Semester Two: start as you mean to go on!
While we are a little late for New Year’s Resolutions, the start of semester two is a great time to reflect on the first half of the year, and make a plan for the second. Here are our top tips for starting the semester as you mean to go on, and getting the most out of the rest of the academic year.
Book a session with a Study Advisor
There are Study Advisors based in each of the university libraries. They can advise on key skills such as time management, understanding assignments requirements, planning your work, referencing, how to submit your work electronically, and much much more. If it is hard for you to get to a session in person, they offer tutorials via Skype.
How to book: see the ASK webpages for details of times and how to book.
Make the most of online resources
The university has some great, subject specific resources to help you understand the study skills you need for your course. So if you want top tips on preparing a presentation, how to structure an essay, or how to navigate the intricacies of group work you will find what you need here.
Don’t let your academic English let you down
Formal academic language can be tricky at the best of times, but if English is not your first language it can be even harder. The iASK service offers support from expert English language tutors who can help you develop your existing skills. The service includes personalised feedback on your written work, and one to one tutorials with a tutor to discuss any academic query you might have.
Check out peer support schemes for undergraduate courses
Some courses offer peer assisted study schemes (PASS), where more experienced students in their second or third year of a course offer advice and support to first years. There full list and details of the scheme is here.
Avoid unintentional plagiarism
Plagiarism is the word given to passing off someone else’s academic work, ideas or words as your own. Academic conventions and referencing vary across different countries, may be very different to the system you are used to. Check out the university’s guide to plagiarism and how to avoid it.
Do you need support with a disability or specific learning difficulty?
UK universities are inclusive places, and at the University of Brighton there is a range of support available for students who have a disability or long term health condition which affects their studies. If you think this is relevant to you, please contact the Disability and Dyslexia team to discuss.
Ask for help if you need it
If you have any concerns about your progress on your course and an assignment you have been set, contact your personal tutor to discuss this. Your personal tutor’s role is to keep an eye on your overall academic and personal welfare and to advise you about other sources of help in the university.
There can be non-academic issues that are affecting your ability to study to your full capacity. If you are having difficulties speak to the Student Support and Guidance Tutor (SSGT) for your School for advice and support.
Work/ life balance
There is more to university life than studying, and while academic work should be your main focus, keeping work/ life balance is vital to your wellbeing. There are loads of ways to get involved in university life. Check out the full list of Students Union societies, information on sport on campus (clubs and the Parklife recreational sport programme), volunteering and working for the university.
9. Don’t let Culture Shock come as a shock
Culture shock is the feeling of disorientation experienced when you move to a new and unfamiliar culture. It is completely normal, and while it is most common in the first semester, it is very normal to still be feeling confused and homesick in semester two. If you’re feeling a little out of sorts, check out the stages of culture shock and tips for dealing with it, read about other students’ experiences, and contact us if you think you could use some help.
The International Student Advice Service provides support and advice for students from outside the UK. This includes practical advice on life in the UK, information about social activities, and support for home sickness or culture shock. We also advise on queries about visas, immigration and Brexit. For more information on what we do and how to contact us see our webpages