I surveyed our current and recently graduated MSc students to find out what their worries were about starting an MSc.
1. Getting back into the momentum of studying as quickly as others on your course
You may have had an absence from academic studies for a number of years or simply be worrying about missing your working life and becoming bored as a student.
Set a timetable and stick to it. Beat the nasty habit of procrastination. Enjoying student life is possible but you have to have good time management skills to make the difference between a good grade and an excellent one.
2. Flying to a foreign country and not knowing anyone
This is a big fear for most people and totally normal! It’s a big thing arriving in a country where you don’t know anyone. There’s also the fear of not knowing if you will meet anyone on your course that you will work well together with.
You won’t be the only foreign student who is struggling to re-adjust or to grasp the language. Be wise and get to know as many people as possible in your first few weeks. If you are lucky, you will meet great study partners who you will stick with until the end.
Another tip is to get used to studying alone. Learning to rely on yourself for assignments and revision can be beneficial as you may not work at the same pace as others. It’s about finding balance and being wise about who you choose to work with. Working alone can give you time to reflect on your achievements and help you to realise you have done so much and come so far on your own.
If you’re worried about the language barrier, students should get prepared before arriving at the University. The University provides many sessions to help international students to improve their English. We advise you to take part in these learning sessions.
3. Anxiety about finding the right accommodation
Please visit our student accommodation web pages for advice on how to find the right accommodation for you. The accommodation office are happy to help you with any questions you have.
It's a good idea to sort out your accommodation early on. If you can, we advise travelling to Bath during the summer months to arrange your living plans. This way, you only have to return to Bath again in September when it's time to move in! Two weeks is not enough time to sort out everything before your course starts! Start looking for accommodation early and you'll avoid last-minute panic. And don't forget about bank accounts, phone numbers, transportation, and academic applications and registration.
4. The social side of studying as a Postgraduate student
Be confident. It’s easier said than done but people pick up on confidence. If you are an international student, use these social events as a way to practice your English skills. The more you practice, the more confidence you will gain!
Take up the opportunities offered by the SU through a variety of societies and clubs. Join a club or two and meet more people this way.
5. Delays in procuring a Student Visa
Don’t leave this until the last minute! Find out about what Visa you need as early as possible. Speak with the staff in the International Student Advice Team (ISAT) to find out more information about Visas. They are there to help!