International Student’s Survival Kit as a University Fresher – OurWarwick
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International Student’s Survival Kit as a University Fresher

Hi everyone! Today’s post will be a post on what to do after receiving your results. I’m pretty sure at this point in time, you already have started applying for your visa. But I will try and break down bit by bit on what to do after receiving exam results all the way to arriving to Warwick university. By the way, the thumbnail photo is a photo of me performing in the annual dance performance organised by Classical and Modern Dance (CMD), I’m the girl with the scarf! 

UCAS

a)     Accept your offer. If you have received the offer for your firm choice, accept it via UCAS. If you instead missed your grades and received an offer from your insurance choice instead; you may want to consider getting a remark. You can also call the firm university of your choice and ask them about what to do if you still want to have a place at the university. This is to ensure that you’ve done your best to get to the firm university, and even if all fails; and you are in a university via your insurance choice or clearing, do not fret! 

Survival Tip #1: Keep an open mind! Wherever you are, if you believe that you can succeed, you will be. 

Register as a Warwick student via eVision 

Congratulations for your offer in Warwick University! Now, you will need to register as a student in Warwick University. Fill in your personal details and register for your specific course.

Survival tip #2: Upload a decent picture of yourself as this picture will be on your student card forever.

ACCOMMODATION

a)     If you’ve secured a place in Warwick University, you will receive a confirmation on your accommodation a few weeks before starting university. What I did when I was in your place was I always keep an update on TheStudentRoom (as I was unaware of this website prior to going to university), but since you are one of the lucky ones who found this website, you can always set up a discussion on this. But eventually, you will get the offer to stay on-campus. Please note that first years will have a place on campus but in second year, you will have to move out. In your final year, you can choose to come back on campus, but you will have to go through a ballot system. And if that doesn’t work out, you can put yourself under the Westwood Scheme, where you will share a room with someone in term one and will move out in Term Two. 

Survival Tip #3: Again, keep an open mind about the accommodation that you are placed, as you will meet people from all over the world, and you will learn a LOT from first year itself. When I was in first year, I requested to get a single gender accommodation, but got a mixed one instead. I am going for my third year now and I am still in touch with my friends I met in Sherbourne via Instagram.  

Survival Tip #4: If you are an international student, just know that the drinking culture here is quite big. If you want to join them, go ahead, and please remember that you are not complied to do so, if it makes you uncomfortable. As an international student, you have to anticipate this. Basically, just make sure that you do what you are comfortable with and have fun! If the drinking bit doesn’t suit you, there are other societies you can participate in where it involves no drinking. One thing I like about this university is that, they don’t force you to do anything you’re not comfortable with and they respect your values. So don’t worry, and have fun!

Visa Application (Tier 4)

Aka the most strenuous part of getting into university. This is what I did when applying for my visa:

a)     Tuberculosis Test (depending on which country you live in)

You can even do this before getting your exam results. This is a test to ensure that you are healthy enough to go to university. They’ll just take an x-ray and ask you a few questions, then you will be able to receive a TB certification. But if you are placed in a different university post-exam results, then you can go back to the hospital to change the name of your university.

b)    Get a passport if you haven’t had one.

c)     Take a UK Visa photo (this is different than a Passport photo due to different dimensions of the photo), you will need this during your Visa appointment.

d)    Fill in the visa application form online here, once received appointment confirmation, print this and bring it to the appointment.

In conclusion, these are the things you need for your visa appointment:

–      Visa Application Form (with the Visa photo pasted)

–      Appointment confirmation

–      CAS Statement (this will be given by the university after you’ve confirmed your offer in UCAS) 

–      TB Certificate

–      English Requirement, if required (In my case, the CAS statement said that I do not need to provide my IELTS certification, but it differs from one to another)

–      Financial Affidavit (if you’re a sponsored student)

–      All passports you’ve owned

–      A Level/ IB result certs

–      Birth certs

–      One copy of each documents

Once you receive your visa, you can now travel to the UK with ease. Just remember to go to the International Students’ Office to 

Survival tip #5: This is where you really need to be prepared, especially if the visa appointment venue is miles away from your home. If you forget any of these documents, you may be rejected from your appointment and this will take a longer time for you to receive your visa. 

Survival tip #6: If in any case you receive your offer nearer to the starting date of your university (due to remark, clearing etc), get the Priority Visa, as this can speed up your process in receiving your visa. Also note that it’s a bit more expensive than the normal Visa, but it could be worth the investment as time is of essence here.

Traveling from your home country to Warwick University 

 While you’re sorting out your visa, you should also start packing. If this is your first time traveling, just be mindful of the luggage weight restrictions. I know it’s tempting to bring your whole life to the UK, but you do not need everything. You will end up buying most of your things in the UK anyways. If I were to turn back time, honestly the only thing I’d bring is things that aren’t available in the UK; which is basically ingredients to make food from my country. Oh, and please learn how to cook before going to university, otherwise you’d end up having to go on Youtube on ‘How To Use a Potato Peeler’ like me. Now that is sorted, you have to buy your flight tickets. You can either take a direct flight to London, or transit from Dubai/Abu Dhabi/Qatar/Amsterdam to Birmingham.

If traveling from London

I would suggest taking the National Express coach to Coventry. It’s about £30 and it’s definitely more convenient as you do not have to worry about your luggage as it is securely kept under the coach. But if you’re traveling via train, there is a 2-hour long West Midlands train or a 1-hour long Virgin Train that takes you from London Euston to Coventry train station. From there, you can take the 11 or 12x bus to Warwick University. 

If traveling from Birmingham

If you arrive in Birmingham, you can take the National Express platinum X1 bus to Coventry bus station. This bus however does not have luggage compartments. Hence, I would recommend getting an Uber/Taxi to Warwick University or take the train from Birmingham International to Coventry, then Uber/Taxi from the train station to Warwick University.

Survival tip #7: On the 21and 22of September, Warwick University will be providing an airport transfer service. To use this service, simply fill in the form here.

Arriving to Warwick University 

 You have finally arrived! The first thing you should do is to go to the SU building and that’s where you can get a fob to your on-campus accommodation. Get yourself a good rest before you carry out the next few steps in settling in the university. Remember to also collect your Bio Residence Permit (BRP) card!

Survival tip #8: Be involved in the activities carried out during Welcome Week! It would be useful to go on a campus tour held by the Welcome Helpers to know your way around campus because this campus is massive!

Survival tip #9: Here are essential apps to download once you’re a student in the University:

MyWarwick – alerts you 15 minutes prior to seminars and lectures, has an interactive map to show places around Warwick, enables you to top up printing credits and Eating@Warwick, tracks how many seats are there in the library, updates you on events happening at Warwick, and alerts you if you have a deadline coming up.

Bus Checker – not really an essential if you prefer using Maps, but allows you to see which bus you can use to go to places in the UK.

Any Banking App – to transfer money to Patricia for lending you money during lunch

Any Telco app – to check your phone bills

Unidays – so that you don’t miss out on any student discounts when shopping

NetWM –live update on National Express buses to help travel your journey

Trainline – to buy train tickets when you travel across the UK

Authenticator – I usually receive codes when logging in my account in external computers via this app

Google Maps – to help transport your way around

Setting up a bank account and a telco

 There are certain banks which allow you to book an appointment online even before you are in the UK. But my recommendation is to just go to the preferred bank and set up an appointment face-to-face. The two main banks available in Warwick University are Barclays and Santander. But if waiting times for these banks are too long, you can also opt for Lloyds or HSBC Bank located at the city centre. It only takes 15 minutes to get from university to the city centre via the 12X bus. To set up a bank account, you will need your status letter that you can get from the Senate House. During Arrivals Week, they would usually set up a tent in front of Senate House for students to collect the Status Letter.

Once that is done, you will receive your debit card in about a week or so. With that debit card, you are now free to set up the other things such as a telco. Do a bit of research on which telco is the best for you and pay your bills via Direct Debit. 

Survival tip #10: If you plan to travel across the UK a lot, I would recommend getting a 16-25 railcard as you pay for your train tickets at a reduced amount. You can apply for it here.

This marks the end of this post. I hope this would give a bit of a guidance for international students who are settling in this university. Once you’re settled with all these, be ready to have fun and enjoy the rest of your undergraduate journey!

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