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Survival tips for every international student

“I can do this,” I said to myself as I packed my entire life into a suitcase.

I was 17 when I came to the UK to study, and I believe that it was one of the best choices of my life. I was nervous but most importantly I was more than that. I was excited about the chance of leaving home to explore a new life. I was afraid, but I had worked so hard for it. All the late nights and early mornings paid off as my dream came true. You can do anything as long as you believe in yourself.

Lots of young people leave their home to study in a new country, 6% of international students in the UK are from the EU and 14% are from the rest of the world. If you are one of that 20% then congratulations, you took the plunge, and I know from experience that it wasn't an easy ride. Not only because you were hesitant, but because you couldn’t fit your ‘home life’ into your suitcase.

As an international student, you'll get to make new friends and you'll get to explore a new country. For those of you considering becoming an international student, here's some advice from my personal experience to help you to settle into life at your new university.

Making new friends

If you're not a very sociable person or if you're a bit shy you will struggle to make new friends. To avoid this, try to get involved with every event your university has to offer. You could apply to be a student academic leader or you could join a society. This will look great on your CV and it will help you to socialise with new people.

Living away from home
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We have a thing for taking notes. ?

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Having to wash your clothes, clean your room, cook, iron and wash the dishes can get really boring. Making a schedule is a great way to organise your life and get things done quicker. Evernote is an app that I use to keep myself organised.


Sticking to a budget is hard. At university you have to buy groceries and save money to enjoy yourself during your free time. You can look for a part-time job so you can earn more money, but being a student does come with its advantages, lots of shops and restaurants have discounts for students, check out YouthDiscount for student deals. Another important thing to do if you study abroad is to get a bank card, this will make your life much easier.


You get lots of reading to do at university, which can be hard when you struggle with grammar and vocabulary as an international student. To help you study you can use apps on your phone which can keep you focused without letting you exit the app unless you finished your work. If you struggle with vocabulary I suggest that you get a notebook and write down any unfamiliar words, this will help you to improve your understanding in the long run.