An international student’s experience: How to make friends at university
Hi! I’m Khijra, a student from India, and in this blog I am sharing my experience at the University of Huddersfield International Study Centre and the UK in general. I’m an International Foundation Year student and my programme is Health and Human Science. I arrived in the UK in October 2019. If you are interested in knowing more about Huddersfield and my experience as an international student, read on…
The International Study Centre
The International Study Centre is designed as a platform for international students, offering various programmes such as:
These programmes are specialised pathways which prepare an international student for their degree in the University. The International Study Centre supports international students academically. It helps us to get comfortable with the style of education here, helps us to improve our academic skills— as well as other skills qualities such as time-management, decision-making, presenting and communication skills and building your confidence.
This programme suits me best because most of my lessons are practical-based, which is one of the key reasons why I decided to come here to study, as it helps students enjoy their time whilst studying. Lessons are pretty flexible with usually one day off a week— which is great!
All the tutors in International Study Centre are specialists and experienced in teaching international students. They also understand that every student is different. Not only do they help us improve academically, but they also help us adjust with the changes.
Classes are usually small, consisting of 15-20 students per group, which is a plus point as it helps students feel comfortable and gives us a chance to engage with their tutors who are always ready to provide individual attention and guidance.
Apart from tutors, every group has a progress coach whose job is to make sure everything is going well. A progress coach is an additional source of support for international students. They are more than happy to solve or address any issue a student faces during the semester, whether it be related to studies or personal.
Making friends and socialising
The International Study Centre acknowledges that its takes time for international students from different countries to come together and adapt to the changes. Sometimes it’s hard to come to a different country all alone and this can make students homesick. The International Study Centre organises social events where students get the chance to socialise, make friends, have fun, enjoy and explore.
Students are happily welcomed into societies, clubs of their interests and to take part in ‘Be Social’ – as well as plenty of other events. Many field trips, museum and city tours are also arranged for students (free or at a very cheap cost). There is so much more to explore within the University. They encourage students to engage in social activities and make sure everybody participates and is happy during their stay.
Most importantly, the International Study Centre shows genuine concern towards their students’ mental and emotional wellbeing. If someone is feeling down or alone, they are always there to help. Wellbeing social services like UFirst are designed to address such issues.
Speak Up is another socialising activity which help students with low confidence. This activity helps students build up their confidence and improve communication and presentation skills which is especially required in university.