To introduce myself, I am Sobia Siddiqui – an international student from Pakistan. I started my journey last year, faced a lot of challenges, learnt a lot of new things – most importantly how to survive abroad. In this blog, I will be sharing my Survival Kit to living abroad.
Let’s start with all the challenges you will come across during your journey and then we will move towards the solution.
- Finding a job for yourself
- Dealing with loneliness
- Struggling with language
- Finding ‘home’ food (Halal food)
- Dealing with mental health issues
- Staying healthy
Ask yourself if you have considered all of these factors before moving to Hull. Because the University of Hull has much to offer and if you come all equipped then trust me you can go as far as you want and there will be no limits to what you can achieve.
My foremost advice to all international students is to arrive at least 10-15 days before your classes. This will help you a lot in terms of settlement both financially and mentally.
Build an impressive CV
Make an impressive CV by adding keywords for the role you are applying to. Apply through the Jobteaser.com platform as you can get a lot of part-time opportunities on this website. Moreover, there is a ‘Resources’ tab on this platform which will help you in writing your CV with a template.
Furthermore, you can always consult the Uni Career team, for that. You can book an appointment and meet the amazing team – who will not only help you produce a good-looking CV but also guide you in building the skills required. They will update you about any good opportunities to grow and expand your skills. If I say they made me what I am today – then you get the idea.
Seek their advice and book your appointment here.
You didn't come this far to stay alone – or did you? You came here to learn, make new friends and grow. Start joining different cultural societies that interest you. The University of Hull offers a variety of amazing cultural societies – these societies arrange different meet-up events where you can socialise with like-minded people and it will help you making new friends. Join different societies here.
Dealing with the language barrier
I know it can be very frustrating to deal with the language barrier – and it can often be less about the language and more about the accent. We have all taken the mandatory test for English language before coming abroad as a part of the eligibility criteria. However, taking a test is a different thing to starting a whole new life in that language.
I can feel your pain but trust me – it may take time, but things get better – and maybe sooner than you expect.
Why not start with a Pre-Sessional English Course? This will help you in your listening and writing skills specifically. Also joining different societies and sports will help break this language barrier.
Food is the most neglected challenge which we often don't even realise is a challenge. Living and studying abroad and not eating well – do you think you will be able to give your 100 % to any task?
Be kind to yourself. You deserve good food to accomplish your big goals. I know many of you might be new to cooking just like I was – a year ago.
Don’t be reluctant to learn new skills as it will only help you to grow and make your life easier here. You can find vegan-friendly products with a sign ‘V’, in green. If you are looking for Halal food then we have a Halal Food section in the students’ union – in the SPAR supermarket (Hull Union Building Ground Floor). You can get your hands on delicious halal pasties and sandwiches there.
At the start of my journey here in Hull, I mistook my sadness for a sign that I had made the wrong decision. Maybe I'm not supposed to be here. Maybe I shouldn't have applied to such a distant university. After one year, I still feel sad sometimes and trust me – I have realised its normal to feel this when you are a long way from home and family. It is vital to recognise what you feel and acknowledge it – rather than taking it negatively and feeling bad about yourself.