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Everything You Need to Know About Freshers’ Week in the UK

It’s September – and that means the end of the summer holidays and the start of term for schools, colleges and universities all over the UK.

If you’re about to start your degree course in Britain, you’re probably feeling exciting or nervous (or both!) about studying in a new country and experiencing a new culture. If so, here are some important things you need to know about being a student in the UK.

First of all, there’s the tradition of Fresher’s Week.

Freshers are first-year students on an undergraduate degree and Freshers’ Week is the first week of the first term of university. During this week, universities organise lots of different activities to help new students get involved in university life and meet new friends.

Many of these are organized by the Student Union, which is a group of people elected by the students to represent them in meetings with the university, to try and change things that are important to them. During Freshers’ Week, the union organizes social events in the evenings.

Usually there is also a Freshers’ Fair. Here, people from all the different clubs and societies at the university have stalls (tables with information about what they do). You can go to each stall and find out more about the club and decide if you want to join. There will be things like sports clubs, drama societies, orchestras and other music groups, dance teams, and so on.

Alcohol also plays a big role during Freshers’ Week. You can expect a lot of the events to take place in bars and nightclubs (including the Student Union Bar), or to involve drinking games!

You may also have heard of university Initiation Ceremonies. These are tasks that people, especially Freshers, have to complete in order to join a certain group or society. These are more common in American universities, where it’s a big part of student culture to have to go through initiation ceremonies if you want to join a Fraternity or Sorority. UK universities don’t have Fraternities and Sororities, but some sports teams (especially rugby teams) and drinking societies do them, too.

In the UK, Initiation Ceremonies (shortened to Initiations) are mostly about drinking alcohol, usually while doing something embarrassing or unpleasant at the same time. Don’t feel pressured to go along with these Initiations if you want to join a sports team. They are mostly stupid and occasionally dangerous – and few people take them seriously.

At most universities, you won’t be given much (or any) work to do during Freshers’ Week. Instead, it’s a time for settling in, meeting your tutors. and getting to know people on your course. It’s a good idea to use this week for practical things like setting up a UK bank account and registering with a local doctor.

In most UK universities, all first year students (freshers) live in student accommodation called dorms (short for dormitories) or halls (short for halls of residence). These are blocks of flats owned by the university, where you live with other students. You will have your own bedroom with a small area to study – and more expensive student rooms also have an ensuite (private) bathroom. You almost always share a kitchen with other students and often this has a big table or space to sit and eat with other people from the same halls or floor.

During Freshers’ Week, the first friends you’ll meet will probably be the people who live next door or who you share a kitchen with, so it’s a good idea to be sociable and chat to people

Lastly, even though you might be nervous, try to enjoy Freshers’ Week. It’s a great opportunity to mix with people from the UK and all over the world, and to practise your English before it’s time to start writing essays!

Brushing up your English before you apply to a UK university? Check out our range of courses at www.Eurocentres.com