Getting Ready for the First Day of Class at University

You’ve done the hard work in high school. You made the decision to study in another country, applied, and been accepted. You obtained a visa, have traveled a great distance, and the first day of classes is quickly approaching. After all of this planning and hard work, it can seem as if the ground has suddenly dropped from beneath your feet. By taking a few simple steps you can do the things you need to make the first day of classes as smooth as possible. It will still be a bit stressful, but is it should be enjoyable as well.

1. Arrive Early. If it is possible, try to arrive at campus as early as is reasonably possible. Every day will offset one hour of jet lag. This extra time will allow you to adjust to the time difference and feel rested.

2. Orient yourself. If there is an orientation program from new students, plan to take part. The program will give you critical information about university life and can make a big difference at the beginning of your university career.

3. Explore. This is your new home! Walk around, learn the location of the buildings where your classes will be held. Find the library, student union, and some scenic walks. The first day will be disorienting enough without having to ask for directions, though do ask if you needed of course!

4. Sort the basics. If you are on a meal plan, find where you are eating. If not, locate the nearest grocery store and check out some restaurants. Know which numbers to call in case of emergency and the location of health services. If you will be using public transport, a few trial runs before classes start will be helpful. Stock up on the notebooks, pens, and other supplies you may need. Have your bag ready the night before.

5. Charge Your Devices. Make sure everything is charged the night before class. If you plan to take notes on your laptop a dead device can derail you quickly.

6. Plan on being prompt. If you are using public transport, learn the schedule. You may have to leave earlier than you think. If you are riding a bike, try the route, and figure out where you will park. If you are walking, know how long it will take (possibly from another class- check your schedule). There are few things more embarrassing than entering the lecture late and arriving early gives you chance to say hello to other new students as they arrive.

This is not a comprehensive list, but it will get you thinking in the right direction. The early days at university will be a blur. Being proactive will help ease your transition to your new surroundings and set you up well for success.

Copyright Ⓒ Juvenis Maxime 2023

Author: Kenneth Knox