Tips for international students starting university in the UK

Guest posts

Faculty: Science and Engineering
School: Life Sciences
Course: BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science
Category: Sciences nutritional and pharmaceutical

5 April 2018

Biomedical Science student Sandip, who studies in Cambridge, shares his top 5 tips for settling into university life in the UK.

For international students about to start uni at Anglia Ruskin or another UK university, it is a great decision to make as a stepping stone towards your future career. It is normal to have several questions relating to life in the UK: study, weather, sports, accommodation, working during your studies, and more...

Here are my top 5 tips to take into consideration, in order to start a good, easy and safe life.

1) First week always matters the most

Being independent is always the best experience to practice in life. However, students coming from international countries can tend to worry before they arrive in UK for the first time, in terms of what to expect for the first couple of weeks.

  • Don’t worry at all; settling in is not as difficult as you might think in your mind.
  • Make sure you have your accommodation booked prior to your arrival.
  • Money matters – Don’t pack your bags too heavily. Most of your everyday requirements can be bought here, within walking distance of the campus.
  • Weather changes – carry some warm clothing with you always.

2) Attend Freshers' Week and get to know your campus

Freshers' Week is the best way to network with as many people as you wish (new friends, lecturers, university staff, the Students' Union). You get a brief overview of your course, meet your allocated personal tutor, get to know the Student Services staff members, and also attend a faculty fair.

Our students and staff members are very friendly. Feel free to join as many societies as you like by getting in touch with the Students' Union or attending the various welcome events. Also, don’t forget to attend the library sessions, campus tours, and Study Skills Plus events.

3) Sports: the best way to keep fit and calm

ARU has a wide range of sports activities to join. There's a campus gym and tennis court [in Cambridge] along with other sport facilities such as football, cricket, volleyball, basketball and many more. Make sure you join one of them at least, as it will be worth spending time to keep yourself fit.

4) Think before you start: work to fit round your studies

Join the Employment Bureau and get advice on how to apply for your National Insurance number; without it you can’t work in the UK.

There is lots of temporary work around University to fit around your studies. I joined the Employment Bureau in my foundation year and started working as a Student Ambassador, then moved on to work in a temporary role for my faculty. Now I work as one of the Research Assistants for several faculties.

  • Make sure you meet the CV surgery experts and attend the employability session where you will be provided with some guidance on how to find work.
  • Open a LinkedIn account and update it regularly.
  • Check several job websites and apply. There may be rejections but don’t let it put you off – one will definitely come your way. The Employment Bureau has its own online jobs board.
  • Keep a note of your working hours: you can work up to 20 per week.

5) Finally...

Work hard, study well and don’t forget to enjoy your uni life.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.