Scarlett and Elena did their work experience at King’s and as young Londoners, they shared some valuable advice for prospective students! Read on!
Moving to a different country for University can be daunting. Although you may be nervous, rest assured that basically all British University students are feeling the same way about this new chapter in their life. But there’s no need to worry as there are so many resources which help international students to settle into life at King’s. Here are our top six tips to help you as you move to London.
Tip 1- Get to know the language
Although your English may be good enough to communicate with other students, it is a good idea to attend an English language writing class which will help you to improve your essay skills and become fluent in English. King’s offers English language classes for international students, and these come at no extra cost. This will come across as impressive to potential employers as it displays your keen attitudes towards learning. It may also boost your grades, especially the quality of your written work. Also, although this may seem quite obvious it always helps to spend more time around fluent English speakers as this helps you to naturally pick up the language.
Tip 2- Explore the city
London has something for everyone – there are a wide range of attractions and experiences which cater for all tastes: a walking tour or hop-on hop-off bus tour of London is a cheap and fun way to explore the city’s many attractions. There are also plenty of free attractions across London (ideal for a limited student budget)! The Natural History Museum is a must-see if you’re new to London – but beware, the queues are always long, so you might have to skip your lie-in. For the lovers of modern art, the Saatchi Gallery in Sloane Square, Kensington and the New Port Street Gallery in Vauxhall are sleek and sophisticated galleries which we regularly visit. They never fail to entertain us!
Tip 3- Make full use of London’s transport system
A key part to exploring the city is understanding how the transport system works. You may be shocked to know that after 16 years of living in UK’s capital we still get lost from time to time, so don’t worry if you find yourself lost and unsure of how to get home because it happens to us all. Nevertheless, we’re sure that after you have used the trains a few times you’ll get the hang of it. We’ve found that free apps like the ‘The Train Line’ are lifesavers when you have a busy journey to plan and google maps has always been our go-to when we don’t know to get somewhere.
Tip 4- Join clubs and societies
Student clubs and societies are a great way to make friends outside of your lectures who have similar interests to you. You’ll be pleased to know that most clubs and societies are free. There’s no excuse not to join a society unrelated to your degree as you can do almost anything from sports, music, drama and science to volunteering and campaigning. There are so many different people to meet at uni- who knows you might meet your best friend for life at one of our King’s societies.
Tip 5- Visit the international students advice department here at King’s
You probably have a lot of worries about moving to the UK, which is understandable. However, the international students department will support and help you with your move from before you’ve left until you graduate from King’s- they’re parent figures to many international students here at King’s. They cover everything from healthcare, finance and police registration to working in the UK, and handling your visa. Campus maps can also be picked up here which you can use to find your way around your new home for the next few years.
Tip 6- Pack appropriately for the British weather!
The British weather is notorious for being cold and wet and having grown up here, we can safely say that this is no lie or exaggeration. Even in the ‘summer’ it tends to rain a lot so make sure you always carry a ‘pac-a-mac’ or portable rain jacket with you. You might see your phone as your most important possession at home but here Umbrellas are equally as important! You’ll probably be doing a lot of walking from campus to campus as you explore the city and so comfortable shoes are a must have; say goodbye to your precious heels and hello to sturdy warm boots for the winter and supportive sandals for the summer. Don’t worry too much though if you are unable to get your hands on these items as there are many shops in London which offer them.
We’re sure that you will feel at home at King’s in no time and we wish you the best of luck as you join us at the university. If you still feel unsure about your move, you can look at the KCL website where you’ll find everything you need to know. Make sure to check out King’s International Facebook and Twitter pages too!