You've done all your preparation, packed all of your bags and finally boarded your flight. Here's where all the fun starts!
As well as spending a few days exploring and finding somewhere to live, you will have a couple of jobs to do when you arrive, including getting your paperwork sorted and organising your finances.
Have a read through this information so you know what to expect when you arrive.
Travelling to your new home will be your first hurdle. Once your train/plane/boat tickets are booked, think about your onward journey; plan right down to the walk from the bus stop to your hostel front door. This is important, as you will have lots of luggage and might be vulnerable to crime if you get lost or seem unsure of your surroundings.
- Renting a flat
Unless you have arranged university accommodation for your arrival, you are likely to spend your first few days looking for somewhere to live. Make this easier for yourself by researching in advance which areas you might like to live in, what sort of rent prices are reasonable, and what documents you might need to be able to get a lease. If you are struggling to find somewhere, don’t despair – you will get a place – patience and level-headedness are key, and will help you to avoid renting somewhere horrible out of desperation. Take some time out of house hunting to do some sightseeing, and speak to a friend or relative about your frustrations before you make any decisions. This will help ensure that you don't end up signing up to anything you might regret later.
- Staying in touch
Your family and friends will be keen to hear from you as soon as you touch down, so make sure that you make the effort to touch base with them. This will be as important for you as it will them, as it can be reassuring to hear a friendly voice when you are away from home. Try to make it a priority to get yourself set up with a local SIM card or international phone card, or get yourself on the wireless to Skype call home.
If you have budgeted sensibly, you should have made a decision about how to handle your finances while you are away. If you are setting up a local bank account, try to get this set up as soon as possible so that you avoid any delays later (for example, if you are being remunerated for a work placement, you will need the account set up to receive your first wage payment). If you are not opening an account abroad, perhaps spend some time looking around for banks and ATMs which give you the best rates on taking out cash.
- UCL Contact Details
All correspondence from the Study Abroad team will only be via your UCL email address. It is important that you regularly log-in to your account to keep it active. Accounts that are left dormant for too long are frozen and passwords will only be re-issued over the phone if you have already registered for UCL MyAccount. If you have not already done so, make sure you get this done as soon as you can. Otherwise, if you need to re-activate your account, please contact the IS helpdesk on +44 20 7679 5000.
You are also expected to keep your contact details abroad up to date via Portico. If you are unsure of how to do this, please log into Portico to access self-help guides or contact Portico Services for assistance.