By Edison from Hong Kong, studying Biological and Medicinal Chemistry

This blog will hopefully guide you through the essential steps to ensure a smooth transition into uni life. From pre-arrival preparations to settling in, I hope to provide valuable advice and tips to help you make the most of this exciting chapter in your academic journey. 

Before You Arrive: 

  1. Research Your Course: Check out the website of your course and familiarise yourself with the modules you are going to take, learning activities and forms of assessment. This will give you a head start and ensure you are prepared for the academic expectations, and give you a sense of what your workload would be for the year. 
  1. Connect with Coursemates: Join social media groups or follow societies on Instagram that are related to your course. Engaging with your future classmates will help you build connections and gain valuable insights into student life, accommodation options, and campus facilities. Some societies, like the Biology Society, provides buddy-up programs for you to make friends with students who are a few years ahead of you. 
  1. Finances and Documentation: Ensure that you have your finances in order, such as setting up a student bank account, applying for student loans, and budgeting for living expenses. Additionally, gather all necessary documentation, including identification (passport/ ID card), acceptance letters, accommodation details, and any medical records you may need. 
  1. Accommodation Arrangements: If you haven’t already secured accommodation, contact your university’s accommodation office to explore available options. Alternatively, you can consider private accommodations or sharing with other students. Make a checklist of essentials to bring, such as bedding, kitchen utensils, and personal items. 

Things to Pack/Buy: 

  1. Academic Supplies: Stock up on stationery essentials, including notebooks, pens, highlighters, and folders. Don’t forget a reliable laptop or computer for your coursework and research. 
  1. Bedding and Linens: Check with your accommodation provider if bedding and linens are provided. If not, pack sheets, pillows, blankets, and towels to make your living space comfortable. 
  1. Kitchen and Cooking Equipment: If you’ll be preparing meals, bring basic kitchen utensils, pots, cutlery etc. You can always add more items later if needed. If you are an international student like me, I understand your luggage is going to have a limit, so don’t worry, you can always buy a set of new ones once you arrived here, or share it with your flatmates.  
  1. Clothing and Personal Items: Pack appropriate clothing for different seasons and consider the social activities you might engage in, formal and informal. Don’t forget toiletries, medication, and any sentimental items that will make your new space feel like home. For me, I brought some pictures with me as decoration for the room, making it more comfy. 

Tips for Settling In: 

  1. Go to our Freshers’ Week (Welcome Week): Make sure you come to our freshers’ week! Societies will have taster sessions and have booths providing crucial information about the societies, their events and opportunities, giving you a chance to meet fellow students. 
  1. Explore the Campus: Take some time to familiarise yourself with the campus layout, locating important facilities like the library, Students’ Guild, health centre, and the student information desk (SID). Knowing where things are will save you time and reduce stress later. 
  1. Establish a Routine: Develop a schedule that balances your academic commitments, social activities, and personal well-being. Set realistic goals and allocate time for studying, exercising, and socialising to maintain a healthy work-life balance. 
  1. Get Involved: Join student societies, clubs, or sports teams that align with your interests. This will help you meet like-minded individuals, make friends, and create a sense of belonging within the university community. 
  1. Seek Support: Remember, universities have various support services available, such as your tutor, counselling services, and Career Zone. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you face any difficulties. 

Transitioning to university may seem overwhelming, but with great preparation and a positive mindset, you can embark on a successful academic journey. I hope these tips are helpful, and just remember to stay proactive and you’ll be well-equipped to embrace the opportunities and make the most out of it. Enjoy!