Moving abroad can be scary and trust me most international students all worry about the same things before arriving in the UK to study. Moving from Spain to study in the UK was daunting but after a couple of weeks, all my worries had gone away. So in this blog post, I’m going to break down all the scary myths I had about studying abroad.

MYTH: I won’t make any friends

Making friends scares almost everyone, and it is even more scary in a different language and country, but don’t worry because you will make friends! There are plenty of opportunities for you to meet people, and attending Welcome Week events is a great place to start. Apart from Welcome Week, you could join a society or sports team through the University of Salford Students’ Union and meet people with the same interests as you. Or you could strike up a conversation in class, you never know, your best friend might be sitting right next to you!

If you’re staying in our accommodation with Campus Living Villages (CLV), the accommodation organises lots of social events to help you meet other people living in the same building. This is a great opportunity to meet lots of new friends who live really close by.

Outside of the University, there are lots of events and clubs around Manchester that you could also join to meet like-minded people – I recently went to Sculpt and Sip where we painted pottery, it was a great way to socialise and relax!

It might be hard at first, but almost everyone arrives not knowing many people so everyone wants to make friends.

MYTH: I will struggle with my classes

The leap to University study can feel quite big, but there is lots of support across the University of Salford. Your lecturers are always happy to help and answer any questions but there is also support from other members of staff.

For example, the Library offers workshops and support on academic skills such as how to research for essays, how to reference and how to structure your assignments. They even run some sessions specifically for international students.

MYTH: I will hate the weather

Having grown up in the south of Spain, it took me a little bit to get used to the Mancunian weather! The weather here in Salford and Manchester is always changing, so you will get to experience a little bit of everything from snow to sun. Don’t worry though because you will get used to it the same way I did, you may even end up liking it. 

I actually prefer the weather here to back home in Spain now! My top tip is to bring a raincoat and lots of layers. Plus I love seeing Peel Park through all the seasons.

MYTH: I will struggle with my English

The University of Salford has a large international community with people from all over the world so no one is here to judge you. Don’t be scared of asking your lecturers or even peers to repeat something if you don’t understand it, because they will be happy to do so. All the lecturers and students here are super friendly and supportive!

The University of Salford also runs the Learn English for Academic Purposes (LEAP) programme, which is a free service for international students where you can get help with your academic English skills. They offer one-to-one support, short courses and webinars to help you improve your speaking, listening, reading and writing in English skills.

MYTH: I will feel homesick

It’s perfectly normal to miss home but there is so much going on at Salford that I know you will settle in straight away. We have a truly global community and societies dedicated to many countries, cultures and interests which will help you feel closer to home. The Faith Centre is a great place to go to if you want to practice your faith or even if you just want to have a friendly chat, as they have social spaces and a communal kitchen.

Both Manchester and Salford also have a wide variety of international cuisines for when you miss your childhood home comforts.

If you are struggling with homesickness our askUS service can support you through.

Always remember there are lots of people going through exactly the same thing so if you are struggling with anything, make sure to speak up and ask for help. Just take it day by day and try to enjoy your time here as much as possible. 

Remember there’s no shame in feeling sad or homesick, the University and wider community are here to help you have a fantastic experience here. Good luck and I hope to see you on campus soon!