Starting my journey at WBS as an international student

11 May 2020

Our MSc ambassador Hadeel describes her experience of adapting to a new culture and navigating her way through WBS life as an international student.

Many of us expect that studying abroad is about more than just getting a better education, and it definitely is. I have discovered that it is a journey of self-discovery in terms of education, personality and gaining critical life skills. Prior to joining WBS, I was told by several friends and relatives who had previously experienced living abroad that I would discover my personal strengths and weaknesses. I only really began to understand this when I travelled alone for the first time to begin my new life as an MSc student at WBS.

Struggling with homesickness and time zone differences

During my first week, I struggled with homesickness, time zone differences and getting acquainted with my new life in the UK. For instance, at first, I didn't know how to use the local transport services and found myself walking long distances in order to return to my accommodation just to avoid catching the wrong bus. When I first arrived I also used to pick the wrong items when doing my grocery shopping and didn't realise that there were more affordable grocery stores nearby which were much better suited to a student budget! That being said, I was really looking forward to the orientation and induction week at WBS where I would have the opportunity to meet similar students in the same situation as me. 

It is worth mentioning that I'm already seeing the fruits of this wonderful journey, six months into my MSc. I have become more aware of my abilities and strengths, and more importantly, I have learnt how to manage my time to fit my lifestyle. Also, I'm now able to easily and swiftly use the local transport services within the area, I'm able to manage my weekly grocery budget and I'm making the most of all the opportunities on offer at WBS to make the most of my time here.

Welcome Week balloons in the Warwick SUWelcome Week at WBS

During Welcome Week it was clear to see the amount of support that students could offer to one another. Although I felt quite shy to interact with other students, I inevitability met lots of other students during the Welcome Week activities who were all in the same position as me, and I remember Nat Turner’s saying that “communication is the bridge between confusion and clarity”. I met lots of students who all shared their tips on time and money management and introduced me to some useful mobile applications to help me with this, for example, BeFocused. In fact, I have found that being a student in the UK is very beneficial as there are so many student discounts available on lots of things from restaurants to clothing to travel!

Support networks across campus

As well as academic support there are wellbeing support services available at the University of Warwick. The wellbeing support team can share valuable advice from managing your stress levels to helping you budget, and they can even give you advice if you have difficulty sleeping, which really helped me. The Programme Team at WBS also provide a great support network and organise lots of fun and interesting trips to discover different parts of the UK which I find really enjoyable as an international student. Now I am in my second term I am adapting to life in the UK much more easily. Since I love sports I have also joined a tennis course at Warwick Tennis Centre, which has not only improved my health but also my mindset, enabling me to relax away from my studies.

Hadeel sitting outside WBS on a sunny day, with daffodils in the backgroundAdvice to prospective international students

As an international student if I was to offer any advice to prospective students who are deciding whether to study in the UK, I would advise them of the following:

  • Stay connected and informed
  • Learn to cook easy dishes, believe me, you can save a lot of money
  • Get ready to enjoy the green scenery
  • Prepare a weekly grocery list and stick to it
  • Do not forget to reward yourself after a busy day with studies
  • Try new things, make unforgettable memories and always have your camera to hand.

All in all, I believe no matter what I have achieved in my life my experience of studying at WBS will greatly shape my personality and future career path. I feel that my knowledge and life skills have been enriched through the diverse group of students I have met, and the new life I have created for myself whilst studying in the UK.

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