For international students, preparing for success in UK study means more than just learning the language. You will have many questions about the culture and expectations of universities in the UK, which can be quite different to what you have been used to. Even if you’ve been successful when studying in your home country, you will need to develop and adapt the way you study to succeed in the UK. We have plenty of suggestions that can help – and you can always get in touch with the Study Advice team or your subject Liaison Librarian if you have more questions.
Understanding university study in the UK
The University Study Advisers have developed a guide to help those moving up to higher education in the UK to understand what is expected through exercises and tips. This is one of a whole series of study guides and video tutorials to help you develop the skills you will need for study success, including dedicated advice on assessment by examination in UK Higher Education and guidance on academic writing. You may find the Academic Phrasebank (University of Manchester) helpful when starting out with your academic writing.
If you are starting undergraduate study at the University, remember to complete the Study Smart course which is aimed at helping all new undergraduates feel more prepared for study. You can return to the course throughout your first year if you want to remind yourself of what you’ve learnt.
Developing effective practices for UK study
There are various books in the Library written for students on developing your study skills. Many can be found on the 2nd Floor with Call Numbers beginning 378. Why not have a look on the shelves to see what is available? Or search the online Library catalogue, Enterprise for “study skills”.
You may find referencing and citation practices in the UK are quite different to those you have been used to. See our Citing References guide for tips on how and when to use references correctly in your writing.
To make the most of the Library, check out the following guides:
- Information for new Library users
- Guidance for international students (Study Advice and Library help)
- Finding information, including the online LibLearn Tutorials
Building your cultural and language knowledge
A good way to practise your language skills and, at the same time, learn something about UK culture is to read newspapers. The Library subscribes to a number of newspapers in print and online.
The Library has many resources that can help you to build your language skills, including books to help with IELTS (International English Language Test Score), language dictionaries, and films on DVD which you could watch to help your listening skills. Alternatively, you may prefer to improve your reading skills by using the Teaching Practice Collection which includes an extensive collection of children’s literature in English, both fiction and non-fiction. The language learning books, films on DVD and Teaching Practice Collection can be found on the 3rd Floor, while on the 2nd Floor you might wish to consult the English literature books and borrow a novel to practise your reading for pleasure.
A useful online resource for developing your English language is Learn English (British Council). You may also find the English for Uni website helpful. This aims to make difficult grammar and academic writing concepts easier to understand.
There is also general information for International students at the University, including links to advice on visas, accommodation and getting involved in University activities.
This is one of a series of tips to help save you time and effort finding or using information
This tip was written by Kim Shahabudin, Study Adviser and Charlie Carpenter, ISLI Liaison Librarian/International Student Support Coordinator.