When you move to a different country, it will take some time getting used to the new way of life, way of doing things, new systems, new culture, possible new language… In reality, you are starting a new life. And that is really exciting! However, there are a lot of new obstacles to overcome as well.
After coming to the UK you may notice changes in yourself, your mood, and how you adapt to the UK. This period of adjustment is normal and it has its ups and downs. No matter if you have been to the UK before, you already speak English, you think the culture and way of life is not that different than your own, you will go through a period of adjustment. How long, how much, how it affects you, and how you overcome it will be different for everyone.
Learn the basic practicalities
Take time to learn the basic essentials as fast as you can. Things like where to eat and buy food, transportation to the city, where you can get help and support, how the university works and what you need to do for your course, how to get around, what shops sell what, how to get a mobile phone, how to get online, etc. Then you do not need to worry about sorting out the basics, when life gets more demanding. It will help a lot adjusting to life in the UK and make a transition smoother.
Get to know your new home
Explore Norwich, go away on the weekend and see more of the UK. Learn and experience what it is like to live in the UK, what it is like for British students, and start to assimilate into British life. This does not mean you need to change who you are or your beliefs, but knowing and understanding these will help you feel more at home.
Create your own home
If you brought some items from home, put them out, or put up some pictures and start to make your room yours. Start to get into a daily routine with time for positive activities like exercise or time for reflection and relaxing. Keep a good balance of being busy and having down time.
Talk to someone
- Other students in your situation – most are experiencing similar feelings.
- Friends and family back home
- The International Student Advisers in the Student Support Centre
- Your Academic Adviser
- The Student Union Advice Centre
- Your doctor/GP
The best thing is to talk to others. Even British students coming to University will be going through a similar period of adjustment, just not as much as you. Talk to other international students, as they are going through the same transition. You can also find some helpful tips and information to help you adjust here.