- Student Welfare
Welcome to London - one of the most cosmopolitan cities of the world. Steeped in years of history, London offers a variety of entertainment, tourist attractions and special events. It is influenced by many different cultures. Studying in a different country can be very exciting.
When you arrive
- You may find the change in climate, food and culture more dramatic than you thought. This can be shocking or upsetting.
- You may be more likely to get stomach aches, colds and headaches as you adjust to the new way of life and environment.
- You have left family, friends and familiar life, and you will probably be feeling homesick and uncertain.
- If English is not your first language, it may be tiring or frustrating if you are struggling to communicate.
- You may, unfortunately, encounter prejudices and assumptions about your culture and/or beliefs.
- All of this may make you feel overwhelmed or possibly run-down and tired a lot of the time.
The Good News
- These are all perfectly normal feelings!
- Don’t be critical of yourself - adjusting to life in a new situation takes time.
- Remember - your fellow students are perhaps having similar feelings. It helps if you can support each other.
Things you can do to help you adjust
Try to familiarise yourself with the British culture: read newspapers and watch the news or documentary programmes.
Making friends with students from the same country or culture may help if you are feeling homesick. But remember to talk to people from other countries - it is a fascinating opportunity to learn about other cultures.
Speak to a member of college staff, your local library or tourist information office and take the opportunity to explore.
Keep in touch with family and friends back home - tell them about your progress (this will also remind you of what you have achieved so far)!
Most importantly - don’t be afraid to ask. The College staff can help you with questions, such as:
- Using the London Transport system
- How to open a bank account
- How do you register with the General Practitioner (GP)
- How to get to the famous tourist attractions
- Finding accommodation
- Seeking specialist advice or assistance
Look After Yourself!
If you do have a persistent illness or continued feelings of depression or anxiety, seek help. Talk to a member of staff or your GP (doctor). If you are not registered with a GP, speak to a member of staff to find out how.
English Language Support
It is tempting to speak your own language with members of staff or fellow students who are from the same culture as you. Do try to speak English whenever possible.