International Study Centre

Javeria: Preparing for life in the UK

Two students compare notes at the University library

Our student ambassador, Javeria from Pakistan, shares her best tips on how to prepare for studying in the UK. Read her blog to get an insight into studying abroad and how to get there.

It is undeniable that making the decision to be independent and moving to another country is not easy, especially when it means you will be leaving your family and old friends behind. However, this change can be very exciting for most people, as it was for me. The process of applying for your visa to the beginning of your packing, to the day of your flight will be a hectic journey, but some key steps can be taken to make sure that this process is smooth and as easy as it can be for you.

Applying for a visa

Whether you are applying yourself or through an agent, it is important to go through the list of documents that are required for your visa. Some of these might also be needed when you reach the immigration counter at the airport, for example, your tuberculosis test results, your COVID-19 test results and your CAS letter will all be important documents to keep a hold of. The best way I found to handle with my documents was to keep them in a transparent file, which I kept in my hand luggage along with my passport. This helped me to stay organised throughout my journey, since it can be a hassle to travel with so much on your mind.

Arranging accommodation

If you are going to be living in a city where you do not know anyone, it is highly important to make sure that your living situation is sorted. Find out which accommodation you will be staying at, how far it is from the airport and which type of transport you will take to get there. I recommend keeping a pillow and a blanket in your luggage if you will be reaching the UK at an odd time of the night — if you can fit them in of course! Another suggestion would be to look up any nearby takeaway restaurants beforehand, so that you are not left hungry when you land. When it comes to clothes, I chose not to bring too many from my home country and instead bought them when I went shopping in the UK. This way I made sure that my clothing would suit the ever-changing weather here.

Having the right mentality

All the necessities aside, do not overwhelm yourself with the thought of moving away and most definitely do not let yourself feel lonely, because you are not alone! Let your excitement levels rise as well as your confidence — remember that there is so much to explore and many new opportunities coming your way. Be accepting of the people around you, who will come from many different cultures, as it will be interesting to befriend them and open your mind to new backgrounds.