Moving away from home for the first time can be an overwhelming experience regardless of where you come from. I’m originally from the Czech Republic, which is situated in central Europe and is a rather small country compared to the UK. I moved to Worcester 4 years ago in order to study an undergraduate degree and even though it took me a couple of months to get used to the British culture, cuisine and to Worcester itself, I would do it all again if I could!
As our university accommodates a large number of international students from all around the world, I’m sharing my tips while highlighting information about the support you can receive from the university as an international student! You can go on a virtual tour here.
Prepare for your transfer to the UK
As cliché as it sounds, I always knew I wanted to move abroad to experience different culture and to polish my language skills, therefore, I remember being fairly excited about moving to the UK. However, the closer my departure date got, the more nervous I got because large decision like this shouldn’t be taken lightly! If you are experiencing something similar, I would recommend searching for Facebook groups related to the university so you can discuss any questions you have and even make some friends before you arrive! There are social media pages dedicated to international students only (Facebook – University of Worcester international students, Instagram: Global Worcester) where you can find support and read stories from your fellow international students (this can give you an idea of other students’ experience which I’m sure will get you excited for your next step!).
Also, if you have course-specific questions, you can always message our Unibuddies! Unibuddy is in an online platform accessible from the university website, where you can get in touch with both current international and UK students to ask specific questions related to your course!
Sort your student accommodation and practice your cooking skills
You’ll want to get your accommodation sorted before you land in the UK – the last thing you want is to turn up and have nowhere to stay!
Most students either live in university accommodation (called ‘halls of residence’ or ‘halls’ for short) or rent a room from a private landlord. I would always recommend to choose accommodation on campus in your first year as you will be able to socialise with fellow first year students and you will have all the advantages of living on campus (including free gym, 24/7 security and lectures only 5 minutes away from your bed!).
Once you confirm your unconditional offer from the University of Worcester, you will receive an automated email regarding your accommodation. The university offers 6 different types of accommodation from traditional to en-suite extra which allows you to choose the best option for you based on your preferred standard and budget.
Regardless of which accommodation option you choose, halls and private accommodation are usually self-catered, so make sure you practice your cooking skills if you don’t want to live off chicken nuggets and frozen pizza 🙂 If you are short of recipes, the university has produced an international cookbook which features recipes that remind our students of their home country + the recipes are easy to replicate so there is plenty of inspiration if your are a beginner!
International welcome week
All international students arrive on campus a week before UK students for one main purpose – to settle in. During the international induction you will meet like-minded international students and you will receive all the needed support from the university. If you are in need of a UK sim card, bank account or you just need help finding your way around – the International Team and university’s Student Ambassadors are here to help. During the first week you will be able to go on tours around campuses, around the city centre. You will be shown local shops and last but not least you will be introduced to all the available support that university provides – from language and academic support to mental health services.
The International Team and the university itself provided a great deal of support during the first couple of months when I was settling in, which made the whole process A LOT easier and enjoyable. It’s important to mention that everyone has different needs and adjusts at a different pace – for some it can take months (as for myself) and some might find moving to another country quite easy. One way or the other, I find Worcester to be a welcoming place that made my university experience unforgettable.
I hope you enjoyed the blog and whether you are a potential or current student I wish you best of luck in the future!
Until next time