Hello there! It’s been a crazy couple of weeks for us Surrey students as exams are in full swing at the moment. I myself have completed two papers and am diligently revising for my final paper which is on the 15th of June; after which is sweet, sweeett freedom!
Coming here can be quite daunting for many of us, especially being foreign to the county. To help us adjust and settle in comfortably, The University’s International Student Support Office has a Buddy Scheme in place; allowing international students to meet current students as well as get to know the university and Guildford. Basically, after signing up for the buddy scheme through firstname.lastname@example.org, there’s a form with questions about your likes and dislikes, the course you’re entering, etc. This is to ensure that you get paired with a current student who’s got the most similarities with you.
Your buddy is there to help with your queries and questions through email. Once you arrive at Surrey University, you can arrange meetings with your buddy. This helps to overcome the feeling of not knowing anyone yet as you’re guaranteed one friendly face J Many students continue on to be a buddy for future students once they’re in their 2nd or final year of study.
Another thing I wanted to touch on today was regarding packing. When I first moved to England, it seemed impossible to be able to pack everything I needed into two suitcases. Luckily, I have my parents travelling with me which meant for baggage limit! However, after arriving in England, I realized how unnecessary some of the things I’d brought along were.
Guildford has everything you’ll need! If its food you’re worried about, Guildford town center has an amazing Asian grocery/convenience store where you can get a wide range of Malaysian products. Otherwise, London is only 38 minutes away by train where Malaysian anything is available easily. There’s no need to try to bring 5kg’s of Milo and Maggi. Also, it is important to know that you can’t bring meat, meat products, milk, dairy products or potatoes into the UK from most countries outside the EU. More information on this can be found from the link; https://www.gov.uk/bringing-food-animals-plants-into-uk/food
There’s a Tesco’s 10 minutes away from the university which has everything you may need from bedding to cutlery. In terms of bedding actually, the university does provide bedding packs which include a duvet, bed sheets as well as pillow covers. This can be found here; http://store.surrey.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=1&catid=93&prodvarid=175
Probably the biggest issue would be clothes for many, especially girls. The weather here in UK is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced in Malaysia. The weather in Guildford varies according to months. Towards the end of the year it gets quite cold, up to -1 degrees in January even. Then towards the later months, it does warm up. For instance yesterday was 19 degrees and glorious sunshine! Don’t be fooled though as the weather in England can change within minutes. I would suggest to have a good jacket/coat to have when you arrive in England but to do the actually winter shopping here. The clothes are designed for the weather here and with the sales that go on, they’re a steal!
As one of our own Malaysian Surrey students mentioned in the “What to Pack” page (http://www.surrey.ac.uk/pre_departure/before/pack/index.htm ), don’t pack too much as everything from rice cookers to clothing can be bought here for good quality and usually works out cheaper as well. Definitely pack little momentos that would make your room feel like home though. My room for example is filled with pictures of my family, friends back home as well as friends here.
Also, I’d strongly advise students to check out the Surrey University website for information regarding pre-departure guides, accommodation information etc. The pre-departure guide for instance (http://www.surrey.ac.uk/pre_departure/welcome/index.htm ) is a comprehensive guide on all the information you need to know. Chances are, your questions will be answered just by going through the sub-sections i.e Before you leave home.
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us by email at email@example.com or through Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/University-of-Surrey-Malaysia/686633194795413?ref=aymt_homepage_panel if you have any doubts, questions, etc.
Till next time; Selamat tinggal!