DO throw yourself in
the deep end and introduce yourself to people. Being on exchange is one of the best ways to meet people you might not get the chance to meet normally.
DON’T ditch your normal personality to make new friends. Be yourself!
DO make coffee your new best friend to get through the morning after a night out.
DON’T get sucked into playing a game of Never Have I Ever. Kings, on the other hand, is perfectly acceptable. Be prepared for the rules in a foreign country to be very different to the way we play back home.
DO make sure you have enough money on your Oyster card, or similar equivalent, if you’re going out. The amount of valuable drinking/dancing time lost by waiting for a whole group to top up is startling.
DON’T forget to eat before a big night of drinking. We all know how that turns out.
DO let your new friends know where you’re going and who you’re going with. Stay together and look out for one another.
DON’T worry too much. Relax and let yourself have some fun while on the other side of the world.
DO take lots and lots of photos to remember all of your new memories and experiences.
DON’T feel like you have to drink.
DO seek out information about clubs and societies. I know that sitting in your room eating a jar of Nutella and watching back to back episodes of television shows might seem appealing, but joining clubs is a sure-fire way to get you out and about, meeting new people and nurturing your passions.
DON’T worry if you get homesick. This is a part of it all. Just keep in close contact with your loved ones back home and remember that they’re most likely missing you as much as you miss them.
DO print some photos of your friends and family to brighten up your room if you’re feeling a bit low.
DON’T forget to register with a GP in your local area in case you ever find yourself ill or worried about your health. There are certain warning signs to look out for so get to know your body properly.
DO establish a ‘normal’ routine as quickly as possible once the frivolities of your orientation activities conclude.
DON’T skip your lectures once they actually start. No one likes those last minute revision sessions, so keep on top of your workload and maintain balance.
DO listen up on your University campus tour to avoid being the one who’s late to your first lecture because you got
DON’T worry if you need to ask for directions. There will be plenty of university staff around who will be willing to help you.
DO be a good housemate. I mean, this goes without saying. Don’t upset the people you’re going to be living with for six months – wash your dishes!
DON’T be like me and drop your iPhone, consequently having to spend hours queuing in the Apple Store on Regent Street before parting with too many of my pounds to have my phone replaced. This, above all, is not advisable.
DO have fun. That’s what it’s all about.