Arrival guide for students coming to the UK

As an international student, arriving in the UK to start your university degree can be both daunting and exciting. Your to-do list will range from the practical elements such as collecting your BRP, checking into your accommodation and registering with your university. Once these elements have been ticked off you can start to explore and prepare for the start of your course! Once you’ve settled in there are a few things to consider to widen your experience, network and job prospects upon arriving in the UK. These might not be at the top of your list but including a few of these tips while in the UK will put you in a better position when it comes to applying for your first graduate role.

Gain work experience

Work experience is one of the most important things to look out for along your student journey. Your first year of study is likely to be focussed on settling into life in the UK and your degree, however, work experience is also another opportunity to meet new contacts and widen your network in the UK. UK employers in particular want to see tangible evidence of work experience as it shows you can perform key skills vital to the role. This doesn’t necessarily mean finding a job alongside your degree, but looking for schemes such as the International Talent Internship Scheme run at UWE Bristol which helps international students to connect to local employers and gain vital skills. Speak to your careers team to see what schemes are available at your institution, they can also help with volunteering roles which also show employers key skills needed for the workplace.

Find your Network

Moving to the UK for study shows dedication but it can also be a daunting prospect. One way of overcoming this is to widen your network in the UK both in a personal and professional capacity to ensure that you have support while studying abroad to start growing your circle within your industry that will bolster your opportunities when finding a graduate job. When you arrive at your institution, you may have already had contact with the Global Centre, look out for this team or one similar as their work centres around supporting international students. They organise multi-cultural events and can help acclimatise you to life in the UK. These events are a great way to meet other students from across the globe including your home country. Your university will also hold events that promote networking, whether this is careers or industry-specific events, it’s a good idea to go along. Not only will attending help your communication skills but allow you to practice introducing yourself to new people which is useful when applying for jobs and learning how to present yourself to employers.

Connect with GradLink

GradLink was created to connect international students and graduates to a global network of employers who are looking for international talent. When arriving at university, get used to your campus, accommodation and course. Once you’ve settled in try to connect with services that can help support you while studying across a range of topics. When it comes to careers, arrange an appointment with the careers team on campus and see what services they offer. This paired with GradLink’s service for international students will give you the tools you need to find a graduate role when you graduate. GradLink provides specific careers advice for international students along with tips, the latest news, videos from students and employers, webinars and more all for free. Register today to gain access to our global database of employers and full access to the service!

By Jen Garmston Published: Sep 15,2023

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