International students’ guide to university learning
Welcome to the University of Lincoln!
This section of Learning at Lincoln is for international students preparing to join the University whether you are starting a Foundation year, you are a year 1,2 or 3 student, a postgraduate taught or research student.
International student stories – Andy
We want you to feel at home whilst studying at the University of Lincoln and these resources will help you to prepare and support you ahead of joining your course.
Here are some insights from other international students to help you get a feel of what studying at Lincoln will be like:
Studying at an international university should be a rewarding and life enhancing period for you.
Working through the pages in this section will provide you with introductory advice on preparing for the study within the University of Lincoln and what to expect from UK Higher Education.
Whether you are a new international student or a returning international student, we hope you both enjoy and are challenged by your studies.
Frequently asked questions
You may have new questions, thoughts, or concerns. This is normal and nothing to worry about. You may find the following tips helpful as you prepare to start your studies.
It’s normal for students to feel homesick and some may even feel like they have made a mistake during the early part of their studies.
Be proactive and use the time during your first few weeks to get to know important information about your studies, the university and Lincoln – make sure you know who your programme leader is, who your personal tutor is and where your School or Department is based on campus. (For Medical students this will be Personal Tutor and Department only.)
Explore the online resources available to you to start to understand what Lincoln is like. This will help to build your confidence in this new environment and give yourself time to adjust.
Build your confidence in language and with others. Consider joining Student Union Societies and get to know what’s available from the International College.
Seek out support and advice if you feel you need it. University staff understand and want to help you succeed in your studies.
You will probably join classes where you are now one of a minority of students from international countries and this will be a new experience for you.
This may make you feel uncomfortable, but it can also bring advantages because of your different experiences. Sharing these during your classes can be a positive way to use that difference and help you to make friends.
As you get to learn more about the cultures in your new learning environment you will probably find some aspects you like and others you don’t. That is normal. But rest assured, your tutors will treat all your classmates equally as learners regardless of their origin.
If your College, Department, School/Medical School has peer mentors (students trained to help other students), learn who they are. Meet up with your Mentor and get to know them. They have been where you are, as a new student arriving in an unfamiliar city. They are people who will help and support you to make the most of your studies and social life at the University of Lincoln/Lincoln Medical School and in the city of Lincoln.
You may feel like you must be ‘brave’ and ‘put on a happy face’ but if that is not how you really feel, there are other peer mentors and staff who will understand what you are feeling, and you can talk to them.
It is not a weakness or shameful to ask for help and in fact is a mark of professionalism (for medical students) to show that they know how to ask for help if needed.
You will be expected to contribute to class in some way, so try to not to rely on friends speaking for you in your classes. It is difficult to work and study in a language that is not your natural one, but you will improve with practice and that will give you further confidence. Mistakes will not be laughed at.
Family expectations can be very important for you and for a lot of other international students. Your family may have saved financially for your studies, and you may feel that you must do well as a result. This may add to your initial discomfort and unease.
This will improve but you should always remember to speak to your tutors especially your personal tutor, if you feel your grades are not what you hoped – or what your family expects.
University staff and tutors may work quite differently from your previous teachers. They may seem to have different social roles in your life and in your studies. All staff will support you in your studies, but it is important to communicate with them even where this might be difficult for you.
Your tutors care about your health and well-being but may wish to keep some professional distance from you and this may be a new experience. This does not mean they are cold and uncaring towards you – it is not a personal decision against you.
If you begin to feel that the financial pressure upon your family is high as they are funding you and you feel that this is not fair on them, you should seek out financial support and advice from the University as soon as possible. Please speak to your personal tutor in the first instance, and they will be able to direct you to the right source of support.
Both living and studying at university are life changing experiences and you will be faced with many new experiences, but they also have structure that you will need to get used to.
Having to manage your timetable, assessment schedule and organising your time to meet for study groups or social events may be new to you and you may find the idea of being punctual and on time a challenge. If you know you are going to be late for a class, meeting or appointment try to let whoever you are meeting know this. This is part of living and studying in a different culture.
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