You’ve applied, been accepted on to a course in England - it’s now only a few weeks until your adventure of a lifetime starts. No pressure! But, how are you preparing? I am not talking about just making sure that you are packed, but what are you actively doing to help make sure your adventure to UK Life is not too crazy and stressful?
The team at St. George’s have put together a couple pointers to help manage the transition to the UK – here goes…
1. Research, Research Research. Whilst you may have chosen the school, college or university, how much do you know about where you are going to be living? There are so many resources available online, through social media platforms, don’t be afraid of joining the local facebook community groups to get a feel of what is going on in the local area. There is nothing worse than feeling isolated when you first come to the UK, but remember you are not alone, and as long as you look there are like-minded people everywhere!
2. Give it a go, or you won’t know
Ok, ok…. The UK is country that welcomes people from all walks of life, and is possibly home to one of the most accepting cultures. With such a diverse mix of culture and nationalities, comes an equally diverse range of activities, events and communities. As a ‘newbie’ to the country, it is really important that you have an open mind and give new things a go – who knows one of these events, activities or opportunities could become your new hobbies!
3. Prepare your friends and family
Your international adventure appears super exciting and your mind fills with the ideas of all the things you are going to do and see. As with any big change, once you have gotten over the initial fun exciting bit, it is natural, to experience a time when this enthusiasm drops, where the fun and excitement gets replaced with perhaps cultural exhaustion, frustrating and inexplicable social differences, or simply you miss you home life. It is at these times when your friends and family back home provide the support and encouragement to get over the hump.
4. Expectation vs Reality
Everyone is guilty of secretly, quietly getting lost in their thoughts about all the amazing things that they are going to see, do, taste; how easily they are going to find and make best friends for life…. but wait, if you have filled your mind with all these amazing experiences that you think you are going get, what happens if it was not as you thought, what happens if it’s not as easy to make friends and adjust? Your mind will become filled with doubt, did I make the wrong decision in coming? NO! No, you didn’t. There is a popular saying “It’s not right, it’s not wrong – its just different”. Remember this, you will need it at some point!
5. Your College
Make sure your school, college or university is accredited. There are many school, college and universities offering similar courses to the one you have chosen. What makes them different? By ensuring that that you choose a school, college or university that is accredited by the British Council and has an Educational Oversight report, will ensure the quality of not just the teaching you receive but also the pastoral care you receive outside the classroom. The school, college or university you go to is obliged to publish any accreditations and inspection reports, check them out and if your school, college or university doesn’t have one or does not make for pleasant reading, then perhaps it is not the right place for you?
6. The key to success is YOU
To make sure that you get the most from you experience in the UK, this is really important to understand – the only person who can make your trip successful is you. Prepare yourself, do your research, come with an open mind not full of expectations, give things a go. In doing so, a world of opportunity awaits in the UK