While your university normally informs you about the essential things you have to do, we’ve gathered 5 things that every international student should do prior to and upon arrival in the UK.
1) Sort your accommodation out
Whether you decide to live in university halls or rent private accommodation, make sure this is in place before you arrive in the UK.
There are cases of students deciding to not go with the accommodation offer from their university and initially stay at hotels and hostels in their first few weeks.
If you decide to rent private housing, browse our portfolio of verified student properties or get in touch with us for help and advice. Never rush your accommodation decision and make sure you are aware of all the facilities offered by your chosen accommodation.
2) Open a UK bank account
Your university is your first point of contact if you need any help with this one. Normally, this should be a straightforward process and you have a selection of banks with HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest and Santander being among some of the popular ones for international students.
3) Register with a GP
By this time, you should normally be generally aware of how the medical system in the UK works. This is either explained to you by your university, or your educational agent if you applied to your university through one.
If you are unsure about how to register with a GP, ask the Student Services within your university. If you need to find a GP near you then you can start with the NHS website here.
4) Keep an eye on organised social events
There are numerous events in the first few weeks of university mainly including Freshers Week. Make sure you keep an open eye on the social events in the beginning of your course. These events are a great opportunity to make new friends from all over the world and meet like-minded students.
The best place to start is usually social media channels. Most freshers, whether undergraduate or postgraduate, have Facebook groups which you can join. All the events arranged by students and the university are usually discussed in these groups. Another good starting point would be university societies and your university’s Students’ Union.
5) Always ask for help if you need it
Going abroad independently for further education can be a challenging, yet enjoyable experience. The better news is that you’ll look back at all the hard times and realise how much they contributed to you developing as a person.
In your first few weeks, you might be unsure of how things work as you’re in an entirely new place. Remember to always ask your university’s Student Services for help. All universities have dedicated and trained teams who deal with issues that international students face. Read more about the challenges of moving abroad and ways of overcoming them in our previous article here.