Yasmin Simsek

Your first year at university is scary enough as it is, but it’s much harder if you have uprooted everything and come to a foreign country for it. If you haven’t just moved city; if you’ve travelled across the sea to this weird country they call England. Luckily for you, Brunel is one of the most international universities in London, so hundreds and hundreds of people are in the exact same position as you are right now. If you start to feel homesick, don’t worry, because there are plenty of things that can ease the transition:

  1. Bring a piece of home to uni. It could be food, pictures or a certain mug or plant that reminds you of home. It will make the transition easier.
  1. Join societies! Brunel has tons of societies and if they don’t have one for you, just start one. There are societies for almost every country and religion, which is a great way to meet people you have stuff in common with and can talk about home with.
  1. Work on your language. If you are not used to speaking English, it might seem like the easy solution to befriend people from your own country. But British people are some of the nicest people in the world and it would be a shame not to make their acquaintance. Practise makes perfect, so get practising that English language.
  1. Go home in reading weeks. If your home country isn’t too far away, going home in reading week, at least the first one, is an opportunity for you to see home again for a couple of days - and obviously bring your studies with you.
  1. Use the contacts. As you will notice, there are people called contacts walking around campus and they are here to help you. Some of them are even specialised in helping international Freshers, so don’t be afraid to ask.
  1. Befriend your personal tutor. Depending on your course, you may be bonded with a personal tutor, a teacher you can contact for help with anything really. If you befriend this person, she/he can be the one to help you through any problems, academic or not.
  1. FaceTime/Skype is your friend!

No matter how much you fear or are excited about uni life at Brunel, you are going to have an amazing time; it’s only a question of adjusting to a new life and it will come in time. For me, the first month was the hardest, but it helped with a visit from my mom. But what helped the most was the amazing friendships that you make in days, because everyone is equally desperate to meet new people, so you become a lot more open-minded in the first couple of weeks. The most important thing to know is that Brunel is a place for everyone and that soon enough you never want to leave!