From Cyprus to Surrey

Learn about life at Surrey from a current Cypriot student

From one semester…. to the next!!!

—>Back to university<—

Hey guys,

I apologise for not being active lately with Christmas, exams and reading week I got caught up with work and travelling. But, I am back and I will be blogging weekly from now on, promise it won’t happen again. Therefore, I thought I’d be a good idea to run you through these past 2 months from one semester to the next. So the year ended with me back at home (Cyprus) to spend Christmas with my family (at this point i would strongly advice you to book your flights for the holidays from early on  so you don’t end up in the same position as me, of having to pay 200€ for a one way ticket). After that I spent the first week of the new year in Austria with my boyfriend’s family snowboarding. As you can imagine, I was back in England now having done absolutely no revision at all for my upcoming exams. However, there is still over a week to go before the examination period starts and this is why i love Surrey, because even when you do not study over the Christmas break (which I do not recommend) there is still time for endless days in the library, when you get back from your holidays and to me that means getting the best of both worlds. After an intensive January, Surrey can offer you a week off which we like to call “Reading week” because then you can enjoy your own personal reading and if you wish to, start reading the material for next semester. This week is an opportunity to recharge, explore England or maybe even go back home shortly so you can come back ready to tackle whatever semester 2 has to throw at you. Personally, I spent a lot of my reading week on a train travelling around and I must admit that if it wasn’t for my (Railcard) I would have been broke for the rest of the month. (Purchasing a railcard removes a 1/3 of the rail fares on every journey, making a 40 minute train to London only cost 8 pounds. It is for those aged 16 to 25 and it costs £30 for a whole year. However, if you open a student bank account with “Santander”, our bank on campus you receive it for free and do not need to spend £30. https://www.railcard.co.uk/) This year round, over my reading week, I got to visit my best friend in Brighton, my boyfriend in Nottingham and my flatmates in Southampton which from there we took the ferry to the New Forest National Park for a peaceful day full of trees and animals. All three cities are well worth visiting as Brighton will mesmerise you with its sunsets over the Brighton pier and the unique shops in the lanes. Nottingham, the place of Robin Hood as people like to call it, will offer you a variety of things to do and see such as the “Castle Rock”, a good nightlife and shopping. Finally, this was the first time for me in Southampton and I was amazed by the sea which i had missed, the nature at the New Forest and a brand new block of restaurants, where i had the chance of eating at “The Real Greek” an authentic greek restaurant which made me feel like I was back at home for the night. Now, after a lovely week off, the second semester has officially started and it feels odd to be back in lectures awaiting for the exam results which come out on the 23rd of February. A piece of information: results both when it comes to exams and assignments usually take up to three weeks to come out.
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-From Cyprus to Surrey{Introduction}…

Are you applying to university any minute now? Have you still got important decisions to make? Is it stressing you out?

Then you have come to the right place my friend! The University of Surrey could potentially be your home for the next couple of years and I am here to give you an honest insight on life as a student in Guildford.

 

As high school/college is coming to an end and the big day of moving out of the nest is getting closer, you will go through a journey which I am not going to lie to you will be long and nerve wracking. From choosing your university and writing up your personal statement to actually settling in this higher education and independence system will probably be the toughest transition of your life so far. However, I can assure you that it will be totally worth it and that here at Surrey you will receive all the help you might need. I am fully aware of all the thoughts and feelings that are running through your head right now as you leave our little island (Cyprus) and move to England. Therefore, I have decided that this week I am going to share my experience of my first week at the University of Surrey with you. As you arrive into Guildford I can guarantee you that you will be entering a peaceful and welcoming environment, which will automatically make you feel safe. Coming from at the time the 5th safest country in the world, safety was a matter that I was highly concerned about and I was relieved to have found a calm and quiet place like this one. On to the moving in weekend, this is a tiring process wherever you decide to go, both parents and students are enrolling, collecting keys, unpacking and attempting to get as much done as possible before the first night event of Fresher’s. On the day you will be delighted to see for yourself that every year we have got a group of students who we call “Fresher’s Angels” that volunteer to help you find your way around campus and move your stuff in your accommodation. At the end of this particularly exhausting day it is now time to say goodbye to your family and hello to your flatmates for the year. I can tell you for certain that the first week will fly by so enjoy it and meet as many people as possible. During the day you will attend welcoming talks and all sorts of informational lectures on your course and the university itself and at night you will celebrate the beginning of this new chapter with a different event every night planned by the student union. A little piece of advice, make the most of it before it’s long gone and although an emotional and exhausting week it will be a defining one.
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