Hi there! I'm Rachel, a postgrad student studying Clinical Animal Behaviour from London. I'm a big 80s music fan, and have a secret love for Marvel movies.
When moving to England, you’ll notice that there are general rules when it comes to communication (both formally and informally). I wanted to give you a guide on how to communicate and contact your lecturers or tutors, your fellow coursemates as well as other university staff.
How should I contact my lecturers?
When you start, you would’ve met your lecturers and your personal tutor in the first week. They should have introduced themselves to you and provided you with contact details. However, if you haven’t got them, you can find them on Gateway. Gateway can be found here. Once you’ve logged in with your university login details, you can search up a lecturer or tutor via the Staff Directory for their email. If you wish to contact a lecturer, the best method is via email.
If you do so, it’s tradition to start with a formal introduction of ‘Dear *lecturer name*‘. If you wish you to arrange a meeting (in person or on Microsoft Teams), this would be when you ask for their availability. It’s then usual and polite to end an email with either ‘Kind regards’ or ‘Best wishes’ followed by your name.
How should I talk to other students?
The first thing you should do to contact your coursemates is to ask if there are any group chats made for easy communication. These are usually found on Facebook Messenger or on WhatsApp so have them downloaded onto your phone ready. This group chat will usually be the primary source of frequently asked questions where other students will probably be able to help you out with any queries. You can also use this group to arrange study sessions around deadline season to revise and help each other out.
Sometimes there are Facebook groups created by your lecturers and tutors, and sometimes your course reps. These are great for career posts and any event promotions that may interest anyone from your course. However, just because your tutors and lecturers are part of these groups, it is entirely unprofessional to add them on social media and message them this way as this is private.
Find other international students to contact and befriend so that you’re all in the same situation together. You can do so by joining societies. There are a range of cultural and religious-based societies that are open to welcoming any and all students. For a full list of societies, check out the list here.
Check out the Students’ Union Vice President International (Rita) on social media for advice and any events that the SU and the University are holding for international students as well!
Communicating with other university staff
For other university staff members, communication should be simple. There are receptions in most university buildings if you need to talk to someone for help (especially when it comes to locating rooms). As mentioned before, contact details can be found on Gateway for other staff members like administration, student services, the library team, etc. There are security 24/7 on campus if you need anyone in an emergency as well.