Living and studying at DMU
Once you've arrived at DMU you may need some help with adapting to studying at a UK university, or with organising your finances. Some students might also want to try and find part-time work. There's guidance on this page and information on some of the support that's available for you.
English language support
If English isn't your first language, then you may need some additional support to develop your spoken and written abilities - particularly if you're going to be studying at a higher level than before.
The Centre for English Language Learning (CELL) offers ongoing language support for students as they study.
Another resource that might be useful is The Language Challenge, which is part of the Prepare for Success website. It features international students and tutors talking about typical language challenges that students face when they first arrive. You will also be able to assess how prepared you are for such challenges and explore different ways of improving your English language skills before you come to the UK.
Academic and study skills
When you start studying at a UK university, you may find that learning and teaching styles are different from what you have been used to before. For example, you might find more emphasis on small-group learning in seminar situations, or more written assignments. Perhaps there will be more self-directed learning than you were used to previously.
Once you’ve arrived at DMU, the Centre for Learning and Study Support (CLaSS) will be available to provide a range of tutorials, workshops and study guides designed to help students develop their academic, writing and professional skills. CLaSS can provide guidance on areas such as preparing assignments, evaluating sources, avoiding plagiarism, self-directed learning and time management.
The Prepare for Success site also includes a range of activity-based learning activities to prepare students for Higher Education in the UK and for some of the possible differences in university study that you might experience while you're here.
Managing your money
Getting used to a new currency and the cost of living in a new country can seem challenging at first, but it is important to work out your income and a budget for your expenditure.
If you've arrived in the UK on a Student Visa, as part of your visa application you will have had to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds in place when you first arrive. The British Council and UK National Union of Students (NUS) suggests that, for a student living outside London, the average cost of living is around £12,000 per year for living expenses, based on a student spending 52 weeks a year in the UK. This figure does not include your fees, or the cost of international travel. We suggest using the Which? Student Budget Calculator to work out your likely living costs.
DMU's Student Finance and Welfare team can advise students on money management and budgeting and offer online appointments.
Working in the UK
If you’re in the UK with a Student Visa, you will usually be able to work for up to 20 hours a week during term time. Working can offer useful experience and getting paid can help you with your weekly expenses - although it's important not to rely on part-time work to pay your tuition fees or accommodation.
The Careers and Employability team provides a comprehensive range of information and job vacancy services for international students. The team can help you to develop the skills you need to market yourself to employers and run a range of guidance sessions and workshops in different faculties.
If you’re planning to look for part-time work, then you’ll also need to apply for a National Insurance Number (NiNo). You don’t need a NiNo to start applying for work, but once you get a job you’ll need to have one. You can apply for a NiNo online through the UK Government website.
Adjusting to UK culture
It’s normal to feel homesick at some stage after you arrive in a new country. You will notice differences in everyday things like the weather, food, clothing, and the ways that people speak and behave. It usually takes time to get used to your new environment and it’s usual to feel some kind of ‘culture shock’ – the feeling that you get when you move from a familiar culture to a new, unfamiliar one. Visit the ‘Your Wellbeing’ page for things that can help, or contact us if you’d like to talk about anything.
Further links that may be useful: