Hi there! I'm Izabela, and I'm a 3-year International Tourism Management student from Poland. I'm passionate about travelling and all things around social media, including blogging!
When coming to the UK university as an international student, you may come across some differences in terms of how education here looks like. Hopefully, with this guide, you will know what to expect from the English university as well as what’s expected from you!
No matter what course you’re doing, you will most likely have lectures for each module. They are usually one or two hours long and cover the theoretical backgrounds of a particular topic. In lectures, you will see all the students taking the module.
To make the most of your lectures, it might be useful to make notes while listening as your tutors often provide additional information that you will not find anywhere else!
This will depend on a particular module you’re doing – you will either have seminars/workshops/tutorials in addition to lectures. They are held for smaller groups, a maximum of 20 people. While lectures are usually only led by tutors, in seminars you would be expected to contribute by taking part in group discussions or exercises. Therefore, it’s important to prepare for them in advance so you make the most of the class!
On the other hand, workshops/tutorials are most likely to happen for STEM students who need a practical demonstration of a particular topic.
Important note: All lecture and seminar materials should be posted on Blackboard so you can familiarise yourself with the content in advance. This will help you to better understand the tutor.
Moreover, classes are often spread throughout the week at different times. One day, you can start at 9 am and the next day at 2 pm so make sure to plan your time effectively and check your timetable regularly.
Each module has a designated module handbook which outlines all the key information about a particular module – what you will be learning about, what the assessments are as well as the learning outcomes and marking criteria for each assignment. It’s incredibly important to familiarise yourself with it!
What’s expected from you?
Now that you know what to expect from lectures and seminars, let’s find out what will be expected from you as a student.
Attendance is monitored regularly, so it’s incredibly important to not skip any classes! Especially if you’re a Student visa holder and your status is dependent on continued attendance.
Check your email and blackboard announcements on a daily basis
Your tutors will be contacting you via email and Blackboard announcements, so make sure you stay up-to-date to avoid missing any information. Don’t rely on notifications and just make a habit of checking those at least once a day!
Understand your assignments
From my own experience, tutors will probably start referring to your assessments early on, at the beginning of each module. Therefore, you need to make sure you understand exactly what is required from you for each assessment so you can start picking up useful information from lectures and seminars and start applying them to your assignment!
In the UK, there is a particular focus on independent study as there are not many contact hours at the university. If you’re not sure about something, you need to ask and engage in additional reading to fully understand the topic – don’t rely just on the provided materials!
Luckily, tutors are understanding and helpful so don’t get too stressed if something overwhelms you – they are here to support you at every stage of your learning process!