First Few Days in the UK (Leicester!)

by Kiranpreet Basra

It’s officially been one month since I decided to pack my stuff and move across the world for law school. This past month has been exciting, nerve-wracking, and a learning experience. I am going to touch on the visa process, how it was like to arrive in the UK, my welcome week, my best experience, and any recommendations for future students arriving next autumn.

Visa process

As a student coming from Canada, anyone who chooses to study over 6 months needs to have a tier 4 visa. When I traveled over to the UK, I had to bring my documentation showing my visa and enrollment. At the airport, the process was very easy. You go to immigration and when they ask you why you’re visiting the UK, you tell them it’s for school; they then look at your visa and stamp it. Make sure you get a stamp on your visa, or enrollment at your university can be difficult. I personally thought the process was going to be much more stressful and harder, however, it was easy, and I got through immigration and got my bags fairly quickly. This was the point where I knew this decision to move across the pond had finally become reality.

First picture taken, about to land in LHR
First picture taken, about to land in LHR

Arriving in the UK

My first thoughts when landing in the UK: “wow the accent is so nice”, “I hope I don’t get hit by a car” and “I can’t believe this is my home for the next 2 years!” Everything here is so beautiful and even one month later, it still feels unreal. I have family in the UK, so I was fortunate enough to have them pick me up and take me shopping for larger items that I didn’t pack.

Welcome week

Welcome week at the university was a lot of fun and very informational. I definitely recommend going to all the events the university puts out. For law students, we had our first week schedule already made for us and the activities included getting to know our professors, how the program works, what is expected of us in terms of attendance and our visa requirements. I found the activities they had made for us most helpful because I learned more about the university’s grading style, the various classes I would have to take, and more about how university is in the UK (it is quite different). The most enjoyable part of fresher’s week was making new friends. Going out and talking to new people helps. I was lucky to find my group of friends fairly quickly, so we were able to go to all of the events together.

Welcome week balloons
Welcome week balloons

Best experience

The best experience I’ve had so far includes making friends and just being in the UK. Having friends to go out to events and sit with in class really help the transition when moving over. It can be lonely at the beginning but putting yourself out there and trying new things will truly help to make the transition, as well as experience a lot better. I have enjoyed trying new food, using the new lingo, as well as going on adventures within the city itself.

Recommendations

The recommendations I would have for future students would be to not stress; the transition is easier than you think it is! I was so worried about making friends, liking the city and university, but it wasn’t worth it. I would also recommend not bringing so much stuff over. As an over packer, I brought anything and everything and it was not worth it. You can buy so much here and it’s not as expensive as it seems.

Overall, the first month has been full of jet lag and meeting new people. I am loving my time here and I’m so glad I had Across the Pond to help make my transition so much easier. When applying, I had no stress of contacting the schools, submitting transcripts, etc. Having an Across the Pond adviser makes the transition a fun experience. If you would like to find out more about Across the Pond, I would definitely recommend enquiring at: https://ca.studyacrossthepond.com/enquire