Orientation activities you can’t miss out on

14 August 2023

Picture of students on campus

As a first-time international student at UCL, you might feel a bit overwhelmed with all the information and things to do before your studies start. The international student orientation activities can help you prepare for life at UCL, London, and the UK. These activities are split into two segments, pre-arrival, and arrival, covering precisely all the key information you would need at both points in time. Maybe you'll learn something useful from these, or just make a new friend that's in the same situation as you, either way, the activities will ease the process.

Pre-arrival orientation

On the pre-arrival orientation webpage of the international student orientation section, you will find many topics covered, suited specifically to your pre-arrival toolkit.

You can also find informative articles that discuss specific topics on which you may have concerns or require more information. For instance, the “when to arrive in London” article is a fantastic resource in helping you plan your trip over for the first time.

International Student Private Accommodation Webinars

The widely popular private accommodation webinars guide you through the struggle around “searching for private accommodation.” These webinars share resources and advice on booking private accommodation and the steps taken after successful booking. This includes topics such as ways to find accommodation, differences between zones and areas, how to check for contracts, and living with roommates. Although these webinars have now ended, you can find a recording of them on this webpage to watch in your own time!

International Student Online Orientation Course

This webpage will share with you information on the International Student Online Orientation Course, when it starts, how you can access it, and what topics it covers. This course covers all the topics you need for a smooth transition to life at UCL and London. All the information will be available in one place, so you can always go back to it when you need it. Don’t be intimidated by this large amount of information! You can always pick and choose which topics are important to you.

International Student Orientation Webinars

Join these study-level focused webinars to get questions answered while also getting more information on areas that confuse you. These allow you to submit questions beforehand to be answered during the session itself and can set your mind at ease as even though you are online, you are sharing this moment with hundreds of other students in the same boat as you. You can ask any question you like! From accessing healthcare to the study/life balance at UCL, a member of the International Support team and a current UCL student will clarify any doubts you have.

Arrival orientation

On the other hand, the arrival international student orientation page offers all of the information about activities you can attend after you’ve arrived in London.

These activities are more focused on in-person events, giving you an opportunity to make a personal connection with fellow international students. They cater to diverse topics, so everyone can find something of interest.

This page also covers other ways of completing orientation through different topical articles, blog posts, and information on particularities that students would like to get more clarity on. A great one is food articles that suggest great students eats in and around campus.

International Student Q&A Talks

Run every year, this Q&A talk hosts a panel of current UCL students and staff that can best answer your questions. These questions can be submitted in advance or asked live during the Q&A talks. They will take place on the UCL Bloomsbury and East campus, divided by level of study. Hearing from current students can put your mind at ease, so sign up and fire your questions away! Like the orientation webinars, there is no limit on the type of questions asked (as long as they’re appropriate). However, you can hear from more international students to give you a wider perspective on their experience.

International Student Safety Seminars

Coming to a foreign country for the first time, it is perfectly normal to be vigilant about protecting yourself from harm’s way. The safety seminars can help you better understand the resources and helplines available for ensuring your safety and security. Run together by UCL and the Metropolitan Police, these seminars help keep you safe during your time at UCL and in London.

International Student Library Seminars

UCL provides a wide variety of resources to help you during your studies. One of the largest resources is the UCL Library services. The International Student Library Seminars can give you information on how to access this resource, from using library study spaces to accessing their collections and online library. These seminars will introduce UCL’s vast collection of books, resources, and research papers.

International Student Religion + Faith Seminar

For a large group of international students, religion and faith play a significant role in daily life. These seminars can give you some resources to navigate religion and belief while you are studying here, exploring topics such as fostering and exploring your own faith identity. We conduct these seminars to not only help incoming students but also to strengthen its strong commitment to providing an inclusive learning and working environment, where all students and staff can thrive, regardless of their beliefs.

International Student Affiliate Mixers

The new student experience for affiliates might be slightly different from those in other study levels, as affiliates are most likely studying at UCL for a shorter period of time. Given this difference in student experience, connecting with other affiliate students can help you find it easier to fit into the UCL community. The International Student Affiliate Mixers are designed to give you the chance to meet your fellow affiliate students arriving in September 2023, make global connections and potentially secure a free place to stay for a few days in the future if you go travelling!

We understand it is sometimes hard to go up to complete strangers and start speaking to them, especially if it’s not in your native language. To help you out, we will be softly 'forcing' you to chat with everyone else. There will also be tea and coffee, which will definitely help with the awkwardness and at the very least you can grab yourself a free drink!