Studying for a Masters is a rewarding experience for international students. You‘re going to study in a completely different culture and also meet friends from different part of the world. However, you may be worried that you’ll experience workload pressure and worries about living in a new environment. Here are some tips for how to prepare for your master degree.
Do your academic preparation before the start of the semester
You’ll have access to the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), where you can download lecture notes and PowerPoint slides. Some of your lecture materials (like the reading list) should be uploaded to the VLE before you start. As a result, you’ll have a much clearer understanding what to expect. You’ll also have a much better idea what questions to prepare to ask in class.
There are lots of sessions organized by the University of York before the start of the semester, too. For example, I joined a Turnitin workshop before the start of the semester. It was very useful because it offered me the chance to understand plagiarism and how to avoid it.
Participate in the Welcome Week events
It’s important to have friends to study with and share all the ups and downs while you are studying. That’s why it’s a good idea to join the Welcome Week events organised by the Graduate Student Association (GSA). Last year, I met two of my coursemates in the GSA Welcome Week events. They had already organised social media groups with other students from the course, and they invited me to join. The group provided me with a chance to get to know all the students in the course beforehand. It’s wonderful to connect with people on your course, who may be facing the same worries as you. You can think of solutions together or gather questions from the group, to ask for anything that you are not sure about.
Some lecturers require students to do group presentations as assignments. Participating in Welcome Week events and meeting coursemates before you start can help you to prepare for group projects.
Get to know the city
As a Masters student, it’s also important that you are familiar with the city that you are living in. Finding the location of the supermarket, doctor, and where to pay your tutorial fees are all important and basic information that you will need to know.
Before I arrived in York, I already completed my research using google and the map on the university website. These gave me the locations of the buildings that I would need to know about. I also found the postgraduate handbook very useful – it provides information about where to get help when you need it. I strongly advise that students should download it and spend sometime reading it before starting your course.
The GSA will organise campus and city tours during Welcome Week. These are a good opportunity for students to get to know where classrooms are located and decrease the possibility of getting lost on the first day! Also, they’ll help you get to know about York, which is such a beautiful city. I really enjoy living here.
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