Moving to a new country can be daunting, and make you very nervous going to a completely new environment, away from home, away from friends and family. But… it’s not that bad! Speaking from my experience, the people here at Surrey are so welcoming and help you integrate so well that you don’t even get the time to be homesick.
So, what are the first things you experience while at the University of Surrey?
Me as a Fresher
The Welcome Week
The welcome week is packed with talks, seminars, and socializing opportunities with fellow students, faculty and the staff.
You receive a calendar plan for the welcome week which includes every event, with a tailored schedule without conflicts, so you can attend every single one!
It starts from introduction to the university; which I still remember. Once you come here, you too will get to experience the “Surrey Airline!”. A fun packed flight full of all the information you need to know about the university, what it offers and its history. You also get the chance to meet your programme leader along with all the students on your cohort; where you get to know what you can expect from the course and what the course expects from you.
Make Sure you get a copy of the campus map, so you don’t get lost like I did
Then, there are also events that familiarize with you with each of the departments there are to support you; but that’s a blog for another day. There are also a day where you get to meet fellow students who will be living with you on-campus; or a meet-up for students to live off-campus. You also have the chance to meet the faculty before your studies start, so you can talk to them about your studies, and perhaps seek their assistance in deciding your optional modules (which I did!).
Did I forget to mention the parties? I did, didn’t I? I personally am not a heavy partier… but I remember all the invitations I received and looking at the pictures later, I was questioning myself on why I missed out. I don’t do that now, I’ve gotten wiser. There’s a club on campus called Rubix (Yay!), but you also get invites from venues around Guildford!
The Surrey Business School – My School
The welcome week ends with a large exciting fair, the Freshers’ Fayre. And boy I remember coming out of there with my backpack weighing twice what it did when I went in (be prepared for this folks).
The fair is your chance to find and meet all the societies and sport clubs the university has; and also a lot of other companies, venues, restaurants, and clubs around the town of Guildford. Why was my backpack heavy? Because it was filled with flyers and coupons from all these exhibitors! This is also where you get those party invites I was talking about 😉
The university has over a 100 societies and about 40 sport clubs; I guarantee you, there has to be a few of your interest! I remember signing up for so many; I ended up wondering if I will even have the time to study. But, it all sorted down now and there are only a couple that I actively follow 😀
Active Freshers’ Fayre
No, I’m not repeating things. This is different! This is for active students, and comes over the weekend! Which I hope you are, physical health is just as important as your mental health.
Did you know, the university has the Surrey Sports Park, which is the second largest sports park in the UK? It has an Olympic sized swimming pool, tennis courts, football grounds, squash court, badminton, table tennis, wall climbing, and I can’t even remember them all.
This weekend, you get to try out all of the different activities that are available, and meet their teams. It’s so exciting that I spent the whole day over there. I even went to a Ju Jitsu class… boy that hurt the next day.
Your First Academic Week
Right, enough fun, it’s time for your classes to start. After all, isn’t that what we’re here for (maybe?) 😛
The week starts great, each class, you meet new classmates and the faculty introduces themselves and the module. My first classes typically went through a brief introduction of the course and its learning outcomes, along with introductions of the faculty. Something new for me was, each module is taught by multiple faculty members; I’ve never had that before and I get to meet more teachers this way!
Me, my cohort and the programme leader
And then… life starts to settle. You slowly dive more and more into your books because it’s not going to be long until assignment deadlines and exams pop up on your reminders.
Are you ready?
I hope you are! Life at Surrey is full of fun and learning. Time passes so quickly, you’re going to be left wondering where your weeks went. But they aren’t unproductive… You achieve so much here so quickly, you are left to wonder if it really was you that did all this. So, if you are coming to Surrey anytime soon, I am positive you are gonna love it!