Starting university in the UK is a mix of excitement and challenges. But guess what? You’re not on your own! There’s a bunch of help ready for you, so you can tackle any problems, do well in your studies, and really enjoy your time here.

Just like discovering the best places to eat, making new friends, or joining clubs, it’s really important to know about the help available at your university. Let’s check them out together – from advice about your future job to having a chat with someone on campus when you need it, and even getting guidance with your studies. We’re here for you!

1. Student unions: Your University Helping Hand

Student unions are like your support team in university. They make sure your time at university in the UK is great! Inside these unions, there are special students called sabbatical officers. Some are chosen to represent you, and there’s even one just for international students like you.

These officers are your voice in the university. They speak to the decision-makers, convey them what students like you need, and work hard to make university life better. They want to make the campus a happy and welcoming place for everyone.

But wait, there’s more! Student unions also have special help centers. These are like superhero problem-solving places. If you have any issues with where you live, money, school stuff, visas, or anything else, these centers have experts ready to help. And if they can’t fix your problem right there, they’ll tell you exactly where to go in the university for the best help.

So, if you ever need a hand or want to know about cool clubs and groups, the student union is the place to go. They’re here to make sure you get all the help you need to do well and have a great time at university!

2. International office: Your Go-To Support Team

The university’s international office is here to help you, especially if you’re coming from another country. Even before you start your journey to the UK, our friendly staff members are ready to assist you with various services. Whether you need advice on immigration, help with visas, figuring out travel details, or finding a place to stay, we’ve got you covered. Our goal is to make your move to the UK smooth and easy. Throughout your time here, the international office is your go-to place for support. If you have any challenges with your studies, feel a bit lost in a new place, or need advice on personal or school matters, we’re here for you. We want to ensure you have all the support you need to succeed during your time in the UK.

However, their commitment goes beyond pre-arrival assistance. Throughout your tenure in the UK, the international office remains a steadfast source of support. If you ever face challenges with your studies, feel a bit lost in a new culture, or need advice on personal or school stuff, the international office is the place to go. They’re like a one-stop-shop for all kinds of support, and if they can’t help directly, they’ll guide you to the right place.

Need tips on understanding the UK’s education system, making friends in the local community, or dealing with language and cultural differences? They’ve got your back! The international office is here to make sure you have all the support you need to make your time in the UK a success. 

3. Student wellbeing services 

In the UK, every university cares a lot about students’ well-being. They offer services to help with things like stress, anxiety, or feeling down, whether it’s because of your studies or something else. These services offer a safe and private space where you can talk about your concerns, understand your feelings, and learn how to cope. You can have one-on-one sessions with a trained counsellor or join groups where students like you share their experiences in a supportive environment.  It’s like having a friend to talk to, and these services are there to help you feel better and navigate through any challenges you might be facing.

It’s completely normal to have concerns about seeking professional help for your wellbeing. Some students worry that it might be perceived as ‘weak’ or a sign of ‘not being able to handle the pressure.’ Others fear judgment or the stigma associated with opening up about their issues. However, it’s essential to understand that wellbeing services exist to support you in a non-judgmental and confidential environment.

To access these services, you can reach out to your university’s student support or counselling service. Typically, they will invite you to an initial meeting with a professional to understand your needs, provide initial advice and support, and, if needed, refer you for further care. Depending on your situation, you may be entitled to receive up to six or eight sessions through your university per year, although this can vary. Regardless, all support services are equipped to guide you to any additional support you may require. Remember, seeking help is a positive step towards your overall wellbeing.

4. Assistance for students with disabilities and special requirements

In the UK, universities and colleges really want everyone to feel welcome, including students with different needs. They have special teams just to help students with disabilities or health conditions, like dyslexia, ADHD, or mental health challenges. Before you start your classes, it’s a good idea to connect with your university’s disability support service. They’re like your buddies to make sure you do well in your studies. They work closely with students to create plans that suit you, like having someone help with notes, using different study materials, or cool tech like screen readers.

If you think you might have a learning or developmental difficulty, just talk to the support team. Even if you don’t have an official diagnosis, you can share your challenges with your professors, and the disability center can support you and make sure you have everything you need to succeed in your studies. They can even help you seek a formal diagnosis if needed. Always remember, these services are here to support you on your unique academic journey.

5. Academic support and learning development

Your university’s academic support and learning development service are like hidden treasures, especially for international students adapting to a new educational system and studying in a language that might be a bit new.

These services are here to help you improve your study skills, do well in your studies, and understand what your teachers expect from you. They have lots of helpful stuff like workshops, one-on-one help, and online materials that cover important things for doing great academically. They teach you how to manage your time, take effective notes, write essays, reference correctly (and avoid plagiarism), and use smart study techniques.

You can find these resources on your university’s website or learning system, giving you the chance to get better at your own speed. If you want to join workshops, just sign up beforehand – whether it’s for in-person sessions on campus or online workshops. It’s like having a guide to help you become a pro at studying! This ensures you have the support necessary to excel academically and thrive in your studies.

6. Personal or academic tutors and supervisors: Your Academic Guides

In UK universities, personal or academic tutors are academic superheroes, especially for students doing their bachelor’s or master’s degrees. Soon after starting your course, you’ll probably be paired with a personal tutor who becomes your trustworthy guide throughout your academic journey. These tutors offer personalized advice, helping you understand your course, pick the right modules, and get a handle on your curriculum. They’re not just about the academic stuff; they’re like your allies when you face challenges during your studies.

Academically, personal tutors share valuable insights, helping with things like study skills, getting ready for exams, and handling big projects like dissertations. Outside the classroom, they’re there to guide you on personal development, managing your time well, and adjusting to university life. This is extra helpful for international students because more than 20 percent of the teaching staff in the UK come from other countries. This makes them extra understanding and supportive. 

Your personal tutor is a go-to resource, offering unwavering support to help you make the most of your university experience, both academically and personally. They’re there to empower you to thrive in your educational pursuits. If you decide to pursue further studies, your personal tutor often becomes the person to provide references.

It’s important to note that if you’re a PhD student, your main support contact will be your supervisor. The structure may differ from that of undergraduate or master’s students who have personal or academic tutors.

7. Careers and Employability 

In UK universities, there are services to guide and support you in your career journey during and after your studies. These services offer many resources to help you learn new skills, gain experiences, and feel more confident. This will make you more likely to get a job in any field you want to work in. Make the most of these services by using online tools, having one-on-one meetings, or joining workshops and career events.

These services cover everything from creating a good CV and cover letter to practicing for interviews. Career advisors can also help you think about the skills you already have and find ways to improve them for specific jobs. They can also open your eyes to diverse career paths you may not have considered.

Careers fairs are fantastic opportunities to connect and network with potential employers. Career services in universities often work closely with employers, sharing various job opportunities like internships, volunteer positions, and paid jobs. They do this through university job boards, newsletters, or emails. Being proactive in searching for jobs and staying connected with these services, even before you finish your studies, can greatly improve your chances of getting hired.

To make the most of these resources, think about joining LinkedIn. It’s a great platform to talk about your studies, find job opportunities worldwide, and connect with other people who graduated from your university, especially those working in companies you’re interested in. Being proactive and building connections can be key to opening doors for your future career.

8. University libraries and academic resources

University libraries stand as essential hubs providing crucial support to students. University libraries are more than just places with books. They’re like treasure chests filled with lots of academic goodies! You can access cool stuff like academic journals and online collections, which help you explore different subjects.

Libraries aren’t only for quiet studying – they have computers, printing, and scanning services. Some even have rooms you can book for group study sessions. Whether you like working on your laptop or using the computers at the library, it’s a perfect spot for serious studying.

Librarians are like friendly guides in this treasure trove. They’re always there to help you find what you need and improve your research skills. They even organize workshops on things like searching databases or citing sources – important stuff for doing well in your studies.

So, whether you’re working on a research paper or trying to figure out digital archives, your university library has a bunch of resources waiting for you to discover. It’s like a goldmine for your academic journey! Make the most of it to enhance your academic journey.

Final Word

As you begin your university experience in the UK, it’s crucial to seek support and guidance. Get ready with important skills that help you bounce back when things get tough. This will make you feel sure and able to handle any challenges that come up. Making a strong support group is super important for your success. You can do this by making friends with other students, using the services that the university offers, or making connections outside the campus. Having people and resources to rely on will make your journey smoother and more successful. University life is not just about academics; it’s an opportunity for personal growth and development. Embrace the learning experiences, and recognize that you have a network of support ready to assist you in every aspect of your journey.