Indian Students at Surrey

An insight into life at Surrey from two current Indian students.

Trip to London!!!!!! Picture blog

Hey everyone 😉

 

I know you’d all be curious about London. And I’m also sure that London would be the first place you’d  go to once you are in Surrey. Why not sneak a peek before you arrive?

 

Here are the pictures I took on my trip to Oxford Street ( Yes, I bought a huge load of stuff that I dont need right now, but ya know, shopping is a huge stress-buster), Trafalgar square, Hyde park, science museum and the Natural History Museum!

 

The place I loved most! Me being a biology geek 🙂

 

Would you like more pictures to look at? Let me know and I’ll post pictures I took on my adventures across the UK.

 

Tschuss! ( Im learning German 😉 )

 

Mid semester – Crisis? Naaah……It’s Spring!

Hey all! I haven’t written in so long. No no, I wasn’t partying. I had exams and some projects to attend to. Masters is hectic, after all.

But here I am now! And amused that I will be finishing my masters in a few months. Seems like I arrived in the UK just yesterday. And was using maps to navigate. Don’t need those now – courtesy of good friends and many day trips. The university arranges various outings for international students that allows us to explore cities in safe groups. You guys must go on the university trips. They are amazing and you will have more friend groups.

It’s the start of spring. Lovely weather as the British like to describe it. It feels like a day gone waste if I don’t get to the lake or take a walk around the university. The flowers are blossoming. It’s such a beautiful campus. So, now I make time in my schedule to go on walks and laze around the lake on benches.

Also, spring indicates the start of another thing for a masters student – dissertation and applying to jobs. There are so many job sites that are helpful. The career services at the university is especially helpful to us internationals, who want a job in the UK. They guide us through the entire process of job application. And like any masters student on campus now, I too am doing research and loads of reading for my dissertation. I have found the perfect balance between work and enjoyment now. And dissertation isn’t all that scary like people make them out to be. It is quite interesting and ofcourse challenging. But the professors are amazing guides. They help us select a topic and tell us how to do the dissertation.

But you don’t need to worry about that now. I have some beautiful pictures for you to enjoy.

Until next time,

Madhu

 

 

Christmas, New Year and Snow…

Hi all,

I hope you had a smashing Christmas and new year. I know I did- Christmas at Manchester, Boxing Day at various shopping centres and New Year Fireworks at Greenwich. And when I got back to the university after weeks of happy eating, we had snow here. Just imagine! You are sitting in the library in the evening, studying for the exams (Yes, we have exams for some courses here and for me it’s exam season) and suddenly you get a call from your friend and see people in the library excited coz guess what- Snow is here!

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This was taken outside my apartment.

 

It was such a treat to go out and play like a kid in the snow. There were so many people standing outside the library, their books and studies forgotten for the moment and having snowball fights. Woohoooo! I don’t know about you, but for a girl from Chennai, it was the best study break ever. The snow made the campus look prettier than usual (which is saying something, as the campus is very pretty already) and I have loads of pics and lovely memories. Christmas here is wonderful (yes, you get loads of lovely gifts and you have to figure out what gifts you need to buy your friends) and the shopping on Boxing day even more so. You even get electronics on sale  🙂 . The new year fireworks – well I have no words to describe the feeling! Everyone’s heard that London fireworks is a grand display am sure. My friends and I, we got a lovely spot at Greenwich to see the fireworks, not just at the London Eye, but we got to see the entire London skyline (The Shard, The business park, the train lines, the countdown, London eye, Big Ben) and the fireworks from most places in the city. Its beautiful when you do the countdown to new year, with an entire crowd of strangers and get to see the London Fireworks when you shout ‘Happy New Year!’. I am not going to talk anymore but show you these wonderful pictures of life here 🙂

 

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The road outside the Library

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And snowwwww it is….. Winter is here!

Life Abroad: Living in the land of scenic beauty

Hello everyone,

I am the plus one to Tejasvi( the new student ambassador for India) this year. Like most Indian students here, coming to the UK was a first time experience for me. Speaking of Indian students, there are so many here. It feels like living at home, away from home 🙂 . The first week at an international university is always important and will be the period of lovely new memories. Excited, nervous with anticipation, a little worried(about academics of course) and eager to make loads of new memories- that’s how I stepped into university on my first day. And my first day was amazing with me finding so many new Indian friends and international ones too. Most of us Indians would have lived with our parents so far and have no experience of living alone. I was no exception. Living without my mom (mum/mummy here 😀 ) and dad was an experience that scared me. I remember how the last two months before coming here was spent in learning mother’s delicious cooking recipes. I miss my dad a lot as we used to have really long conversations and silly arguments on music, cars and gadgets. The accommodation here is so different from the hostels in India. Here, it feels like living in your own apartment with lovely international neighbours( each from a different country on my floor) and sharing the common areas and kitchen. We have a student mentor who visits us every week to check on us and to help us if we have any issue.

That first week was spent knowing each other, making new friends, sharing stories of home country, talking with family on various apps, cooking (experiments with good results), knowing the various places at university, taking pics(and sharing on social media obviously), attending the various events and parties and in general enjoying. That first week was so beautiful that every student wishes to experience it again.

The second week was spent in establishing a regular friend gang and exploring the posh town of Guildford(the wonderful shopping and eating options). The classes had started and what an eye opener they were! So different in pattern from the classes we are used to taking. Sitting in class with people who are doing their masters after years of experience and me being the youngest in the class fresh from undergrad college was highly intimidating and frightening. But, when I started talking with all my new classmates, what fun we had! Most were from non-computer backgrounds and the ones with computer science experience were so friendly. Talking with them made me feel good about myself and happy to see such friendly faces with whom i would be spending the next year. The department professors and Head were no different and made us feel very welcome indeed. Classes here are so much fun. No attendance here- but you feel sad and left out if you miss one lecture because that is one lecture in which you could have gained so much knowledge and now your classmates know better than you. Ha! that won’t do. The in-class tasks and out-of-class projects- the time you feel like your head is bloating with knowledge and that smug and happy feel when you submit your assignment before the deadline. Well! Let’s go out to town and enjoy now before the next assignment work begins. Masters is definitely a phase in your life where you put in hard work but enjoy working hard and are satisfied with the achievements. It makes you happy that your family is going to be proud of you and makes you want to achieve and learn more.

But enough said about academics. Surrey is a happening place and when you feel homesick( trust me you won’t mostly because of the great friends that you are sure to get) or bored or just want some alone time, there is a beautiful lake to go sit at and unwind with some music. Sitting here with friends and getting your pics clicked is nice too. At the end of the day, after the lectures, I like taking a walk around this beautiful place and  relaxing my mind. The library, eateries and the front room for students are THE places to be! Meeting new friends or playing snooker and other games whilst watching T.V and having a lazy evening. Then I head to my room where my friends and I cook dinner and eat it together everyday, playing our favourite shows on the laptop. When you have a great gang, you obviously work together too. And my friends and I head out to the library in the evenings or after dinner( yes the library is open 24*7 all days and is a beauty to behold ) to work on our respective projects, all the while keeping each other awake with chocolates, snacks and jokes. We visit the supermarket together every week and buy our supply of groceries, snacking items, stationery and instant food. Surrey has a lovely Sports Park with an Olympic sized pool and a floor of gym facilities. It’s mostly hard to find a game that they don’t have at the Sports Park. There are many sports clubs and teams that one can join. There are many societies apart from sports that one can join for fun and learning ( I am in the postgraduate club, HarryPotter society, the Indian society, Computer science society-to name a few).

Occasionally you do miss parents a lot more than usual. Life without family in a foreign country isn’t the same as a life with family in your beloved home and India. But those are the times when the friends that you have pull you out of your sadness and make you Indian food and take you to Starbucks to pamper you. Plus, talking to family is now a part of my daily schedule that it makes me feel so much better. The video calling apps and cooking websites/videos become the most used on your phone and you improve your cooking enough to host Indian food parties( thank you mum for your secret masalas 😉 I am a great cook here).

With London less than a half hour train ride, it’s no wonder that I love the beautiful city. It is a mix of castles and modern buildings, the old and the new coexisting with such grace that I didn’t want to leave the city when it was time to come home. My hard disk and phone gallery are flooded with photos and videos of my many trips to London. We even visited Southall, which is India, bang in the middle of England- the place to run to when you need Briyani, Chaat, parathas, fancy rotis and Indian food that is restaurant style( also a place to get those rare Indian ingredients which aren’t usually available in the supermarket near home. The London Eye, Tower of London, Buckingham Palace ( the guard change! ), Hyde park, Big Ben, Westminster Bridge, River Thames, Trafalgar Square, the various museums- these are places where I lost my heart! Such classic beauty to behold. The university organises many day trips to scenic places nearby and we went on one to Windsor castle and learnt all about the Queen and saw many royal things that day.

Christmas and winter break are just around the corner. England is a blend of the ancient and modern in this aspect too- the Christmas decorations, Christmas markets( loads to buy and at discounted rates), winter sport, the cold weather( Ah! the room heater is your best friend after a day out wrapped up in scarves and coats) and the hot chocolate drinks. In England, I see many kids writing letters to Santa and being all excited about Christmas shopping, which is such a change from how Christmas is celebrated back home. I see a variety of exploring opportunities and places to travel to.

I will be sure to post photos and describe the Christmas atmosphere better in my next post.

Enjoy the December weather in India and the holidays especially. Farewell! See you really soon with my next post 🙂 .

Autumn in Surrey

Hey Guys!

 

So,

 

Autumn is officially here. Personally, I think autumn is more colourful and breathtaking than spring. Maybe its because a single tree can express a mix of 5 colours (or more).

This is what I mean 🙂

 

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Many students (who are now cozily settled in uni) told me that it would’ve been greet to have a look at the pictures of Uni/Surrey/UK…so today, you’ll get to see the glories of Autumn in the UK.

Especially since we don’t really have an autumn season in India, this has become a favourite of mine!

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Today has been exceptionally foggy, right ton time for Halloween.

This is a picture of basingstroke canal, which is about 30 miles from Guildford..

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Woking park: 10 miles from home

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This astounding view was taken over sunset in Ranmore!

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And over here is a picture of our very own University of Surrey 🙂

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Guildford Cathedral taken at dawn. The top wasn’t visible this morning

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One of the reasons as to why the University’s main campus is called Stag hill…

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Picture Courtsey: Get Surrey :))

 

The best thing that could happen to me now is a mug of fresh Hot Chocolate with Fluffy Marshmallows on the top…

I can sense that temptation already…

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Until next time!

 

Meet and greet!

Hello!

I am happy to say that we’ve had almost a hundred students from India this September!

It amazing to see so many students and the campus is bubbling with energy on this beautiful sunny day! The feedback on the meet and greet service has been great so far! If anyone one of you is joining us next year, be sure to find out about the friendly and free airport pick up service organised by Surrey’s International support team 🙂

Find out about it here:

http://www.surrey.ac.uk/pre_departure/meet_and_greet/

You will have to sign up for the programme online through the website, that’s pretty much it.

All you have to do is fly to London. We’ll take on from the airport, arrange a coach for all students and transport you to the campus, where you can collect your room keys and get settled in ~!

There are lots of support throughout your stay, but extra support during the moving in week, to make sure everyone’s okay! 🙂

 

The International Orientation programme is for all International students starting now, and we had an amazing dinner, meeting new people and chatting to them about the life at Surrey!

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Thats all for now. Cheers

Tejasvi

If you have any questions about studying at Surrey, please feel free to email me —> india@surrey.ac.uk
We have also recently launched a new University of Surrey India Facebook page for past, current and future Surrey Indian students to interact with one another. Be sure to give us a like!
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