Tips for your first few days at Nottingham


For most people, arriving at university is exciting but also a quite daunting. To help make your first week go smoothly we have a list of tips from our support team and current students.

  • Buy some chocolate, biscuits or sweets when you arrive - share them with your new flatmates as a good way to start talking to people on your first day.
  • Take care of the practical stuff - set up a UK bank account, get registered with the National Health Service (NHS), take care of any immigration-related tasks like registering with the police, and attend university registration and inductions for your course. Taking care of the practical things first will make you feel more settled and prepared for your course - that way you can properly enjoy the fun stuff going on too.
  • Have some money available - enough to last the first few days from when you arrive in the UK up until your UK bank account is set up. Be careful not overspend, create a budget and stick to it. Students often find themselves in financial difficulties because they’ve spent too much during Week One. Be aware that gambling is legal in the UK but that it can be addictive! Note that all campuses have at least one free cash machine – so avoid cash machines that charge you to withdraw your money.
  • Get out there - join some societies, sports teams, start volunteering and attend events – especially during Week One or the Welcome Programme for new international students. This will get you involved in your university community and help you to make connections and meet like-minded people.
  • Explore Nottingham with our City guide - there is a map included which will help you discover the best places to shop, eat, drink, dance, watch sport and much more.
  • Exchange phone numbers with new friends and course mates - consider buying a pay as you go phone or get your a UK SIM card from the Students' Union shop to stay in touch with the people you meet.
  • Take care of yourself - it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the changes and information that is being thrown at you. Be sure to make time for yourself to adjust and recognise if you are feeling stressed or anxious. It’s also completely normal if you’re feeling homesick and missing your family or friends. Creating a routine for yourself, getting enough sleep and making new friends will all help to ease this. Try not to worry – everyone is going through the same thing!
  • Try not to go overboard – it’s very easy to get swept up in the excitement and do something you’ll later regret. Know your limits and stick to them – you’ll be happy you did in the morning.
  • Attend your inductions - introductory lectures and inductions for your course will give you a useful start to your degree programme and department. Students who choose to skip these always regret it later.
  • Look for second-hand text books for your course - you might be able to get them from sites like Amazon, local charity shops or from previous students in your school or department. Noticeboards in your department building will often display useful adverts for second-hand goods.
  • Use your common sense - feeling a little vulnerable in an unfamiliar place is completely normal. Take care and use your common sense: don’t flash large amounts of money about at an ATM or leave your iPhone unattended whilst you are out, walk home with a group of friends and know who to contact in an emergency.
  • Stay in touch - you’re probably busy having fun and settling in, but someone at home may be anxiously awaiting to hear you’ve arrived safely and want to know about how you’re getting on. Save your family and friends the grief and let them know you are alright!
  • Look out for the Study Abroad Fair - this takes place during in November each year. You will be able to find out the variety of opportunities on offer.

For further tips and advice take a look at our freshers’ blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts. If you are interested in connecting with other new starters from your home country then get in touch on the International Office Facebook page.

Tips for your first few days at Nottingham

Useful links



International Office

C Floor, YANG Fujia Building
Jubilee Campus, Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB, UK

t: +44 (0) 115 951 5247
f: +44 (0) 115 951 5155
e: Email us