by Alecia Spence
Arriving in the UK
I arrived at Heathrow International Airport on Friday, September 20th at 7:27 am. I collected my bags and went towards immigration. I had all my documents; Visa, financial statements, CAS letter, and my transcript, ready for the immigration officer. When I was called upon, the Immigration Officer looked at my passport and asked where I will be collecting my BRP card and I informed them I will be collecting it at my school. They then stamped my passport and I was on my way by 8:03 am. I was relieved as I feared I might have left important documents at home, or that my finiances would not be sufficient due to delay in funding. After leaving immigration, and walking out into the arrivals area of the airport, I was greeted by two students holding Swansea University sign. I approached them and their warm welcome made me feel less anxious about being in a new country. Prior to leaving from Canada, I had arranged to be a part of the Meet and Greet at Heathrow Airport. There I met other international students coming from all walks of life; we then travelled as group to the university. From Heathrow International Airport it took about three hours to get to Swansea University. The drive to the University was exciting; passing by landmarks and seeing the beautiful beaches along the way.
Swansea University’s arrivals weekend was from September 20th-22nd. I arrived on Friday, September 20th around 11:00 am to the university. I was directed to my residence and I began to settle in. That night they had the Freshers’ Fayre and I met my flatmates! Freshers’ Fayre is a great way to meet a lot of first year students that are also adjusting to our new surroundings. Freshers’ Weekend is about moving in, meeting your flatmates and getting to know your new city. After the weekend, Freshers’ Week began. Freshers’ Week consisted of academic induction, social events and signing up for societies. Academic Inductions began bright and early Monday morning at 9:00 am. Before jumping into the deep end of our Core Modules; week one Inductions was all about settling us into university life. The university held presentations to ensure we are ready to succeed in Law School. They introduced us to the English and Welsh Legal Systems, spoke about academic integrity and gave us a tour of the Law library. This is probably the most important week! On Friday there was a fair for the students societies; where you learnt about the societies you are interested in and sign up for groups with like-minded individuals. No surprise I joined the Canadian Law Society!
When considering Swansea University, I also considered the city of Swansea. I had to imagine myself living in Swansea for the next three years. I was ready to escape the city life of Toronto and move to a more rural community. Therfore Swansea was the more appling choice for me rather than a university in London. I love the proximity of the campus to the beach. The Swansea beach runs for five miles and is across the street from the campus. I enjoy going to the beach for walks daily. The Welsh locals are very friendly and welcoming. Often I am asked to compare the Welsh to Canadians; on weather, who has the “nicest” people, etc. I am Canadian, so I will always rep Canada! (But the Welsh are a close second.)
If you are looking to go to school in the UK, I recommend that you take your time and do adequate research to ensure that the school you chose is sufficient enough for you, and all your needs. Moving away can be very tolling on your mind and body. I encourage you to sit and refelect to yourself on what circumstances you can succeed under.
If you would like to find out more about studying in the UK, please contact one of our advisors!