Tips for students moving to the UK
Moving to the UK for university is kind of a big deal. New
country, new norms, potentially new language – what could go wrong? In all
seriousness, you’re likely to have a brilliant time if you don’t mind being
away from home and are open to new experiences. There’s no real way to prepare
for life in another country other than getting thrown in at the deep end, but
there are some useful pointers of advice we can give to help you dive, rather
than belly flop, into the pool.
Learn some local slang
Moving to the UK from a different country can be daunting, especially when your first language isn’t English. Like most countries, the UK has various dialects and words which sound different depending on where you are. Each city generally has its own array of commonly used phrases and terms which you’ll hear locally. The best way to immerse yourself in your new home city is by picking up some of these sayings and familiarising yourself with their meaning. For example, if you’re studying in Newcastle, you’ll soon be saying Howay, man! to every canny lad in the Toon!
Practice your English
As well as some city-specific slang, you’ll also benefit from brushing up on your English skills if moving to the UK for university. Not least because you’ll be studying in the language, but you may find it hard to keep up with fellow students, both in an academic and social environment, if you’re struggling to understand them. A key aspect to learning a language is having the confidence to practice. Believe in yourself! The ability to hold a conversation with a native speaker is something to be very proud of. So don’t worry if you struggle with some words or your pronunciation, you’re doing a great job.
Go to local places
Moving to another country is the perfect chance to explore new surroundings! The UK has so much to offer, regardless of the exact place you’re in. Visit local attractions, parks, restaurants and bars to make the most of your university experience. Here at true, we take guests on regular trips out – for example to play crazy golf, do watersports or visit the farm. This is a great way to have fun whilst meeting new people. You can even document your excursions by posting photos or sending them to friends and family, so they can see what you’re getting up to!
We recently wrote a whole blog post about why you should join a society at university. There are so many options – from computing to cocktail societies, so you can dive into your interests and meet other like-minded people. At lots of universities, there’s also various societies for international students where you can connect with other students from your country of origin. This can be good as you’re likely to bond over shared experiences and can support each other, especially if you’re feeling homesick.
Get involved in events
Alongside joining societies, other great ways to make new friends is by getting involved in events at your accommodation. Our fantastic trueLife events are built exactly for this. We provide various different weekly events – from fitness sessions to cooking classes and parties to chilled nights in, there’s something for everyone. We also pride ourselves in delivering an events program that involves celebrating lots of different cultures and backgrounds. For example, with authentic Vietnamese Pho cookalongs to Spanish salsa lessons and Chinese language classes. Meeting people not just from the UK but from other parts of the world is great for broadening your perspective and opening your mind to different ways of life. You learn so much from having diverse, multicultural friendships, which provides many great stories and experiences!
Give yourself time to settle in
Moving to a new country to study is by no means easy. It takes time to adapt to different customs and traditions so give yourself time to settle in. It’s normal to feel homesick when thrust into an unfamiliar environment away from your family, friends and everything you know. There are many ways to deal with homesickness but just try to take your mind off it by exploring your new home and putting yourself out there. Stay connected with people back home but don’t let that stop you from getting fully involved in university and accommodation life. This is the time to make new memories and have the experience of a lifetime!