The international applicant student journey

Two University of Bath applicants share their experiences as they come to study in the UK for the first time.

Fitting in (Joon Yoong Loh)

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Hello dear reader(s). The past few days have been most eventful, and for that reason I have held off posting an entry, but now I absolutely must write. Well, I moved into campus on Saturday, and even within these few days there have been ups and downs!

Well, day one was a down. Awkwardness and timidity, was the character of the day. Obviously, the new culture made me timid; I was not as outgoing as I could be, and had much frustration trying to listen to my flatmates' conversations! Very disorientating, and I felt really, really, lost. Also, they were 100% equipped with everything. Pots pans, knives, groceries for a full week; everything, and I had none of that. While I had to run around town trying to get utensils and groceries, they could just chat comfortably in their kitchens! Their circumstances were different from mine, and I could feel a barrier to connection. Fortunately, some of them were kind enough to lend me their things; the first kind of warmth I received. One especially kind housemate even gave me advice on cooking; I had never really been independent before!

Support from fellow Malaysians has also been very important. Because we have similar needs, we identify with one another much better, and truly, I need them. Feels like home when they're around, and I truly value such fellowship.

Day 3 - Much better. Never been the clubbing sort, but hey! It was REALLY fun. Though I felt awkward, not fully participating, I enjoyed the high energy levels, and I was really happy when I began meeting new people! It really got me warmed up, and I met some really nice people that night! Forgive me if I'm wrong, but the British can seem to be able to make friends only at night. Anyway, they were very kind, very considerate, and concerned about me fitting in. Overall, I am adapting slowly, though I still have communication problems. I still haven't got all my cooking utensils, but in time, I will establish myself. Inductions have just begun, and I will soon have a routine. So much to do, and so much in store.

The night before I moved in, in my hotel in Bath city, I tried to imagine what it would be like, imagined what I would do, how I'd meet people, etc, etc

Miserable day in the rain with fellow Malaysians

















An utterly miserable day in the rain with my fellow Malaysians! We had to go shopping in the city though it rained the whole day. Really cold too, but it was fun!

Joon Yoong Loh

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