It was crazy, my first week here. And, the university understands how crazy things can get for an international student to be able to come here and settle down without much hassles. I owe a lot to the International Orientation Programme and the welcome week, because it answered a lot of my questions. You know how you could sometimes have around a hundred questions swarming over your head when you are at someplace new? Where I am? What to do now? Where do I eat? What kind of food and how much will it cost me? How will I get there? Do I make friends already? How do I meet them? Where would we go and what would we do? Just WHAT is happening? :/
To walk you through it, I had signed up for the Meet and Greet Programme where the uni picks you up from Heathrow/Gatwick airports and drops you off at your uni accommodation, followed by the International Orientation Programme over the next few days which is held for, uh, international students? We had a couple of welcome talks, cultural-awareness talk (quite important you’ll realise), campus tours, Guided city tours, visit to Loseley Park (Manor House with a view over the downs and a popular destination for private and public events), a coached tour around the surrey hills (breath-taking!! See pictures below), welcome dinner for International Students @Hillside Restaurant on Campus followed by Disco in The Basement, YASS!!
You then move on to the Welcome week. This is where ALL the new students come in for registrations. There’s faculty, department and course specific talks, inductions including accommodation welcome, introduction to the English Language support programme, Global Graduate Awards and various student services. That very week, we had a course-induction where I met my Programme director and lovely course-mates with whom I enjoyed a lunch together organised @Wates House on campus!
Towards the End of the Welcome week was the Fresher’s Fayre – where enough of those 40 sport clubs and 100+ student societies were successful in persuading me to sign up for more fun activities and events lined up for this semester 😛 There’s also a couple of days dedicated for freshers to try out activities and games at the Surrey Sports Park – you haaave to visit this place if you are here!! I do Hockey and Archery once a week now! 😊
If you’d like to know, I made at least a couple of friends at each of these events and I don’t remember paying for any of the above-mentioned activities, was better informed about living here and felt pretty Oriented (pun-intended) and set, to start the course!
Until next time! xx