Once you’ve been accepted on a course and you’ve sorted out your accommodation, it’s time to start planning for your big move. When you arrive, the first week is going to be full of exciting activities that give you the chance to make new friends. Here’s what you can expect during your first week at university in the UK.
Welcome to a UK university
You’ll step off the plane and into the next chapter of your life. The plane journey to the UK might be long but don’t worry about feeling disoriented when you arrive. Newcastle University is on hand to welcome you at the airport, helping you with your bags and making sure you know exactly where you need to go and what to do next.
As well as meeting representatives of the university, you’ll also meet other international students who are being greeted at the airport. Any slight worries you had about speaking to new people will soon disappear when you see that everyone is feeling the same nervous excitement as you are.
You’ll make your way to your new accommodation and get settled in. You won’t be the only one who's getting used to their new surroundings. So, whether it’s a quick chat over coffee in the kitchen or a movie night, it’s a great chance to get to know your new neighbours.
To be fully registered with the university, all students will have to complete an enrolment process. The exact date of this will depend on when you arrive but it’s a simple and quick task that confirms that you’ve arrived. You’ll also receive any important information and your new student card.
Once that’s taken care of, you can think about exploring your new home. It’s a good idea to work out where all of the important facilities are that you’ll need.
First, within your accommodation. There’ll be a welcome pack that tells you where everything is, like the bins and your mailbox.
After you’re happy that you know everything about your accommodation, you can set out and find where the nearest bank, supermarket, gym and transport links are. It’s also a good idea to head to the university campus so that you know where you’re going and how long it takes. All of this is great to do with a new friend.
Days three, four, five and six
The first two days are when you’ll settle in. However, the next few days are when you can start to make the most from the university. Depending on the exact time you arrived, you’ll now be in Freshers’ Week. The aim of this week is to welcome all of the new students to the campus.
At Newcastle University, we host events during this week, both during the day and at night, that will allow new students to meet, have fun and join societies. Societies are student-led clubs that focus on a particular interest or hobby - there are over 160 to choose from at Newcastle University. There will be fairs that give students the chance to speak to members of the different societies and join ones that they’re most interested in.
In addition to extracurricular activities, you’ll also take part in some academic ones too. There will be introductory events that let you meet your tutors and ask any questions that you have. This is another good opportunity to understand where all of the different buildings are on campus to make the next few weeks simple and easy.
At these academic events, you’ll meet the other people studying the same course as you. Make sure to say hello and swap contact details. It’s great to have someone to contact if you have any questions about your course and you’ll soon be friends with them anyway.
You’ll also receive your timetable that outlines when and where your lectures, seminars, practicals and more will take place.
The first week was an exciting sequence of society events, academic meetings and fun activities with new friends. Now, the real work begins and you’ll need to prepare for your first proper week of lectures and university work.
You should already have settled into a routine but if you do have any questions about life at university or your accommodation, then make sure to get in touch with the support team.
Here at Newcastle University, we provide international student services that can help with everything from managing your finances to questions you have about healthcare in the UK.
Your first week is a chance to meet new people and get to know your new home. The first few weeks at university may bring challenges for you to overcome, like budgeting, so we’ve put together a guide that will help.
Guide to studying at a UK university
Our guide is packed with useful tips and advice to help you to get the most from your time at a UK university. From travelling around the UK to the different types of university here, download your free copy now using the link below and discover everything there is to know about studying here.