Tips for Malaysians looking to study in the UK

Published by Afterschool.my on Jan 13, 2022, 09:53 am

With the UK being amongst the top sought after study destinations, it’s no surprise that it has one of the biggest international student communities with a colourful array of cultures and ethnicities. Swansea is among the main education hubs, and it is also the third most affordable city to live in the UK. Particularly known for its strong legacy is Swansea University, which offers Malaysians the exciting opportunity to explore interests, build friendships and achieve tertiary education that’s internationally recognised. 

Studying abroad can be an exhilarating experience, but at the same time, being away from family (especially if it’s your first time) can be nerve-wrecking. So, here are some tips to help you settle in.

Confirm your accommodation in advance

Swansea University offers students the options of both on-campus accommodation and off-campus private sector accommodation. It’s best to secure your accommodation before you arrive, making moving in an easy transition.

Swansea University’s student accommodation has top-notch facilities with direct access to the beach. And like most accommodations, there is an accommodation centre that will help oversee your accommodation process.

Pack your Malaysian Favourites

A pro tip that most Malaysian students studying abroad will tell you is to pack your suitcase with Malaysian must-haves such as instant noodles, snacks, and your favourite 3-in-1 instant drink mix. 

Shawn Lee, Swansea University’s Student Ambassador for Malaysia suggests packing as many instant soup and ramen noodle packets as your suitcase allows. It will not only remind you of home but be a big help during those “broke college student” days. Do not worry if you run out of your supply, there are Asian grocery stores nearby where you can get your instant noodle fix.

Keeping safe

Shawn advises to have sanitisers and high-quality masks on hand as one’s safety is crucial, and your actions will help prevent the spread of Covid-19 when travelling. PCR tests are mandatory before leaving and entering the country. So, keep the three-day ahead-of-time period in mind when having the PCR test done to avoid complications last minute at the airport. Once you test negative for Covid-19, make sure you have a digital document of the PCR test result on hand before you leave for the airport to catch your flight. It is also advisable to pack a couple of Covid-19 home test kits as it is required during the two-week quarantine period once you enter the UK. One is to be used on day two and the other on day eight of quarantine. Be mindful that Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) tend to change without warning. So, before leaving, check and double-check the latest updated SOPs.

Prepare all your documents

Make a checklist of all your important documents such as identification card, passport and PCR test results among others. 

Make sure you have it all packed and ready before you leave for the airport. The study abroad advisor at the university can help guide you through the process. If your programme requires a visa, ensure that all the details are sorted out and that you obtain your visa well in advance. A mistake or delay in the process may very well put an end to your plans of studying in the UK.

Dont be a stranger

According to data extracted from the UK government and tabulated by Complete University Guide, Swansea is ranked 6th safest city in the UK. Being a culturally diverse city, Swansea openly embraces the cultural practices of others, making for a safe and welcoming environment for international students. Keep an open mind, and don’t be startled when a friendly stranger walks over and strikes up a conversation.

Cook like a true Malaysian

Swansea, the second largest city in Wales, is filled with eateries that offer Malaysia’s gastronomic delights from nasi lemak to char kway teow.

 However, you will find yourself with empty pockets if you dine at these places often. You can save money and still indulge in delicious delights that remind you of home by cooking them yourself. There is an abundance of Asian supermarkets in the area and you can easily purchase all the spices you need to cook a meal to satisfy your craving.

Sights to see

Part of the fun of studying abroad is exploring the attractions of the country. 

Create a bucket list of places to visit and things you wish to do while you’re there. You could go for pizza with your mates, then take in a classic blockbuster at Cinema & Co. If you’re adventurous, take a trip down to The Mumbles to enjoy the blissful Welsh waters or maybe even ride a paddleboat at Singleton Lake.

A helping hand

Studying abroad can be challenging. It requires hard work and self-motivation. Luckily, you won’t have to do it alone. The Swansea University Student Union will assists students in all aspects of university life. Swansea University also provides international students with educational support through the university’s [email protected] department. Besides helping international students with their studies, the department also organises a variety of social events with the specific purpose of encouraging students to connect with each other.

A melting pot of nationalities

As a university with a diversity of cultures in its student community, Swansea University regularly hosts activities and events for their 1,750 international students on campus, as well as newcomers.

 Among these are the International Welcome Activities, ICL GO! Social Programme and GO! team volunteering projects, among others. Swansea University have previously won second place in the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2021 for ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ for its efforts.

A Community away from home

While numerous universities in the UK embrace each student’s nationality and culture, Swansea University takes it one step further by bringing Malaysia to its students. The Malaysian Association of Swansea University (MASU) was proudly

established to create awareness and understanding of all things Malaysian amongst the university’s student community. MASU also attends to the interests and needs of Malaysian students.

Swansea University is a world-leading institute that offers a wide range of courses in foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

Now you have these tips, you’ll have no problem adjusting to life as an international student at Swansea University.

For more information on studying at Swansea University, click here.

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