Hello there! My name is Alicia, I come from France and I am a (very) soon-to-be second year! After spending an incredible year at Loughborough and looking at how close we now are to freshers’ week again, I felt like giving a few tips that would probably help some of you out there!
Disclaimer: this is solely based on my personal opinion and in the end, everybody will experience things in a different way but those are some tips I wish I had known (or not ignored) before arriving to Loughborough uni!
1)*GET IN TOUCH...*
…whether it is with other freshers, committee members from your hall or even returners staying in town! This will give you the opportunity to get answers to your questions (there are no silly ones) or simply the opportunity to bound with other people before your first day! Another tip would be to even try to see if somebody from your country is also coming to Loughborough and if yes; to plan a meet up! There are a bunch of pages on social media like Facebook you can check out:
2) *THE LESS THE BETTER!*
Make sure to not bring too much with you! To find out what you truly need, you could check blogs or even your hall page like Faraday’s (http://www.faradayhall.com/what-to-bring) PS: Beware of the weather, it can get rainy quite often and especially very windy but that does not mean that you will not cross paths with people wearing flip-flops… even during winter.
…of the famous freshers’ flu! Yes, you might have read or even heard about this everywhere from everybody but trust me, Dear freshers, it is more than real. So do not forget to bring your vitamins with you and all the extra things you think you will need.
4) *DON'T WORRY ABOUT NOT FITTING IN*
There is a place for everybody here! Yes, you probably know that Loughborough uni is very well known for sports but not all of us here are athletes here so embrace your true self!
5) *GET INFORMED*
Check the numerous societies present at Loughborough! You will also have the opportunity to do so during freshers’ week but it is usually quite a crowded day and you probably will not have the opportunity to look at all of them so plan ahead!
6) *BRING SOMETHING FROM HOME*
Coming to a different country like the UK might be a bit of a culture shock for you and it is always nice to have things from home! Especially some food! How can you forget that? I cannot live without my baguette… Just joking… that is a stereotype. But, there are some things that you will miss and when the homesickness begins, you will enjoy having something to cheer you up.
7) *MOVE IN EARLY*
If you are to move into a hall, try not to pick the latest time slot! If you come in early, there will be ‘less’ freshers and less freshers means more time for you to settle in and be ready for when your flatmates arrive! You will then be able to help them unpack and maybe start building the beginning of a friendship.This is basically what happened to me and my lovely flatmate, Esha!
8) *OPEN A BANK ACCOUNT?*
There are multiple types of accounts and banks you can choose from but if you are like me and you prefer the easy option, pick Santander! Indeed, there is an office right on campus where you will be able to open your account once you have all the necessary papers ready.
9) *HEALTH CHECKUP*
Get your vaccination records up-to-date! Also do not forget to join the medical center (http://www.lborounimedicalcentre.co.uk) based on campus once you come in because you might need it during the year and it takes up to a few days before you can start benefiting from its services.
And finally, have a good night of sleep before your 1st day at Loughborough uni because your first week is going to be filled with nothing but exciting daytime and nighttime activities you will not want to miss out on!