Formalities before you move:
- Finance: did you apply for all your funding? Do you have what you need to get started? Check out our blog post on helpful budgetting.
- Paperwork: is everything in order? Passport? Expiry dates? Visa? Do you know your rights? At Goldsmiths there is an Immigration Advisory Service that can help answer some of your technical questions.
- Accommodation: do you know where you will stay? Have you read through the contracts and other paperwork? There are several guides to help you:
- Goldsmiths Accommodation Guide: https://www.gold.ac.uk/accommodation/
- London University Housing Guides: https://housing.london.ac.uk/housing-guides
Now that you’ve checked all this out, let’s get down to it.
Moving to a new country is becoming more normalised but it can still take some time to get used to. I moved to the UK from a European country but I also have experience moving across continents so here are my little nuggets of advice.
Since you are moving to study at university what better ways than to get those research skills going by doing some googling, dukducking, baiduing, or, if you’re like that, some binging. Check all the online guides out there, visit forums, type in silly questions that bug you, check out Reddit. UCAS has some great tools like Unibuddy where you can find Goldsmiths students to chat with and ask all your questions to! Here are some pretty thorough guides:
Apps to download:
Goldsmiths App (You’ll use this for everything!)
Unidays (loads of discounts in the UK)
Bank App (get a bank account first!)
Citymapper (what we all use to get around on public transportation)
Translator if English isn’t your first language and don’t be afraid to use it! That’s what technology is here for
Weather app (seriously, this weather thing is not a joke, Google ‘the beast from the east uk’)
News app (compare them and never settle)
Google Drive/OneDrive (and create yourself an account while you’re at it, so much easier for those dreaded group projects).
It’s very important that you know your rights. I would get familiar with some official government websites both UK ones and from your home country. Especially nowadays, you need to stay updated with the latest travel information and safety guidelines. I found it particularly difficult to adapt to certain laws which were different than what I’d previously known. Traffic lights and crossings work slightly differently, people walk down the stairs and escalators on the wrong side (okay not a legal issue but it is a big thing in the tube and endless signs will remind you to STAND ON THE RIGHT); you might have to drive or cycle on the left-hand side of the road, check employment laws, student rights, housing rights etc. Facebook group, websites, guides. Here are two Facebook groups that might help you find some additional answers.
Be open-minded to a whole new culture. At Goldsmiths and in halls you will not only get to meet a ton of Brits, but a bit of everyone else too. I thought I was pretty smart before I moved to the UK but then I realised how much I did not know about everything (cliché but true). Goldsmiths itself is a little hub of its own in the heart of South East London. I would love nothing more to go into great detail about life in London but to keep it concise I will instead signpost you to the official Goldsmiths one and invite you to get in touch with us if you have more specific questions.
A final note: if you have the time, why not binge some cult British shows like Doctor Who, Shameless, Gavin and Stacey, Skins, IT Crowd, Chewing Gum, Derry Girls, Fresh Meat, Misfits and so many more! Dive in and thank me later.