Student Blog Squad

How you can spend your Time at Home to prepare for University

Hi, I’m Suyin. I am a final year international student at Leeds Beckett University. In this blog I have prepared some tips on how to make use of your time productively if you are about to start university in September.
a desk with books and a noticeboard

It is a stressful time for us all, whether you are on lockdown in the UK or an international student about to come into the UK. Do you have some time to spare amid life on lockdown? If so, here are some things that I did before university that were helpful and you can do too.

Research and Book Accommodation

Have you found accommodation for the upcoming term? If not, now is a great time to secure this. I started my own research once I had received an offer.

Leeds Beckett can guarantee student accommodation to all applicants if you’ve put them as your firm choice institution. You would need to book this before 31st July! There are a wide variety of halls available, near both City and Headingley Campus, depending on where you would like to be based. Now would be the perfect time to research which hall would suit your personally, factoring in things like social life, location and cost.

There is also the option of private accommodation. If you’re keen to book this, researching early is vital. There are many property portals online that can help students find accommodation. Some viewings can be done virtually, so just email or call them and they’d be more than happy to help.

Asking Questions on Unibuddy

Did you know you can chat to current Leeds Beckett students? Unibuddy is an online chat platform where you can find students who are currently studying your course or students who are from the same country as you. You can them questions about university life such as what to expect when you arrive, societies to get involved in or what the city is like. Sometimes it helps to have some (virtual) contact with someone from the university to start building those connections.  

When I started, I did not make use of Unibuddy as I was not aware of it. In hindsight, I would have found it useful; I had a ton of questions about the course and what to expect. I had to figure everything out when I arrived in Leeds, which as you can expect, was stressful and daunting. Especially when you don’t know anyone and have no one to turn to!

After coming to Leeds Beckett and hearing about the platform, I decided to become a Unibuddy Ambassador to help others, so if you have any questions or are feeling quite anxious/excited about starting university, feel free to reach out to me on the platform.

Check Out Leeds Beckett Societies

To prepare for the start of university, why not check out some societies to get an idea of any new hobbies or skills you’d like to pick up while in university? There are so many options available– you can check these out at the Leeds Beckett Student Union website. The majority of our societies are active on social media and so you can find out more and get in touch with them to see if it’s a new hobby you’d like to pick up.

Before I started university, I looked up some of the societies, including yoga and hiking, which were some of my interests. I took a note of these so that when I attended Freshers fair I could pop by the stalls and ask them some questions. Societies often let you try it out before you commit to them, so take the chance to see what you like and attend these. I joined the Climbing society in 2nd year, where they do bouldering and rock-climbing – a great way to improve physical and mental strength.

Leeds Beckett University Freshers Page

Have you heard of the LBU Freshers Page? It allows you to meet future course mates, flat mates and make some friends before university officially starts. Making some friends before the term starts just helps to ease some of that anxiety about moving to a new city and environment. This can help us feel less lonely at a time when everyone is isolating.

As an international student, I got in touch with the Singapore Society, before moving to Leeds and met some of them while I was still in Singapore. When I arrived, I also attended events held by the International Students Society. If you are an international student, I would advise reaching out to the society beforehand, maybe expressing some of your concerns (if you’re anxious), they are friendly and will be keen to provide any support or advice.

Other tips

Some other things I did before the start of university include, looking for gyms near the university or my accommodation, comparing prices and doing virtual tours of these gyms. Leeds Beckett has an onsite gym as well in City and Headingley campus, so check those out too. I also researched more about the city, and looked at at places I could hang out, shopping centres, parks, just to get a better understanding and feel of Leeds.

I hope you’ve found these tips useful and if I can help answer any questions about university, as mentioned above please contact me on Unibuddy and I’d be happy to hear from you. Stay safe.

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