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Tips for studying abroad in the UK

Posted 19 September 2013
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As term gets underway, you may be thinking about your studies and what you might encounter when starting at a new college. Here, I’m going to give you a few tips on some common concerns for international students studying in the UK.

As term gets underway, you may be thinking about your studies and what you might encounter when starting at a new college. Here, I’m going to give you a few tips on some common concerns for international students studying in the UK.

Tip 1 – Organise your time during long flights


Enduring a long haul flight is always a challenge even for frequent flyers being stuck in a seat with minimal opportunities for exercise or entertainment or surfing the Internet.  People often neglect the importance of taking one thing at a time. Breaking your flight down to the number of films or TV shows to watch will lead you to check the time frequently, which makes the flight seem longer.  It is also important to remember your screen will be small and without high end headphones, watching more than two films will not be as enjoyable as you think.

The second thing you should consider when preparing for the journey is about packing. Most people prefer to bring loads of stuff and they are not wrong, but remember to check airline policy on hand luggage before trying to bring multiple bags onto the plane. I would recommend bringing a small bag which you can place in the overhead lockers, for amenities and food as well as a notebook and entertainment items. Sleeping is one of the best options to pass time but be mindful some people can find it difficult to sleep in an upright position. Regarding sleep aids, I would recommend simple measures like an eye mask or camomile tea so you do not feel drowsy upon arriving at your destination.  Chatting with your row mates is a very nice thing to do – good practice for your first days at college and it can also devour a chunk of your time in the air. It is relatively easy as long as your row mate is not sleeping and you do not present yourself as a nutter, joking of course. Last, but not least remain serene, it is what can keep you sane when you run out of things to do.

Tip 2 – Pack only necessary stuff


Do it early,  and do it calmly. Everyone’s life-style is different so pack the stuff that is important to you but do not go overboard.  You can check out our recommended packing list here.


Tip 3 – Socialise with peers


Studying at an international college brings with it the opportunity to meet students from all over the world. Being open to alternative experiences and opinions can widen your understanding of the wider world and you will find meeting new people gets easier the more you do it. In my experience, it is easy to make friends when everyone is in the same situation and starting a new college is one such situation. Look out for others who may not find talking to people so easy, you can provide that opportunity for them and enhance your study abroad experience by enjoying it with others.

Tip 4: Study hard!


This is what you came here for. I am not a teacher but based on my own experience critical thinking and being able to apply knowledge to your studies, research or work is more important than memorising stuff for exams. Being able to understand the material will also greatly reduce the amount you have to memorise (yes, there will be some). Personally, I would spend around 2 hours a day on my studies. You may also be able to socialise whilst working with others to complete a group project or testing each other, which will help you realise what you have learnt. Click here for more study tips in the UK.

Mickey Lee

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