Studying in the UK will be a whole new experience for international students, from the new lifestyle, to making new friends, and trying exciting new things. It’ll be a great time for all of you, but don’t forget about the reason you have come to the UK – studying! UK universities are well-respected around the world, and there is a reason for that, as academic culture in the UK is quite unique and specialised. If you’re feeling a bit nervous about the studying side of things, here are some study tips and facts to help you on your way.
Independent study is important: most students will have to study on their own at university, and will be expected to make decisions for themselves and to come up with their own ideas. This means no plagiarism!
You will need to be critical: it’s not enough to just learn facts in the UK, it’s more important to be able to criticise facts and arguments, so that you can see if it is true, and if it is supported and makes sense.
Learn how to argue: a key part of studying in the UK is learning how to argue, and how to construct your own arguments in your essays. This is almost more important than being able to learn the facts themselves – and it is something that you’ll have to practice.
Take notes in lectures… but not too many notes: Lectures are place where you’ll get a lot of your learning done, and you’ll be introduced to a lot of new info. You will need to make notes, but you should write everything down – just the main points. You can learn different tricks and skills for note taking to make all that simpler, such as abbreviation, different coloured pens, and making sure everything is written concisely. Make sure that you write up your notes after each lecture, as that way you’ll make sure that you understand everything clearly, and can check those things you don’t.
Get involved in seminars: it might be a nervy at first, but those seminars are a great place to talk about what you’ve been studying, and learn different interpretations from other students. Make sure you’re familiar with what you’re going to be looking at before each seminar, and do the reading in advance. This will really help, and you won’t look foolish when you get asked your opinion! It will also give you face-to-face time with your tutor, which is very valuable, and you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions about things you don’t understand.
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