Guest Blog: An international student settles into Freshers’ Week

Life Overseas: Student Haven

First-year undergraduates in the United Kingdom attend freshers week before they start their programmes —seven days without lectures but with lots of activities to help them settle in,make friends and familiarise themselves with the university system and its grounds.

Audrey 2

For each day of the week, the courtyard at Trinity College Dublin,Ireland was filled with many booths. At each booth,representatives from a club or a society tried to attract students to sign up as members. Some raved about having had famous guest speakers such as actors Alan Rickman, Will Ferrell and Whoopi Goldberg. Others displayed a list of interesting events which will be held throughout the year. A few boasted about their past achievements and prestigious histories. A club whipped out boxes of free piping hot pizza along with hot cups of tea and coffee. Another enticed students with free brownies, cookies, cakes and chocolates. No prizes for guessing the most popular tents. Students lined up to receive the free food after registering for the clubs at between €2 (RM8) and €4.

Some of the larger societies such as the Philosophical Club offered free breakfast and snacks to members for one week. There were free refills of coffee and tea, freshly made crêpes, buttery popcorn, iced blended drinks and candyfloss. I did not even have to buy any food during my first week of tertiary life.

Not to be outdone, some societies even gave away goodie bags filled with food vouchers, little boxes of cereal, chocolate bars, a carton of orange juice and a hardback daily journal worth RM70. Some societies provided membership cards with benefits such as discounts at a variety of restaurants and shops located near the university. There were also cheaper cinema tickets for a night out with friends.

I signed up for 12 societies even though I knew it would be impossible to attend all the meetings. As a clueless first-year student, the ideal way to meet people is to get involved in extra-curricular activities. It was the perfect week to settle in, explore the campus and meet people from across the globe while finding my own niche. All in all it was a student’s haven, especially for those who found cooking a challenge.

Audrey Chew Ernern is a first year undergraduate student. She loves to try all things but is a Malaysian at heart. Audrey is a Student Ambassador for Education in Ireland, representing Trinity College Dublin.

To read more of Audrey’s blog about her life at Trinity and see her photos,see here: www.nst.com.my/channels/you/life-overseas-student-haven-1.402840

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