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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!