsight, I really should have taken more notice of their academic standing – from resources such as Also, I found that the descriptions of subjects in the catalog that I used to select them has been inaccurate, and sometimes completely wrong. This means I could be denied credit and have to take them back home again.

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