As a student at the University of Surrey; you are not alone. Besides the friends you meet and the teachers you interact with; the campus is also full of supportive and helpful staff that ensures all your needs are met.
I want to highlight some of the key departments that will really help you being an international student. I cannot go over all of them (because even I am not yet familiar with everything the university has to offer), but I hope I cover enough to show you why you do not need to be hesitant on whether you will have help here or not.
Student Services like to call themselves as the ‘first-stop shop’. They are your first point of contact you can go to for anything. The professional and friendly staff there can help you in many ways; or point you to the right place to go if it’s something that they can’t help in. Their office is right in the center of the campus. The first time I went to Student Services was actually on my first day on campus! I had my welcome-week schedule; but I couldn’t figure out which building I had to go to. I remember the helpful lady telling me how locations are written as surrey… and if you’re curious: it’s Room Number + Building + Floor. For example, 03MS01 would mean the 3rd room of the MS building at the first (or ground) floor.
International Student Support
That name catch your attention yet? I know it did! Being an international student, this department is the point of contact for you for any help regarding visas, extensions, and general queries regarding your visa. This department is responsible for keeping track about you, as the university is the sponsor for your visa, and you are also introduced to the department during your welcome week. So, another worry off your head. If you ever need help regarding your visa, you know who to go to. Just make sure you go as early as you can for something important. Don’t procrastinate!
SPLASH stands for Student Personal Learning and Study Hub. I think that’s one of the coolest acronyms I’ve come across.
Now that you know what it stands for; it’s easier to deduce what they are there for. SPLASH is full od academic staff that help you out with your studies. They hold regular workshops ranging from academic writing skills, to exploring a topic for your PhD. This just shows, SPLASH is not just for first-years; but their help is so broad, you can be in any stage of your studies and receive help from them. Besides their workshops, you can also book an appointment with a learning advisor for support on writing, preparing for assessments, exam preparations, and even time management!
SPLASH is complemented with the Additional Learning Support (ALS) team. The ALS team assists those who have difficulty learning. If you are disabled or dyslexic, ALS provides you confidential support, so you can receive the help you need to excel in your studies.
Employability and Careers Centre
It’s never too early to start planning for your career. This department is there to help you increase your employability. They too hold workshops and seminars (almost daily actually), where they invite professionals from different organizations to talk about different topics: ranging from CV writing to interview and assessment center skills. There are also personal advisers with whom you can book a short meeting for CV or cover letter feedback; but you can also book a longer session if you want to discuss your career plans or career path after your studies.
The team also organizes careers fairs; from a mega fair for jobs and graduate opportunities, to volunteering and part time work opportunities.
And many more…
There are many more departments that are there to help you; but those are typical of what you should expect to find. For example, the library is full of helpful staff that can help you with the library’s layout and help you find books (ask anyone wearing a green lanyard in the library). The library also holds the desk for IT support… and boy you know how often they come to the rescue. They can help you connect your laptop to the wifi, the printer facilities, and also help you out with basic questions regarding accessing SurreyLearn; the university’s virtual learning environment where you receive your lectures, communication from your lecturers and submit your assignments.
At Surrey, your needs as a student are taken well care of. Obviously I don’t mean someone will be there to do your assignments for you (I wish there was…), but the support available allows you to not worry about things, but to focus on your studies. And if you need help with your studies, there’s SPLASH!