5 things to get you ready before moving country

Posted 3 years ago

Things that people won’t tell you about moving countries

“Oh my god, you are going to be so free.”

“It’s going to be such a life-changing experience.”

“You are going to have a blast. I am jealous.”

Although you are gearing up for the time of your lives by moving to a different country, here are a few things that people won’t tell you about moving countries. 

1. Homesickness

Moving to another country is exciting. Figuring out what to take with you, getting to know your new neighbourhood, meeting new people.

But after the whole chaos of packing, travelling, unpacking, getting settled dies down and life starts calming down, the feeling of missing home, your friends and family, and the places you grew up in will come. It might cause you to feel sad and lonely and to want to go back.

Our advice: We’ve all been there. The good part is that you will be okay. But everyone deals with it differently. You can go out for walks, meet new people by joining clubs and societies or even one of our Halls Life events, call your family and friends back home. 🙌🏼

Do things that make you happy and don’t close yourself in your bedroom. London is a big city, with lots of places to explore so take advantage of that before term starts. 🤩

2. Paperwork

Moving to London means having to do a lot of immigration and VISA paperwork while you’re still at home. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there and you will have some more once you get to London.

What can you do? It might be overwhelming at first but take a deep breath, make a list of everything you know you need to do, and just make your way through it.

If you’re unsure about what to do, you can contact Student Support or check out some of our Essential Info articles. It will help you get through your admin and then you can just enjoy your time in London.

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3. Different support systems

Back at home you have your parents, family and/or childhood friends to fall back on. When you move away, the responsibilities fall on you, and it can feel overwhelming to do everything by yourself.

Remember: It can be tough, but you will gain a lot of independence. You will also gain new support systems through the new people you will meet while at University. 🫂

Don't be afraid to ask for help, you're not alone. You can get in touch with the various support facilities at UAL. And if you don't know them yet, your Halls Committees will be able to point you in the right direction. They are here to help. 

4. Starting from the beginning

It’s easier when you are back home. You have your group of friends, your usual hang out spots, and you know your way around the city. Having to start over is not easy, but it can be quite exciting.

Our advice? The UAL community is great and you will make friends in no time. You are not alone and a lot of other students will be going through the same situation as you.

Try to go out, explore the city and make new friends. The Halls Life team will be running events all year and it’s a great way to start. You can also check out the different sports and societies at the SU, where you will find loads of people with the same interests as you.

5. The feeling of not belonging

One of the big feelings you will get is the feeling of not belonging. Things will feel different than they felt at home, especially for the students with different cultures and languages.

Our solution: It’s normal to feel out of place at first, but it gets better with time. We encourage you to embrace the new city and its people and culture. Have some curiosity in the city around you.

Go out and explore the local areas, talk to new people, discover communities around you. London has many different ethnic neighborhoods to discover, so you can immerse yourself in the different culture while knowing there are places within London that can help you feel a bit at home.

Nothing (not even the above points) is going to change the fact that moving abroad is definitely going to be a life-changing experience for you. It’s going to be exhilarating and will mold you for the rest of your life in the best way!

If you need to talk to someone, you can talk to your Halls Committees by e-mailing here4u@arts.ac.uk (please reference what Hall you are staying in) or joining one of the Halls Life events.