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How to survive an English university as a non-native English speaker

Moving away to university can be daunting, whether you’re moving to a town 10 miles away or migrating to the other side of the world. The experience becomes even more daunting when you’re moving to somewhere where the language and culture are completely different, and a lot of exchange students spend a lot of their time desperate to go home.  

We’ve compiled a list of our top tips, not just to survive your exchange experience in England, but also to make the most of it!

1)   Organise everything before moving. While some tasks may be impossible to complete from your home country, such as buying textbooks in a foreign language, most things are achievable from anywhere in the world.  If you have almost everything organised before even setting foot on the plane, it will make your transition into a new country and culture a whole lot smoother.

2)   Bring a little bit of home with you. Sure, moving abroad is an amazing new experience and it’ll undoubtedly broaden your horizons, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be homesick every so often. For those times, it can help to have a little something from home, such as your favourite snack or photos with your friends and family, just to make you feel a little closer to what you know.

3)   Be patient.  Every culture moves at their own pace, and it can often times be frustrating when we’re so accustomed to the way things work at home. However, we think it’s important to be patient and remind yourself that if nobody else around you is panicking, you’re probably doing okay.

4)   Move at your own pace. While it’s a good idea to exercise patience whenever possible, it’s also essential to not over-exert yourself. Don’t give into the pressure to live the perfect exchange experience, and if you’re not feeling up to something, don’t beat yourself up.

5)   Enjoy yourself! You’re there to experience a new culture and language, as well as learn, so if you’re at a loss for what to do, try some new food, go to a museum you’ve been dying to visit or even stay at home and watch a movie.