Arriving In The UK To Study
Leaving your home country and arriving somewhere new is both an exciting and scary experience, but if you know what to expect, it will make your first few days as a UK international student a lot easier.
Plan your journey
Studying overseas is a fantastic way to experience another culture while learning about something you're passionate about. When you get your acceptance letter for a degree programme in the UK, the next step is to start thinking about how you'll actually get from your door to the university.
Look for flights from your local airport, and try to find one that arrives in the UK during the day, rather than in the evening. Transport links run most frequently then, and the last thing you want for your first UK experience is to be stuck at the airport at midnight. If it looks like your only option is to arrive after 8pm, book a room in a hotel nearby so you have plenty of time to go through the immigration line, and then get a good night's sleep before travelling to your new home.
The university will be able to advise you on how to get there from the airport - which buses/trains to take, and when you might need to get a taxi instead of public transport. Write this down before you leave home - along with phone numbers for the university - in case you can't connect to the internet when you arrive in the UK.
Make financial arrangements
When you go through the immigration line at the airport, the officials may want to see your university acceptance letter as well as bank statements that prove you can support yourself financially while you're studying in the UK. It's ok if you do get a part-time job later on, but you should be able to show that you'll be able to complete your studies without having to do that. You can set up a bank account in the UK after you arrive.
When you're in a different place from what you're used to, it can be easy to only hang out with other students from your country, or to find excuses why not to socialise with lots of people you don't know. Challenge yourself to break out of your comfort zone while you're studying abroad - start off simple by joining clubs and societies, or going out with your classmates. Having a good work/social life balance will make your time abroad really memorable, and you could make some lifelong friends that who will give you a place to stay when you want to come back to the UK after you gradate!
Try something new
As well as meeting new people, experiencing life in another country means being open to trying new things. It doesn't mean you have to eat haggis on your first day (look it up…), but get together with other students to go on day trips around your uni. Get tips from your British classmates on places to see and things to try - perhaps make it a goal to try at least one new thing each week!