Starting University is equal parts exciting and terrifying…. then add in doing it in a completely different country and it becomes daunting to say the least. To make your transition to INTERNATIONAL STUDENT status just a little easier here are our 6 top tips…
1 – Visas and paperwork
You won’t be able to study without the relevant paperwork! You don’t want all the hard work that went into securing your university place to go to waste, and your local government authority will be happy to help you out.
Also, European students… in order to access free (or reduced) NHS healthcare you’ll need a European Health Insurance Card.
London living is notoriously expensive so you’ll need ‘digs’ that not only meet your budget but offer you the security and comfort that is so important during those first few weeks and months. That’s why at The Hub we work hard to ensure your move is as straightforward as possible. Everything you need is here, PLUS reception is manned 24/7 so if you need anything there is always someone available to help you.
3 – Keeping in contact with home
You will be here for a long time so you need a cheap way of keeping in touch with your family… how else are you going to get your food-package orders in?
Email is great but you can’t beat face to face conversations (sometimes). So, as Wi-Fi is included as standard in every room at The Hub we have a feeling Skype will become your new best friend!
Create your account and, one for everyone you want to speak to BEFORE you leave. And, make sure everyone knows how to use it! You don’t want your first few calls to be endless rounds of ‘I can hear you can you hear me?’ ‘There’s sound and no picture’ ‘Is the video on…’ agghhhhhh….!
4 – Getting about
London’s public transport system is fantastic, buses, trains, tubes, the driverless DLR (you MUST try this out!) EVEN a cable car. To pay for your travel you will need an OYSTER CARD you can add weekly or monthly travel cards or pay-as-you-go – more information here.
Plan ahead: Last tube is around midnight, the first not until 5:30am! Black Cabs (Taxis) are notoriously expensive at that time of night or… you can get a night bus. Make sure you familiarise yourself with the routes as they are completely different to the buses that run during the day. Also, we recommend giving Uber a go – it’s convenient, cheap, and you can share the taxi fare with friends.
5 – Working…!
London living COSTS so you might want to find a part time job. Before you apply for ANYTHING check out the rules and regulations here… you don’t want to get yourself in any trouble!
6 – Culture
You may find yourself having a few ‘it’s all the same but different, what have I done’ moments. Your lecturers may approach your subject slightly differently or you just don’t GET Marmite (many don’t) but give yourself a few short weeks and you’ll be fine. Don’t forget that it’s very strange for the students coming from the UK too.
But most of all… Study hard, enjoy the UK, have some FUN… and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
The Hub provides secure student accommodation in central London. For more information please call us on +44 (0) 3770 9120 or book your viewing here.