My first year studying in the UK was a roller-coaster ride. So many things to learn and being so far away from your family is tough. Here are the most important things that I learned in my first year… I hope it helps!
I CAN survive without my Mom
My Mom is a super woman. She just knows. Knows where things are, how to do things, what temperature to cook things on, what detergent to buy – the list is endless. But you know what, so do I now. Mostly because I Skyped her and asked her. A lot. BUT… I’ve learned how to cook, clean, study… l’m proud of myself and, more importantly, so is she.
The teaching style was different to what I was used to
PANIC… actually I didn’t need to worry as there was so much support available. My teachers were great and easily contactable if ever I had a problem. The people on my course were a great help too and if you’re really stuck there will be learning support available.
Make friends and make plans
In the first few weeks while everyone is settling in and finding their way around there were definitely times that I felt lonely and with my family thousands of miles away it was tough. Then I joined the international society and found lots of friends. They may not be from your country BUT you’ll meet people that either are or have been in the same position as you and who will give you the support you need. Also, what did you love doing at home? There will definitely be a society for that, (there’s one for EVERYTHING) that way you’ll meet new people with the same interests as you.
Everything costs… EVERYTHING…!
Did your Mom every say ‘You treat this place like a hotel’? Mine did. It was a bit of shock having the responsibility of managing my finances and paying for everything. The beauty of living at The Hive is it that your rent, heating, telephone, Wi-Fi are all taken care of in one all-inclusive monthly payment!
Budgeting is critical to your survival. Download a ‘Home Budget’ app and use it! Put your monthly allowance in, then all your outgoings. So, for me that is my Hive payment PLUS, travel, food – don’t under estimate how much food costs, cell phone… and that way I definitely know how much I have left to spend in the Student Union!
Living in London is amazing
Truly, truly amazing. And, contrary to the above point there are LOTS of things to do for free. You probably won’t have much money, so make the most of the free museums and galleries.
Some things just taste better at home
I don’t know what it is, but the UK version of whatever food you are craving just won’t be the same. My suggestion. Monthly food parcels… you get some home comforts, your family feel like they are still looking after you and you save some money. Win, win WIN.
There are a LOT of accents in the UK
You know that English accent you think everyone has. Like the Queen. They don’t. There is an array of accents you’ll have to deal with and at first understanding everyone will be exhausting. But you’ll soon know your London from your Liverpool and everywhere in between.
You’ll need a coat
It rains in England. It can be cold, wet and unpredictable. Take a coat, if you don’t have a warm one buy one when you get there. And, gloves. You’ll thank me for it.
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