Written by Anh Ngu
MSc Marketing Management
Studying abroad is probably the most significant and exciting decision I’ve ever made in my life. I wanted to be part of a greater world, to open my eyes to a new culture, new educational environment and especially to make my childhood dream come true.
When I finally settled down with Bournemouth Uni, there came the anxiety just as much as the happiness. What do I need to prepare before flying to the UK? How would it be to live by myself? How do I even find a place to live? Lots of questions were wandering in my mind and now, I’m writing this blog to share with you how I’ve managed the hardship and become more mature.
My new friends at BU
Relocating is not easy; moving overseas is even more challenging. Thanks to BU’s welcome pack with all the instructions and advice I needed, the preparation became much less of a burden. Basically, whether you’ll live in BU halls or a private property, they are usually furnished and you don’t really need to buy anything but your personal belongings. I came here as a Master’s student and due to some visa issues I couldn’t apply for halls in time. I had to search online for letting agents in Bournemouth and went to lots of trouble with housing contracts, payment, finding housemates and so on. I got a place at last, but it wasn’t a pleasant experience so I’d say save yourself the effort. Here are some of my own experiences that hopefully can make your life easier.
Prepare warm clothing
UK’s winter is cold, very cold if you come from a tropical climate country like me. Some parts of the UK snow heavily around January – February, it’s important to pack warm clothes in your suitcase. You can buy warm clothes here, but they are generally more expensive and they’re designed for UK people – who are used to this kind of weather, they may not be warm enough for you.
Don’t bring kitchen stuff or stationery
It’s really not necessary to bring any kitchen stuff, if you need to eat rice daily then just bring a small cooker. Stationery is quite cheap here as well and you’ll mostly work on your laptop anyway.
Don’t bring lots of cash
Prepare enough cash to spend for the first month or two only, it’s not a good idea to carry lots of cash. Just open a bank account here within the first month.
Be prepared for a culture shock
It’s not the same as at home, even if you have learned some culture differences in advance it won’t be the same when you actually experience them. Be open-minded, understanding and adaptive. There will be massive support from BU as well regarding how to study effectively, how to manage your daily life, what kind of help is available if you feel homesick or have any problems living in the UK.
Speak English when you can
If English isn’t your first language, try to grab any opportunity to practise, perhaps by making friends from other countries, participating in extracurricular activities, registering in study skills classes or even finding a part-time job! Be proactive as you’ve paid a lot of money to study here, try to learn everything out of it and make your time here worthwhile.
One World Day, when I participated in a Georgian dance
Nothing worth having comes easily, what’s important is that you have the willingness to overcome obstacles and the persistence to succeed.
By Anh Ngu