Soraya's experience of moving to the UK to start university

30 January 2023

Undergraduate ambassador, Soraya shares her experience of moving to the UK to start university.  

Born and raised in Morocco, schooled in a French system my entire life, I guess you could say I was used to the hot weather and the French way of doing things. Being in an English-speaking environment, having a personal tutor, writing essays, and referencing are all things I had never done before coming to Warwick. Most of the subjects I have mentioned so far might seem common or normal to anyone coming from an Anglo-Saxon background. However, as a fresher from a French background, this was completely new to me.

So without further ado, here are 4 things that surprised me (in a good way) when moving to Warwick.

Contact hours

In high school, I used to have 35 hours of classes per week, usually with days starting at 8 am and finishing around 5 or 6 pm. Additionally, we had 2 to 3 hours worth of homework to do almost every evening. In comparison, whilst studying here at Warwick Business School (WBS) I only have 8 hours of contact hours – i.e. seminars and lectures per week. Whilst studying at university I have learned to be a lot more independent when it comes to my studies as I have to dedicate more time to conduct additional research and readings. I love my newfound freedom as it allows me to adjust my workload according to other commitments and organise my tasks weekly rather than daily. As well as that, the reduced amount of contact hours gives me time to get involved with societies and sports clubs.

Quantity of societies and sports clubs 

Warwick is home to over 250 societies and 65 sports clubs, all of which are run by students and for students. In comparison, aside from the Model UN or environmental club, societies were not much of a thing at my previous school. When it comes to sports clubs, we did have quite a few but they were never led or run by students. 

With so many societies and sports clubs, it is almost impossible to not find something of interest. University is the perfect opportunity to try out hobbies you’ve always wanted to do. In that spirit, as I always wanted to try out cheerleading I joined the Warwick Devils in my first year and ended up loving stunting and poms. 

As well as that, Warwick has a lot of academic societies which are great to expand your network and learn more about a particular area or get career advice from students who have received offers from firms you’re interested in. For instance, I joined the Warwick Retail Luxury Society in my first year because I was curious about their events. I met some great people there who would have given me helpful tips for my career.

Approachable academics

All the academics that have taught me throughout my degree are friendly and very approachable. At school, I was used to calling teachers by their last names along with Mr or Ms in front. However, at WBS, most academics introduce themselves by their first name and like to be addressed that way. I’ve found this makes them more approachable and you’re less anxious of participating in class or asking questions. Also, as they are experts in their fields, they are usually very helpful if you have questions about their careers or the industry in general.


Everyone talks about how bad the weather is in the UK, and trust me it’s not amazing in the sense that it does get cold and that the sun isn’t always shining. However, it is not awful and there are even bits that I like about it. 

Growing up in Morocco, the only weather I knew was either hot or less hot and the seasons would pretty much all blend together. In the UK, and especially on campus, I just love how you can actually see all four seasons happening. I find it so beautiful to watch the campus change according to the different seasons. In spring you can see pretty flowers grow everywhere. In autumn, lovely orange and brown leaves fall making the Warwick campus a very beautiful place to be.

Are you ready to embrace independence and start your undergraduate journey? If you would like to discover more about Warwick Business School, you can download our Undergraduate brochure.


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