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Preparing for university as an international student

If you are reading this, you might be concerned about how to prepare for university. Don’t worry, I felt the same as you before I came to the University of Brighton. As an international student from Malaysia, I had to make sure that I was well prepared for the weather, culture, studies, and lifestyle before I came to the UK. This might sound like a lot to prepare but it’s not difficult!

Essential items for university as an international student

If you are an international student like me, be sure to check that you have a valid passport and visa, and pay for a IHS (immigration health surcharge), which is part of your immigration application.

Preparing for a new country

Also, it would be good to take some time to research the UK, like the location of your campus, the customs immigration at the airport when you arrive, what goods have to be declared at UK customs and the culture etc. If you are not sure where to live while studying a course at Brighton, there is a the option to live in university managed halls as well! Moving away from home would mean that you need to be independent and cook your own meal. If you’re not good at cooking, don’t worry, because YouTube will be a life saver or you can learn from your family before you come to university.

Preparing for your course

If you are wondering what can be done to prepare for your course, I would recommend a shadowing experience as for me it was a huge eye-opener. I am a Podiatry student, so I went to shadow a podiatrist before I started university. I got to see the ‘behind the scenes’ of working as a podiatrist and how to deal with patients – it helped me to figure out whether a podiatrist is a suitable career option for me. Some courses will also put up their reading list online weeks before the course begins. You don’t have to buy all the books on the list as they will usually available in the university’s library for you to borrow.

Don’t panic!

Some other essentials that you might also need to prepare are electronic gadgets like laptop and iPad, kitchen items like crockery and pans,and not to forget some bedding items for your room as well.

Lastly, don’t panic about starting a new life at university, I am sure that you will find it a wonderful and exciting experience!

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Shi Pin Lim • 3rd August 2021


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