6 ways to prepare for university this summer

Students sat on the steps inside SOAS

The summer before you start university should be an exciting time, however, it’s important to be prepared. Moving from school to university is a big step, and students are often advised to create a plan for their first term. Whilst you’ll be thinking about spending time with friends and family, travelling or making the most of your time at home, you should also make sure you’re ready for September. Here are various ways you can make the most of your summer before joining SOAS.

Get to know your university

You should already have quite a bit of information about your SOAS. But, once you’ve received your A Level results and been accepted who can start to think about accommodation, the area around SOAS and connecting with other students. Around the first week in September, you’ll be able to enrol on your chosen course. While you’re at it, you could also try and find people going to SOAS (and even better, find people who will be on your course). Join our Offer Holders 22/23 Facebook Group and connect with others joining in September.

Joining as an international student

If you’ve decided to take the leap and move from a different country to study at SOAS, there are a few extra things you’ll need to consider. Being accepted into a university isn’t the end of the long process for international students. You’ll need to start the visa process, pre-book your accommodation far in advance and book your flights. If you want to get excited about your move, spend some time reading blogs from international students studying in the UK. With students from over 130 countries, we’re our Bloomsbury campus will feel like a home away from home. It’s also important to start making a checklist of things you’d like to take with you because, by the time you start packing, a lot of items on that list won’t make the final cut!

Learning to do things for yourself

Once you start university, you’ll need to learn to be more independent. The first thing, you’ll need to do is learn how to cook if you can’t already. Make sure you can cook a few key recipes to keep you going throughout your first term. You should also spend some time brushing up on other life skills including doing the laundry, budgeting and time management, amongst other things. Don’t worry though, our Student Advice and Wellbeing team will be on hand to help you with any of the following:

  • Finance
  • Immigration and Accommodation
  • Disability and Neurodiversity
  • Counselling
  • Mentoring
  • Multi-faith support

As a new student, you should also think about registering with a GP when you start.

Try new things

As you’ll have more free time over the summer, it’s the perfect time to try something you’ve never done. Push yourself outside your comfort zone. You may find something you’re really passionate about, it doesn’t have to be something that matches your degree, just pick something you enjoy. Plus, if you find something you love you may be able to connect with other students once you join in September, by joining or starting your own society.

Get packing

One of the most important ways you can prepare for university this summer is to start packing for the move. Deciding what to bring and what to leave at home can be a challenge. As mentioned above, you may have picked up some new hobbies and university is a great time to develop these hobbies further, so think about bringing things that might not necessarily be on your core packing list.

Take the chance to travel

With term not starting until the end of September, why not make the most of the long summer and travel? This could be a day trip somewhere you’ve never been before, a weekend away or a longer trip somewhere further afield. Travelling gives you a chance to experience new things and immerse yourself in different cultures.

Surabhi Sanghi is a SOAS Digital Ambassador, pursuing a master’s degree in South Asian Studies and Intensive Language (which also means she gets to be in London for one whole extra year). She has a background in history and is interested in the religions of South Asia. She is a dog person and her only wish is to be able to pet all the dogs in London. 

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