One of the most exciting moments at the beginning of my journey at Surrey was the Welcome Week when thousands of new students were introduced to the life at university. Students had their own personalised timetables, presenting the events during the week, the respective time, date and location. There were tours, provided by student mentors, starting from my accommodation in Hazel Farm with a last stop at the heart of the main campus. At the start of the tour, I saw how the houses in Hazel Farm were located, the green spaces and the wildlife, represented by small and adorable squirrels. Some of the creatures were running around the area, trying to hide their hazelnuts in various places, while others were jumping from tree to tree. It was very relaxing to observe the nature, which was one of the advantages of the accommodation. Moreover, in proximity to all the houses, there was a common room, where students could socialise and make use of a printer. It was very convenient to print there instead of traveling to the University, which could take at least 25 minutes. Hence, by saving time, other important things, such as studying or socialising with others, were possible. In addition, the launderette was situated next to the common room, supplied with washing and drying machines.
Subsequently, we headed towards the bus stop. We got on a double-decker bus and after 25-30 minutes we arrived in front of the Austin Pearce Building. I saw many students entering the building for their lectures and on the opposite side, there was a car park. Therefore, there was enough space for students and parents and their vehicles during the first days at Surrey. Moreover, I was able to see a restaurant near the building, called Lakeside, where students were socialising with others, enjoying a cup of coffee after a day marked by long hours of study. Thereafter, I saw the other buildings, designed for lectures, and the library, on 5 floors, which was impressing.
Thus, the Freshers’ Fair was the event that contributed greatly to the positive experience during the Welcome Week. This was an opportunity to meet people from different societies from the university. There were clubs and societies related to specific academic programmes, music, acting and sport. Due to the fact that the University is characterised by diversity with students from different nationalities, there were societies representing different countries and cultures. Hence, even if students were not originally from a particular country, societies were more than happy to welcome them as new members, demonstrating great inclusivity. There were exciting opportunities to win prizes, while free gifts were also present. Representatives of the Students’ Union were there as well, promoting paid and voluntary opportunities to get involved. One of the key advantages of the event was that there were so many people with different background and culture. This was a special and valuable experience.
In addition, there was a promotion of the Active Freshers’ Fair, which allowed attending sessions related to various sports for free. I attended the sessions regarding trampoline and tennis at the Surrey Sports Park, while others were climbing walls and playing table tennis. This was beneficial for the maintenance of good health. In fact, there are many other sports that can be practised, depending on students’ preferences. Therefore, the life at university offers both social and academic opportunities for the students’ development.
Until next time,