Tips for International Students 1
In my last post didn’t really get the chance to introduce myself. Hi, my name is Aleksandra, and I am a second-year Linguistics with Chinese student. I come from Warsaw, Poland.
Before coming to Warwick, I was in England only twice and just for 2 weeks each time. So, adapting, getting acquainted with the British Culture and navigating through the many different dialects took me a while. I would say I recognised where each British speaker was from after term one (more or less obviously!!).
It wasn’t always easy. I was the only international student in my kitchen (because the other two didn’t come out of their rooms), so catching the British humour was hard. Additionally, my brain hurt so badly at the end of each day from all the English I had to intake. You must know that learning English in high school is entirely different from talking to a native speaker 24/7. Even when I started to get better and more fluent in day-to-day conversations, I still had those days when I couldn’t really think and speak in English. Only Polish or even German words would come up. So don’t worry! Even though at first you might be scared or ashamed of your accent or English knowledge (oh, I was!), everything will come to you with time! Because as with everything, to be good at something, you have to keep practising. That is why I’m starting a series titled “Tips for International Students”, to show you guys that going to Warwick as an International student is really not so scary as it might seem. (The title is subject to change as it is pretty wordy.)
When you get to Uni, try being super sociable and don’t worry about making mistakes. Try joining many different societies to meet people. May it be a society connected with your degree, something you are just interested in or something you may want to learn more about! I know it will sound very stereotypical, but you need to throw yourself into the deep waters. The importance of getting involved cannot be stressed enough!
You can even try to join your country’s society. That way, there is no language barrier, and you will get a little bit of rest from only communicating in English. However, keep in mind that branching out and meeting new people from different cultures is the most valuable thing you can do while at Uni.
As Warwick is a campus University, every student lives close to one another, and you are just bound to meet new people! Apart from the ease of meeting new people, a lot of different cultural events are always happening on campus at all times. May it be food trucks from different parts of the world on Central campus or the ‘Rep my flag’ parties hosted in the SU. There are lots of ways to engage and learn about different cultures.
When you feel a bit lost, you can always talk to your personal tutor. I found it hard to open up to mine; however, it proved to be a really helpful experience once I did. It took me a while to understand that these professors are here to help us get accommodated with our uni work or any organisational problems.
Know that you are not alone, and there are thousands of students who feel just like you do, but the only tricky thing is behind you – getting to Uni. There are many ways to reach out and to meet new people, but don’t stress over it too much. Remember to have fun and be open to new experiences because that is when the best things happen to us when we least expect them!