Study Abroad Blog by Pavel Vassiljev

Sunday, April 17, 2011

International Student’s Week and Fresher’s Week

I remember my first weeks of university like it was yesterday… I really enjoyed meeting people from all-over the globe and getting familiar with the university. I know for a fact that back home there are not as many events organized by universities in order to greet international students and freshers. That is probably why I was astonished with the variety of events offered.  The staff was also very keen on making international newcomers feel welcome.

Firstly, there was an “International Student Welcoming Week” that gave us the opportunity to meet exchange students, Erasmus students and just international freshers like ourselves. For us three getting to know other students was like a breath of fresh air as we were sick and tired of communicating only with each other for almost a month (YES, we started hating one anotherJ). The week started with a university tour organized by the student union. The guides showed us all the offices and buildings we should know. The tour ended at the Chaplaincy (current “Tree House”) with tea and biscuits (OF COURSE J). That is where we’ve got to know some amazing people that I am still good friends with. It was our first such multicultural event, so me and the guys were sky high of joy and happiness. One of the highlights of tea and biscuits was meeting Yusuke (A great friend of mine from Osaka, Japan) Who came to us and said: “I am Yusuke, I am from Japan! NOT CHINA! JAPAN!” and of course after this introduction we were calling him Chinese for the rest of the year… Also during tea a group of French Erasmus students had the most amazing idea ever… WAIT FOR IT… throw a house party to get to know each other. YOU HEARD ME!

It was probably the most international house party I had in UK. There were people from like 25 different countries. I remember running around and introducing myself to everybody and trying to guess where were they from. (How childish of me!) That night definitely set high standards for the whole year…

Another highlight of the week were definitely the BBQ’s. For poor students it was a MUST to attend such events. The BBQ’s were organized everyday by The Chaplaincy, Student Union or St’ Mary’s Church. It was great not only to get our student tummies full but also meeting even more people. Most of the BBQ’s ended up with house parties, karaoke or pool... Then there was the fresher’s week that was full of pub crawls, theme nights, karaoke and club nights. The week also had the “Fresher’s Fair” that gave us the opportunity to sign up for clubs and societies, getting to know local businesses and entertainment places and just to get freebies and discount cards. (YES SIR!)

Those two weeks really made the HELL part of studying abroad nothing compared to its HEAVEN side.

p.s. Make sure to attend your Fresher’s Week ! ! !