Freshers’ week is a period right at the start of the academic year where new students can get settled into university life before classes start. In the UK, new, undergraduate students are referred to as ‘freshers’ hence the name ‘freshers’ week.’ This term is largely used in the UK, but universities in the US or Australia for example, will all have their own version of a welcome week.\r\n\r\nUniversity freshers’ week is designed to welcome all new students but can be particularly useful for international students adjusting to life in a new country. It is a chance to get comfortable in your new surroundings before you start attending lectures. \r\n\r\n
So, what happens in freshers week?
\r\n\r\nThere are lots of different things to do during freshers week. To make sure you don’t miss out, here is our guide for International students.\r\n \r\n
\r\n\r\nThe first thing you should do when you arrive on campus is register yourself. This tells the university that you have arrived and also ensures that you are given all the relevant information you need. This might include your academic timetable, map of the campus and the keys to your accommodation. \r\n\r\nYou will also have to get your student ID card made so it’s always handy to bring a passport sized photograph along with you. Visiting the international student office is the best thing to do as they can give you all the help you need.\r\n \r\n
\r\n\r\nMost universities hold welcome meetings before classes start to introduce you to your lecturers. It’s always a great idea to attend these as you will get an overview of what your course will be like and get to know your teachers in an informal setting. \r\n\r\nIt’s also an opportunity to ask any questions you might have and make a great first impression. Usually, the Dean of the university will hold a welcome meeting too.\r\n \r\n
Take a tour
\r\n\r\nFor some International students, university freshers’ week is the first time they will have actually been on campus. Obviously, new students aren’t expected to know their way around straight away so guided tours are often available. They will show you where all the important buildings are, including the student union and the library.\r\n\r\nIt’s also a great idea to explore off campus. Getting to know your new city will help you to feel at home.\r\n \r\n
\r\n\r\nDuring freshers’ week, there will be a number of social events designed to help you bond, both with fellow international students and local students. It’s great to delve into international student life but it’s helpful to make friends with all kinds of students. Some universities even have a freshers’ ball with live music and food and drinks.\r\n\r\nEssentially, university freshers’ week is a chance for you to find your feet, get used to a new country and get comfortable on campus – before the learning and hard work begins! Remember, everyone starting university for the very first time, whether they are a local or international student, feels nervous, but there is a wealth of support at your disposal to help you settle in.