Evelina Gudinaviciute:  How To Survive At University As An Overseas Student

Studying at university for an international student is a real challenge! University is a stressful change in young person’s living in UK life but it’s even more challenging for overseas students for a number of reasons (e.g. language, culture difference). I have always been an over-achiever so this challenge seemed perfect for me and I was right. As I managed to get used to UoL student life, I have several ideas for international freshers (I think they are useful for home students too) how to make first days in University of Liverpool easy.

1. I was very concerned about my English and my confidence in speaking English declined after several conversations with scouse people… I have to admit that I don’t understand them even after three months spent here in Liverpool. However, I found a solution and now, after a lot of misunderstandings and shameful situations, I am not afraid to say: ‘Sorry, I don’t understand.’ Many people start speaking slowly and use general terms. It’s really helpful!

2. I found out that not all people like the fact that I am an overseas student. Some people finished the conversation as soon as they learnt I’m a foreigner (especially when I told them that I’m from Eastern Europe). At first I felt quite sad because of this reaction but later I met a lot of new people who appreciated my nationality and they found me to be an interesting person to talk with. Also, other international students can support and become close friends because they have to deal with completely same problems.

3. Joining the societies and getting involved in their activities is important not only for international students but for all students. It is the best way to meet like-minded people and spend spare time actively!

4. Participating in EPR studies was the most exciting experience in the first term. These studies helped to gain an insight into research in psychology, apply theoretical knowledge and meet people from my country studying the same subject as me!

5. And finally – cooking… I’ve never been interested in cooking and this was a big problem for me when I became independent from my parents. However, when I started preparing food and eating together with my flatmates, I fell in love with it! Now I enjoy preparing Japanese soup, Gratin, real Spaghetti Bolognese or German kartoffelsalat.

Living and studying in Liverpool is an exciting, challenging and invaluable experience. If you are an international student, don’t worry about your language, just try to improve it; don’t worry about other’s attitude towards you, find people who understand you, and most importantly – get involved in the student life!

As I am the first year psychology undergraduate in UoL, I have just started to get involved in this subject. So far I am particularly interested in social psychology which looks into human behaviour among other people. The most interesting topic was leadership as leadership styles and differences of work efficiency when a particular style is acquired relates to my dream of becoming an occupational psychologist. Efficiency of companies and separate individuals together with improving job satisfaction interest me the most. I strongly believe that overall life satisfaction can be enhanced through the positive changes in working environment.
Psychology is not the only thing that I am interested in. I am a keen art lover as I am a member of ArtSoc, I also enjoy drawing, reading about art history, and visiting art galleries. As a way of relaxing I choose pilates classes, going out with friends or reading an interesting book.


A contribution by Evelina Gudinaviciute, UoL, for PsychLiverpool.

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