Produced by David
BSc (Hons) Games Software Engineering
Being an international student, understandably, can be a pretty exciting experience, with so many expectations and unknowns lying ahead of you, as someone who is an international student myself, I would like to have my say about what support is available for people from different countries, comig to us and share my experience of being an international student at Bournemouth University in this blog!
“Life is full of exciting opportunities, but fear of change can hold us back”
Coming to a university abroad may be seen as daunting for a lot of people. There is a lot of reasons to it. To name a couple
First: Coming to the university in another country nearly always means leaving ones comfort zone and getting immersed in a culture that may be drastically different from one that is native to them.
Second: Educational system in a foreign country can be different from what can be in an international student’s country of origin. Hence prospective international students will have a need to be guided and shown around.
But there’s absolutely no need to be afraid!
It’s quite apparent that Bournemouth University, which has a great number of international students from all over the world, has a way to help cope their students with it, you just need to make sure that you can take advantage of what is available to you at BU.
Once you are on campus and officially a BU student, make visit AskBU, located in Poole house at Talbot campus. Actually, it was one of the first places where I went after first coming to the university. If you are still an applicant or an enquirer you can talk to our Future Students team before you arrive on campus.
They are supposed to help you out with general questions about UK and BU, how to get to places around the campus, as well as updating your personal data (for example, in case you have changed your name). In my opinion, people working there are quite helpful and patient, so don’t be shy to approach them with different sorts of questions about how things work in the UK or BU.
However, if you have IT related questions, and I mean, issues related to BU e-services (brightspace, this is a website where you will can all your units/slids/marks/messages from lecturers, so make you sure you visit it quite often) or BU student email account, you should ask BU IT service desk. In addition to that, when my only phone broke down and I could not pass verification on my BU account (because it needs a confirmation code sent to your number!), I was given a temporary phone by IT service desk. They are located at talbot campus, in Weymouth House, inside the building you will see pointers directing you at their location.
Apart from that, there is also student wellbeing service. It’s here for you to help with coping and giving advices related to more psychological issues, such as anxiety, panic attacks, isolation/bereavement, stress, concern about someone else and homesickness (which is more relevant to international students!). The only problem that I see is that I’s available during term time only. Also, you could have either phone/email sessions or in-personal meet-ups. Be aware thought, that the second option is available from 1 to 2 PM on workdays. Even if it’s something serious, the service may help to access more therapy. Also, it is worth mentioning that they have STARS services (Sexual Trauma and Recovery Services) and Restored Eating Disorders with those suffering from excessive stress-related eating habits, so if take advantage of using them if it’s something that is appropriate to your concerns and problems.
My personal advice is that, in a lot of cases, in order to take enjoy most of your available opportunities, it is important to get involved with what is available to you, yourself, instead of fearing you might upset or burned someone with your issues. Trust me, you will not! As an international student, you have people to help you out and guide you around your new place, just remember that it takes only a task of asking appropriate people and time to get accustomed.
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