How to enjoy university life as an international postgraduate student

16 September 2020

Our MSc ambassador Alina describes moving away from home for the first time to study abroad and creating her own support network through friends and the services provided by WBS.

Joining WBS meant that it would be the first time I had to live and study away from my family and loved ones. Being away from home and my comfort zone seemed like a difficult step, but now that I am experiencing postgraduate life my expectations have completely changed. You may think that you will be alone in this journey of your life, but by studying abroad you have the chance to meet new individuals and become close friends without even realising it. The best part of university life for me is having the chance to get to know people from all over the world, with different mind-sets and experiences that will broaden my horizons. Before joining WBS I expected that I would be so different to everyone else and wouldn’t find anything in common with anyone. However, the truth is that I found we had more commonalities than differences, even though our backgrounds may be opposite. Despite the fact that a huge part of studying abroad is to meet diverse individuals, you also need to remember to adapt to your new environment so you can set yourself a routine and study in an effective manner.

Building a network on campus

As an international student joining WBS I had to learn to adjust my daily routine based on my study schedule. I am living on campus in a flat that I share with seven brilliant flatmates. All of us have to cook for ourselves, wash our dishes everyday, take turns to take out the rubbish and make sure our common areas are always clean, and we find that by doing these everyday tasks it means we can live together cohesively. Your flatmates can provide you with a great support network and living with other people will make your experience of studying in a new country much easier. You can expect to meet great people with whom you will create strong bonds with, they will become the people you rely on whilst experiencing your new life living and studying abroad.

Support from WBS and the University

The University of Warwick also provides significant support through its on-campus facilities such as the Residential Life Team and the Mental Health and Wellbeing Team. These teams help you adjust to student life and can give you lots of advice from managing your finances and workload to settling into shared accommodation. During my induction week, the Masters Programme Team also offered support to international students who may have language barriers to overcome. This support included enhancing our written skills which really boosted my confidence. The team create a highly supportive environment where you can approach them for lots of support and advice whenever you need it which was really reassuring when I first joined WBS. I have also found the academic staff really supportive, and if there is anything that I don’t understand they are happy to go over any material during drop-in sessions outside of my lectures and seminars.

Understanding the UK market with CareersPlus

In addition to this, the WBS CareersPlus team are a great resource at WBS. As an international student from Greece, I found it difficult to know where to start when it came to making job applications in the UK market. After meeting with the CareersPlus team I was able to gain lots of support and advice to help improve my CV as well as finding out more about the job application process in the UK, particularly from MSc students. The team also organise lots of events with potential employers so you can find out more about the companies and industries you are interested in. I feel that having the opportunity to meet with industry experts has been invaluable in helping me to clarify my future career goals.

Exploring the UK whilst I study

I have also really enjoyed exploring other parts of the UK by attending scheduled trips organised by the Masters Programme Team at WBS. These trips allow me to discover more about the UK as an international student and provide a much needed break from my studies. Every term the Masters Programme Team also organise social events to bring all MSc students together which are really enjoyable. I would recommend that all international students take advantage of the support provided by WBS whilst socialising with others to make lifelong friendships which will really change your overall experience of living and studying abroad, and allow you to make memories lasting a lifetime.  

Discover more about the Warwick Business School student experience on our Life at Warwick web pages.