Study Group students share their induction week experiences
Study Group students share their induction week experiences
Induction week, otherwise known as orientation or welcome week is arguably one of the most important weeks in the academic calendar because it provides a soft landing for students to give them the best possible start to their studies.
Dr Mark Cunnington, Chief Operating Officer for the UK and EU at Study Group, shares his perspective:
“Study Group has a wealth of experience in welcoming international students each year and recognises that students can feel nervous when starting a new chapter in their lives.
“Induction week is designed to ease those nerves and help students settle into their new environment by providing essential practical information related to their course and welfare but also to enable students to meet fellow students and staff.
“The persistence of the global pandemic has caused some organisational challenges, with students starting their induction virtually and on-campus. However, our expert staff have risen to the challenge as shown by the student experiences shared below.”
Several of our student ambassadors have written about their experiences of induction week at their respective study centres or colleges.
Flavia from Indonesia – studying at Study Group’s Lancaster University International Study Centre
"Since the pandemic made it impossible for me to travel to the UK, I had to join the welcoming week via online. At first, I thought it would be boring, but it turned out really fun! The staff were incredibly friendly, and I felt welcome. They gave us so much information about how to access the virtual learning platform, ways of taking care of our mental health, things we can do to protect ourselves from scams, and many more.
“One thing that really impressed me was how much they care about the students’ wellbeing. They asked us to always talk to them every time we need someone to talk to, for example if we feel homesick, anxious, or if we face other problems. It was something I had rarely seen.”
S M Tamin from Bangladesh – studying at Study Group’s University of Aberdeen International Study Centre
“To embark on to the uncharted territory of undergraduate life is quite a journey for every student to make and to start it virtually can be a blessing in disguise - just like in my case.
“My induction week started in University of Aberdeen International Study Centre in October. Even though the fear of being in confusion or missing out on crucial information resided within myself initially but it fled away with encouraging and interactive live sessions and helpful emails from the spectacular student support staff. Not to forget we also had trivia sessions where we as students got to introduce ourselves and learn about each other and their course information.
“We also got to attend welfare sessions where we learned about the importance of mental wellbeing and how vital it is just to talk to someone. Overall, I honestly feel more self-assured and excited to study in Aberdeen than ever.”
Kayondo from Uganda – studying at Study Group’s Kingston University International Study Centre
“At 11 o'clock on Monday morning, I joined the first virtual induction session. Little did I know that I was about to have one of the greatest weeks of my life. The zoom meeting started off on a high note with the centre director, Dr. Craig Davidson welcoming us to the start of a new chapter in our lives. Next, we met the student welfare team whom we would interact with over the course of the orientation programme. The team patiently took us through the different platforms we would use to access our study material and lessons.
“Other sessions included wellbeing discussions and most notably a class session where I got to meet my teachers and classmates. I also enjoyed student query sessions where I got to ask questions about any issues I had not understood. The induction session was astonishing, and I have no doubt that I will have an extraordinary experience at the centre.”
Rita from Taiwan – studying at Study Group’s Holland International Study Centre
“Due to COVID-19, we had many online meetings but also had some physical social activities, like photographing and discovering the city. I also was able to engage in socializing with new friends, including going shopping, sharing stories, and cooking together. Personally, I think induction week is a wonderful opportunity for me to develop friendships and get to know people.”
Mario from Colombia – studying at Study Group’s University of Sheffield International College
“It was impressive how well organised everything was. I travelled from a Red List country and all the protocols ran like clockwork. After I finished isolating, I travelled to my accommodation in Sheffield but returned to London as soon as I could. I couldn't begin studying without having toured London for at least a couple of days. It was amazing seeing so many different people together in one place. So many cultures. I even made friends with people from Scotland and Romania.
“When I returned to Sheffield, I encountered a very welcoming city. It feels like a nice place to live in, with everything you need. I met a lot of very friendly people, and some that will, for sure, be friends for life. I don't know exactly what I expected my experience in the UK to be like but, until now, it has certainly exceeded my expectations.”
Dr Mark Cunnington adds:
“Prior to induction week, many of our students from the UK and Europe would have benefitted from our popular online preparation course, Prepare for Success. The 4-week specialist course aims to build students’ confidence ahead of starting their academic programme by helping them to become independent and effective learners through a combination of self-study and live sessions. Students can also get the opportunity to meet fellow students and tutors before their induction.
“We wish our students the very best for the academic year ahead and every success in their studies.” .