In the UK, weeks are actually numerated from 1. It’s actually a cool idea if you are like me and they help you to keep track of how the time is flowing.
The first week is also called the “freshers’ week“, aka “your last week of freedom”…
or the week when you can grab thousands of free things, discover new places and cool activities you would like to do during your year…
or the week where you can go around and see the campus, meet new people, flatmates and professors (e.g. your personal tutor)!
Personally, I was working during my “freshers’ week”, so I didn’t fully enjoy all the Essexness of these days but I did feel the difference between that week, and the week 2, when classes started.
I admit that I’ve been really surprised by how well was the entire “arriving day” organised: everything was perfectly coordinated and I actually spent 5 minutes in total to find the place where I was supposed to collect my keys, find my accommodation and then my room.
Students ambassadors where everywhere, with their blue T-shirt, ready to help you with every kind of issue.
Then, when I arrived in my room I found one envelope with the document to know when to go to see the doctor for my vaccines. If you live in an accommodation in the UK you have to take you vaccines, one is the meningitis. However, you don’t have to take it before arriving there: universities are used to foreign students and organize everything perfectly for students to get their vaccines.
Want to join a society?
The magic word used in the UK in order to let students socialise is “society“. There are a lot of society at the University of Essex and the freshers’ week is actually the moment when every one of them can show off. All of them have their own stand, and they will show you what do they do… trying to convince you that you should buy a membership!
Accommodation in general and the struggle to be short
What my British friends suggested me was to go to the kitchen as soon as I get into my flat, in order to take the best cupboard. Or at least not the one next to the oven or, worst, too high for me. Turns out that cupboards are numerated, and you can’t choose the one you want. Guess which one was mine?
Right! I can’t even reach the second shelf…
Meetings, meetings, meetings
I had three meetings that week: one to meet my new professors and classmates (for all the languages pairs), one to meet the Languages & Linguistics department staff, and another to meet my personal tutor.
I admit that the first one was absolutely my favorite one, since we also enjoyed some scones and tea, whit some chocolate.