Survival guide: your first week at university

The essential university survival guide for any international student about to begin their study abroad adventure. 

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The jump from school to university can sometimes be a daunting one. With the pressure of having what everyone tells you will be “the best time of your life!” to the difference in work load and what’s expected of you.

Heading off to uni can at times feel like you’re stepping off into the great unknown. You’re not alone.

Here are our to tips to make the transition as easy as possible.

Get an understanding of household tasks

For a lot of people, university is the first time they move away from home. Whether it’s learning how to wash your clothes or trying to wash your dishes, you’re going to need to know how to get through day-to-day tasks.

Survival Guide: learning how to cook

Practice how to make your favourite foods while you’re still at home.

Top tip: family members can be great for this – get them to teach you and email you the recipe. 

Expect to be confused at first

The difference between school and university level work is quite high.

It does get much easier though so persevere!

Survival Guide: at first you might be confused

Your lecturers know that it often takes a little while to understand university level work and won’t expect you to know everything right away.

Remember you’re here to learn, not to understand everything in the first week.

Speak out if you are struggling

If you do not understand your work go and speak to your professor.

While at school, teachers can often see when you’re struggling and can offer you help. This can often be difficult to identify in a lecture theatre when the majority of your work is being done outside the classroom.

Survival Guide: learn to ask for help and speak out

Don’t forget: your lecturers are there to help – so use them! You can arrange a time to meet after class and ask them questions about anything that you’re struggling with.

Learn how to manage your time effectively

The main difference between school and university is how you work as a student.

Survival Guide: learn out to study better

Whilst at school you’re given a lot of guidance in class to complete work. At university, a lecturer will give you the basics and it will be up to you how much more work you put in to researching more about that topic.

As someone that gets easily distracted, I know how difficult it can be to stay on task. There are loads of great apps out there that can limit your phone use if that’s your main form of distraction.

For more tips on settling into university life, discover the 9 survival tips for your first week or see how Chiedza, from Zimbabwe, made new best friends at university

To find out more about studying abroad, head over to our website

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