Settling into a UK university is very exciting. You are starting a new life in a different country, making new friends and getting familiar with a new culture. However, it is also challenging to adapt to a new academic life. It’s good to know about what is needed to get used to the University’s learning style. I have compiled five important tips for settling into a new academic life in a UK university.
Research your course
It is important to be aware of what your course is all about. I started doing some research into the details of my course before applying for a visa or looking for accommodation. Studying at York is a completely different experience to studying in my home country. By doing this research, I became familiar with the structure of my course, the requirements, assessment methods and the dissertation writing process. I got a good grasp of what it would be like to start a new course at the University of York.
Be prepared for your modules
Knowing about the modules that you will be taught is an essential part of your preparation. Firstly, I started by listing the core modules and optional modules that I could choose. Secondly, I familiarised myself with the requirements of each module. This included class participation, teaching methods and details about essays through the information on the website. Finally, I started reading about the topics that the modules cover. This preparation was very important for thinking about the areas that I wanted to improve on. I also got a clearer picture of exactly what I would be studying.
Explore academic support
The university usually assigns you to an academic supervisor who will support you generally in academic life. My academic supervisor gives me feedback on my organisation, assists me when I have academic challenges and guides me through the dissertation process. Additionally, I get support from my dissertation supervisor regarding specific issues related to my thesis. Furthermore, module instructors help us with module-specific questions in their feedback and guidance hours. Finally, I sometimes ask for support from the library staff, who will guide you through the literature search for your work.
Find a place to study
Finding a convenient space to study is key for having a great academic life. Different study locations suit different students. There are many options on the campus or outside (such as cafes, libraries and study rooms) for students according to their preferences. Personally, I prefer studying either in the Library or in my own room. Additionally, I usually book a study room in the Library if I have group work with my classmates.
Plan your studying time
To have a good academic experience, you need to give yourself enough time to study. I always find doing the readings before the class very useful for the learning process, as it allows me to engage in class discussions. Additionally, I realised that it is better to give yourself more time for essays than you think. Leaving it to the last minute is not a good idea!
It is also important to make sure that you do not put pressure on yourself by spending every single hour of the day studying. Leave some time for relaxing and enjoying university life! I usually plan my time in the mornings and include some relaxing activities in my daily plan.
Read more blogs about preparing for University.