Student Insight: Top tips for preparing for your MSc at WBS

09 September 2020

Wondering how best to get yourself ready to study at Warwick Business School? Preparing for university can be daunting and stressful, especially during uncertain times. To help you get started, here are some top tips that our international student ambassadors, Oliver, Anastasios, and Terrie picked up during their Masters year.

What should you bring with you?

Oliver Rink, MSc Business with Consulting: When joining WBS you get a welcome bag filled with necessities, such as a calculator, notepad and pen, and, of course, an umbrella. I recommend taking good care of it, as it does prove useful. Speaking of the weather in the UK, it is not as bad as you may think, but I do recommend taking a good, warm coat with you, as it does get chilly at night.

Also, bring some fun decorations for your room. Having a decorated room that fits your personality will increase your study motivation and adding some personal items that remind you of home will help you feel less homesick. Good equipment will help you perform at your best, so bring a good computer, a pair of quality headphones, and other technology you may need to study.

Definitely do not leave your enthusiasm at home, there are many societies to join and activities to partake in. Lastly, I recommend you to bring all your experiences with you to share with everyone and to keep an open mind when coming to Warwick, there’s lots to discover.

Anastasios Vasileiadis, MSc Marketing & Strategy: The most important thing you should bring with you is warm clothes. The winter in the UK is quite cold and you will definitely face difficulties if you are not well-equipped with jackets, hoodies, and whatever warm outfits you can bring. In case you neglect this, you will have to buy them in the UK. I would recommend your jacket to be waterproof because most of the time it can be raining!

You will also need to bring bedding in case your student accommodation provider does not provide them for you. However, these items are easy to buy in the UK if you are struggling for space in your luggage. I would definitely recommend that you save space in your luggage for the necessary items (e.g. clothes, toiletries and study materials). Clothes should obviously be prioritised, but you should also consider bringing with you whatever you believe is going to make you feel as comfortable as you would be in your own home. For instance, pictures of your family and friends, posters of your favourite band/football team to decorate your room and make it feel more familiar. An important item to remember is power adaptors in order to be able to charge all of your devices.

Terrie Hlaing, MSc Business with Consulting: It is important to keep all your documents such as CAS letters, transcripts, accommodation offer and other important documents in a folder with you during immigration and university check-in purposes. Additionally, it is important to pack some thick jumpers, scarves and running shoes as it will be autumn/winter when you arrive in the UK. You could also pack some more formal clothing as you might need it for university presentations or other formal events.

You could also bring some familiar food items with you that will last you through the first few days, as it might take time for you to settle down and get to know your surroundings. As it often takes a bit of time to open up a UK bank account, I would also recommend that you bring some money with you for your first few days. It is also important to bring extension leads and adapters if your appliances are not compatible with UK 3 pin plug sockets.

What should you leave behind?

Oliver: There are plenty of shops near the university so there’s no need to bring any kitchen utensils or other heavy items. The Sports and Wellness Hub located on campus and societies have sports equipment you can rent, and most of what you will need can be found on campus including a health care centre, pharmacy and grocery store to name a few!

Terrie: My next tip is a lot easier said than done, but try not to bring too many anxious thoughts with you. Despite the challenging circumstances of moving somewhere new to study your MSc, make sure you make the most of the opportunity as it will be a hugely fun and fulfilling life experience.

Tips for international students?

Oliver: Leaving home for the UK can be scary, but it’s a great experience to have. I definitely recommend doing your research on life in the UK and the things you may need, such as a bank account or a new phone contract. There are plenty of recommendations by current students in online forums and joining the Facebook Group relevant to your course is a great opportunity to get some inside information. It’s also a great way to connect with your future colleagues, so you have a friendly face to greet you on your first day. Making friends and taking part in many activities is an opportunity to build your community and feel more at home in the UK.

Most importantly, have fun and enjoy your studies at Warwick. This is a great opportunity for you to grow personally and academically and overall a great experience to look back onto after you graduate!

Anastasios: A helpful tip is to book an appointment with a local bank in which you are going to open your student bank account. This will help you save time and skip the line because everyone will be visiting the bank for the same reason when you first arrive on campus. You can do this online or over the phone and also ask for the specific documentation that is required for your appointment so you don’t have to return to the bank another time. Moreover, you can check how to register on the NHS and find the closest GP doctor to your accommodation in advance of arriving on campus as well.

Another good piece of advice for international students would be to research the UK telecommunication providers, compare their plans and student offers and decide beforehand which one is more appropriate for you. I would personally recommend a “Pay-as-you-go” deal because it is flexible and convenient for students and doesn’t require you to sign up to a contract.

Being a student also enables you to access a surprising number of different student discounts. You can order a TOTUM card or an ISIC card for multiple discounts across restaurants, cafes, and shops, and you can also sign up to UNiDAYS and Student Beans for even more discounts. Regarding travel expenses, a wise option for frequent travellers would be to purchase the 16-25 railcard, which saves you 1/3 off rail travel. The alternative for coaches is the Young Persons Coachcard which saves the same amount of money on all fares.

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