Latin Americans at Surrey

An insight into life at Surrey from two current Latin American students

My new experiences with student groups and associations!

Hola! Hello!

I want to share with you my experience trying out new student groups and associations on campus. The University of Surrey has a great variety that you can choose from. The first time you might hear about them is at Fresher’s fair, where all of the universities groups and societies show case what they have to offer, and they have a contact list where you can sign up in order to receive their emails and news. You can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram for latest news and events.

This past Saturday I went on a hiking trip organized by the Hiking Society. It started at 10:00am and it lasted until 2:00pm. We went to the hills that are behind the university and by the end we ended up in town. It was a beautiful day because the sun came out in the afternoon. It was a great experience because I was able to take a friend of mine that visited me on the same trail and he loved it! So now I know more about Guildford and I can share that experience. Here are some pictures from the February hiking trip!
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What are student reps for?

I might have mentioned student reps briefly in a previous post, but I think it is a topic worth covering more in depth as it is something I hadn’t seen anywhere else.

During the first couple of weeks of the first semester we got an email asking if anyone would like to be a student rep. All of the people who said yes were then given a few minutes at the begging of one of our lectures to give a speech about why they wanted to be course reps and then were asked to leave the room. Meanwhile voting took place and 3 people were selected to be the year 1 mathematics reps for the current academic year. My understanding is the number of reps varies based on program and number of students in the cohort, ours has 3 because it is a relatively large cohort. After being elected reps had to attend a training session ran by the student’s union regarding how to engage with their cohort, how to address common issues and who to direct people to when more serious or complex matters arise.
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Living in University Accommodation

Hey!

Sorry for the sporadic nature of my blog posts lately, hopefully next week I’ll be fully settled into my new schedule and start blogging at a consistent time again. This week I’ll talk about how living in university accommodation has been like so far.

I live in Twyford Court. It’s very close to the main campus entrance by the stag statue I’m sure you’ve seen in pictures by now. My building has 3 different floors, I live on the top floor. Each floor has several rooms and a shared kitchen, in my case the kitchen is shared by 12 people.
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Accessing healthcare in the UK

Hey!

Sorry I’ve been away from blogging so long, it’s been a hectic few weeks given that the final exam period was two weeks long and I happened to have exams starting from the first day at 9am all the way to 6pm on the last day.

During the Christmas break I was able to go to Guatemala and Mexico and visit my family members. Understandably, all of them had lots of questions about why I moved to the UK and how studying here compared to studying in the US. What I wasn’t expecting was being asked about how the health care system works by the majority of them so I thought that would be a good blog post topic given that other prospective students and their families might be wondering about it. I’ll keep this post based on my own experiences rather than trying to make it a comprehensive guide since the NHS appears to be a very large and complex system I still don’t know much about and I doubt it can be covered in detail in a single blog post.
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Beautiful Sunny Winter Days!

Hello everyone! Hola a todos!!

Happy new year!!

I wanted to share with you a few pictures I took of the university campus today because it is such a beautiful winter day at the University of Surrey.

You see I love blue skies and coming form South America, I grew up hearing how the weather in the UK is terrible because it rains a lot and it is always cold and grey. When I decided to come to the UK to do my Masters I bought a lot of winter clothes and I was ready to embrace the grey, sad, rainy weather. But let me tell you that since September, when I arrived to Surrey, I only used my umbrella three times, and it only snowed once this far.
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My experience applying for a UK visa

Since Carla wrote about visas last week I decided I would write about my own experience applying for a UK visa this week.

When I first read the visa application guide I assumed I needed to have all required documents before submitting my visa application online, which I didn’t, and that assumption caused me to end up making my visa application last minute. I also happened to be in the UK for the summer and I allocated 3 weeks in Guatemala to deal with the visa, my being in the UK also meant I wasn’t able to complete the application before getting to Guatemala since I couldn’t put a date in the future on the list of trips to the UK.
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