An educational program in the UK provides the opportunity to get a high-quality education, gain important contacts, and join the culture. However, clear planning is necessary to get the most out of all this. This article provides advice for future students of British Universities.
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Studying and exams
If this is the first time you have gone abroad to study, perhaps the first thing that will surprise you is the high level of responsibility that is placed on the student. It is up to you to see if you are keeping up with your studies. CCTV cameras installed in the examination hall will take over the rest of your work. So the most important thing is to get involved as soon as possible, even if the first exams are due in December. There is an opportunity to get an honorary doctorate degree. if you are not ready for such a way of life.
Prepare, prepare, prepare
Exams in the UK are written, so students in quantitative subjects (such as economics, finance, and partly management) need to remember that demonstrating a common understanding of the problem (as during the oral exam) will not get off. You will likely have to produce complex mathematical models without missing the slightest detail. And reproduce the models during the exam without stuttering, it will take many weeks of practice. The winner is not the one who first understood how to display the model but the best trained in lightning-fast reproduction of the model under stressful circumstances.
Forego the parties
Try to resist the temptation to hit the excursions and parties in the first two months. You will be able to make up for lost leisure and Christmas holidays, but washing away the shame of failed exams will not be soon. Moreover, the final grade, which will go into the diploma, is a weighted average of the results of winter and spring sessions. So prepare in advance, study last year’s exam tickets with the answers, and train in a calm rhythm, without waiting for the volume of accumulated material to reach a critical point. Those who like to leave everything for the last three days before the exam will be bitter, disappointed, and expulsion.
The ratio of students living in dormitories and student flats for 4-6 people is approximately 50:50. I would strongly recommend the first option for everyone. Firstly, living in a dormitory will save you from many troubles related to finding an apartment, running an Internet line, opening gas and electricity bills, etc. And all this will take about three weeks, while you need to start studying without delay. Secondly, communication with colleagues will help you survive the cultural shock. Making sure that you are not the only one who is bad will make your fate much easier. Finally, hostels provide regular entertainment, like a pizza party where you can make new friends.
While dormitories in the UK are not particularly luxurious, the living conditions in dormitories are not much worse than in student apartments. Of course, sometimes there are noisy neighbors (so a couple of earplugs from the pharmacy will be very helpful), but the round-the-clock security will help to quickly resolve disagreements when the apartment owner can not find a common language.
It’s crucial to get the right contacts when you arrive. You don’t have to spend your young years in pubs. Still, it’s worth showing up at events organized by the hostel administration or the international department, especially during the first semester.
Above all, try to make friends with the wardens, who are usually graduate students. They may be more effective at humiliating a violent neighbor than a formal complaint procedure that takes weeks.
Secondly, gain the trust of postgraduate students (or tutors) from your department who will be advising you or the weekly help desk. Their valuable advice, which you will not hear from professors, can help prepare for your exams.
While these tips are designed to help you get the most out of your upcoming experiences, remember that there will always be good, responsive people at university who are always ready to help. These are, firstly, your professors, who have regular reception hours in their office, and the staff at the hostel. Secondly, Advice Place, specializing in anything from psychological help to visa problems. Finally, a 24-hour hotline (Nightline), where you can cry anonymously on any topic, up to longing for your favorite hamster…
Featured Photo by Victoria Heath on Unsplash