International students share their thoughts

Arriving in a new country is always an overwhelming experience, add to that starting a new University and taking in a huge amount of information it’s a surprise our new international students were still standing!

So, we wanted to find out what those students who attended our International Student Network meeting felt about their journey to the UK, their impressions of the Welcome Week programme and what they were most looking forward to about studying in the UK. And they certainly didn’t disappoint!

Check out the word clouds made from their answers.

Journey to the UK:Wordcloud - JourneyFeelings about Welcome Week:Wordcloud - Welcome programme

Looking forward to about studying in the UK:Wordcloud - Looking forward

 

Welcome, international students!

Welcome2013

Welcome to all our new international students! 

There is a huge amount going on for the next few days. It is all detailed in your Welcome Programme (here’s a PDF copy, you’ll get a hard copy on Wednesday!) but here is a round up of the things not to miss.

Pre-enrolment

Remember, pre-enrolment is mandatory!

You will have received an email outlining the time and location of your pre-enrolment appointment. Please bring the following documents to your pre-enrolment appointment:

  • Your passport
  • Proof you hold valid immigration permission to be in the UK, e.g. Entry Clearance sticker, Biometric Residence Permit, or proof you submitted an application to extend your permission to be in the UK before your visa expired.
  • A printed copy of your Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) statement, or Unconditional Offer letter if you were not issued with a CAS.
  • Qualifications used to get your offer.  If you have been issued a CAS these will be the documents listed on your CAS statement.  If you were not issued a CAS these will be the highest level of qualification you have studied before commencing your course at MMU.
  • English Language qualifications showing you meet our entry requirements, e.g. IELTS, TOEFL, etc.
  • Proof you have paid your deposit towards your tuition fees if you were not issued with a CAS, unless you are an exchange student.
  • ATAS certificate, if your CAS statement said you required ATAS clearance.

Once you have completed pre-enrolment you will be able to complete online enrolment and join your course. (Please note, the system takes up to 24 hours to update before you can enrol online.)

Visit the information market

The information market, in the atrium of the Geoffrey Manton Building, between 10:00 and 16:00 on Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th September, is an unmissable opportunity to meet representatives from across the University, to open UK bank accounts, to register with doctors and to join library services.

These services will all be in the same place for two days only, so don’t miss out on the chance to get these important things sorted in one go!

Attend compulsory sessions

There are lots of information sessions which will help you settle in to your new life in the UK as quickly as possible. Some of the talks not to miss are:

Academic skills – Learn how to study successfully at MMU, as the UK system might be different from what you are used to. Each faculty has student support officers who are there to help you, you can find their contact details on page 10 of your Welcome Programme. One of the officers will be able to take questions in this session.

Budgeting for your student life at MMU – We know budgeting is a bit boring, but it’s important to plan your spending for the year ahead so you don’t get any nasty surprises. You might pick up some new money-saving tips too.

Cultural changes – Most people experience culture shock when they arrive in a new country. This session will help you find out what to expect when moving to a new culture, whether you are new to Europe, Manchester, or just MMU. The International Society will also be there to introduce themselves and tell you about their activities.

English language support – Good English is vital to get the most out of your studies. Come to this session to find out how to access our free English support, which will get you reading faster, communicating more effectively and writing better assignments.

Staying safe – Manchester is a safe city, but come and meet officers from Greater Manchester Police and get tips and advice on personal safety.

Join a few recommended sessions

Over Welcome Week there are a huge number of recommended sessions for you to attend, and most are repeated. Find out exactly when these sessions are in your Welcome Programme. The sessions include:

  • Moments of meaning – religion and spirituality
  • Banking in the UK – an introduction to the UK system
  • MMU Students’ Union – your representatives
  • Accommodation – the culture of sharing accommodation
  • Protecting your Tier 4 (General) visa – understand your responsibilities
  • International Student Network – network with other students and hear about paid opportunities
  • The National Health Service – registering with a doctor
  • Applying for a Tier 4 (General) visa
  • Careers and employability, Jobs4Students and placements
  • Introduction to MMU’s library
  • Supermarket tours

Make new friends

MMU’s International Buddies are current students who are interested in different cultures, languages and making new friends. They will be arranging weekly get togethers, called Buddy Groups, to catch up, explore and try new experiences. Go along to their meeting on Friday 20th September, at 13:00 in Lecture Theatre 3.

On Thursday evening MMU International are hosting a dinner and traditional Irish Ceilidh. This is an informal evening of music and dancing with a dinner at the Students’ Union on Oxford Road. This event has a limited capacity, so make sure to pick up your ticket on Wednesday or Thursday from the Information Market.

Have a free lunch with other international students, and Chaplains from different faiths between 11:00 and 14:00 on Friday 20th September. Meet at the Meeting Point.

We are also hosting walking tours around Manchester to help you explore your new city. Experienced professional guides will tell you more about the shopping, cultural venues and the history and heritage of Manchester. Tours start at 11:15 and 14:30 at the Meeting Point. These tours have limited capacities, so make sure to pick up your ticket on Wednesday or Thursday from the Information Market.

Remember, follow #MMUwelcome2013 on Twitter for any last minutes update through Welcome Week!

So, we hope you have a great Welcome Week; get involved and make lots of new friends. We look forward to meeting you all!

Travel while you study – widen your horizons

Studying abroad is an excellent opportunity to widen your horizons by living in a new culture, meeting people from around the world and trying new foods.

One of the best ways to widen your horizons is by travelling. Studying in Manchester makes travelling around the UK and Europe very easy. Manchester is well connected by road and rail and has a busy international airport.

The map below shows some of the UK’s best tourist towns and cities. Over the coming months we will be posting guides to each city or location; including how to get there and what to do while you’re there.

map of UK tourist destinations

Let us know if there are any other places you’d like to see included, or if you’ve visited these places before, let us know what you got up to.

Top tips for a stress-free arrival in the UK

Border Force has produced a helpful list of top tips for first time students arriving this autumn to commence their studies in the UK. The tips are designed to ensure students are not unduly delayed as they enter the UK by being more prepared for what they may need to present at border control.

As part of your preparations for your studying in the UK this year, Border Force want to make sure you have everything you need to get through the UK border as efficiently as possible. Follow these top tips for a smooth journey through the UK border:

1.      Have your passport ready.

2.      Ensure you complete a landing card (if a non EEA National).

3.      Have your university Certificate of Acceptance Studies (CAS) number ready. If you don’t have a CAS number please brings details of your course of study.

4.      Keep any medical documentation, recent bank statement and details of where you are staying in your hand luggage, we may ask to see this information.

5.      Do not bring in any meat or dairy products from outside the EU.

6.      There are also restrictions on other food products such as fish, eggs and honey, as well as some fruit, vegetables and plants (e.g. bulbs, seeds, cut flowers and tree bark).

7.      There are also restrictions on the amount of tobacco, alcohol and gifts you can bring in the UK. If you exceed your duty-free allowance and do not declare them, all of your items could be taken away from you.

8.      Never bring in counterfeit goods, illegal drugs, offensive weapons or indecent or obscene material. Some items are restricted and will require a licence or permit.

9.      You must declare any sums of cash of £10,000 or more (or the equivalent in another currency) if you are travelling from a country outside the European Union.

10.   Never give false or misleading information (including forged or counterfeit documents)