How international students can feel confident for the start of university

Universities in the UK are preparing to welcome back both new and returning students across the country. For many international students, this can be a nervous time preparing for travel, studies and life in the UK. To help alleviate the stress, we’ve put some ideas together to help you navigate your first or returning term at university.

Find support and services at your institution

While students have been away from campus, most universities have been busy supporting online provisions and finding ways to assist students across the world while face-to-face teaching has been paused. Whilst some activities and services may have changed slightly, the support is still there for you! There are several key services for international students, here are a few we think are useful for new starters;‚Äč

If your institution has an international or global student support team, get in touch or check out their website to see what support and activities are available. At UWE Bristol, the Global support team manage the arrivals for international students including airport collection, the Global buddies scheme which helps new students transition into a new academic and cultural environment along with activities and events across the year. Most universities also have English language support for international students either before or during your studies. Your first term is a good time to explore what services are available to you and where they can support you.

Connect again

It’s been a very difficult time worldwide over the past year but with a return to studies it’s important to think about your personal and professional connections to reignite some which may have been paused if you returned to your home country during the Summer vacation. While many connections may have been maintained online, with a return to face-to-face teaching or blended approach being favoured in many UK institutions there is an opportunity to re-connect to others on campus. Only participate in activities that you feel comfortable with, however starting university or returning to campus is a great chance to revisit opportunities that are not available while at home.

Try something new

A new term is the perfect excuse to try something new. From a social event on campus or try-outs for a sports team, the options are endless. It’s not just extra-curricular activities that are important, finding new skills and gaining work experience which will help you find a graduate role are key. Speak to your Careers team who will be able to offer advice and work experience or volunteering opportunities that will help you meet your career goals. It may seem early to think about this during your first year, however the more experience you can gather by your final year- the better. By researching and trialling in your first year, you’ll give yourself the chance to work out where your strengths and key skills lie which will help you when applying for your first graduate role. For more tips and careers advice for register for free with GradLink for the latest news for international students.

By Jen Garmston Published: Sep 01,2021