For some students joining us from overseas, students’ unions are entirely new, but in many ways, we're more important for you in the first few weeks than we are for other new starters. As you get used to living in a new country, we’re here for you every step of the way. All that we do is open to every student, whether you're international or not, but here are the things that are specific to International Students.
International Students’ Representation
Sometimes, the university experience for students who haven’t lived in the UK is different to those who have. That’s why we elect students to speak up for specific issues and obstacles faced by international students. Welfare and International Officer, Yasmeen, is here to help, as are your International Officers Rebecca Raja Kumar & Jiayi Wu - contact them if you’ve got any issues throughout the year. Along with Academic Reps in your department, there should always be someone from the Union around to support you.
You yourself can become the next Academic Rep (a voluntary role alongside your studies), the next International Officer (voluntary and alongside your studies) or the next Welfare and International Officer (paid, full-time role). Don’t worry about experience, we just need passion and drive! Keep an eye out on our social media as we’ll be running elections for Academic Rep roles in term 1 and the officer roles in term 2. If you want to know more about these roles and how to apply to them then email us at [email protected].
Cultural societies are country specific societies. From ABASCUS Society (Association of British and Chinese University Students) to the Vietnamese Society and all the countries in between, there’s a lot of cultural societies to choose from - 64 to be exact. And you don’t have to be from these countries to join the society. You don’t have to be from Afghanistan to join the Afghan Society - you just have to be interested in Afghan culture.
These societies are a great way to learn more about the world around you and you’ll get an added layer of support and friendship from the students around you.
Writing and Language Support
One key way that we provide support to international students is through our Language and Writing Support Programme. The programme helps non-native English speaking students with their academic writing and speaking. Peer Tutors run different types of free activities to help you with your written and spoken English, including a regular programme of workshops, bookable one-to-one sessions, and ‘Coffee and Conversation’ (a weekly opportunity to get together and practice your spoken English with other students).
Welcoming you to UCL
And for those of us joining UCL this year from overseas, we’ve got a Facebook group for you. This is the official group for UCL, run by the Students' Union. If you have any questions, you’ll also be able to ask them here.