Emilia is a French-Norwegian student on the BSc (Hons) International Management and Modern Languages (German) course at Bath.
A leap into the unknown
I found leaving my family in Nice, France for university in England quite challenging. But the cultural shock was also more intense than I anticipated. I moved into Polden Court right before Freshers' Week. Nervous but excited, I didn't know what to expect. I got to meet my lovely new flatmates (sharing a kitchen helps with that!) and had an amazing time.
I became good friends with some of the girls in my flat. I also bonded with people from other flats in Polden Court. Everyone I met was very open-minded and welcoming. This definitely helped me settle into my new life.
Support to settle in
No doubt, the first few weeks were the toughest for me. Everything was new and the amount of information felt overwhelming. But the University offered me a lot of support to help me cope. There was a variety of help offered in the orientation sessions we had during the first week. This included Student Support, Bath Nightline and peer mentors.
The SU also has an International Students' community. They can help with homesickness, paperwork, or anything else. They also have a monthly newsletter with information about events, useful resources, and tips to enhance your university experience.
Pizza and peers
The University assigns a peer mentor to each student. They're students that do the same course as you but are in the year above yours. My peer mentor reached out to me a few days after I arrived in Bath and offered to meet up to have a chat and check in on me. The University also organised a 'Meet and Greet' (with pizza!). It was an opportunity to get to know our coursemates, lecturers, and peer mentors.
It was a nice feeling to be welcomed by so many people, there to support us throughout our time at university. Thanks to events like these I felt like I was really at home here in Bath. That is why it is so important to build a new support system, as well as a new life for yourself.
In my third year, I went on a year's international marketing placement in Hamburg, Germany. I was in contact with my University placement officer throughout my time there. She helped me overcome the challenges I faced during my placement. She was also a good listener when I needed to talk to someone, and even came to visit me in Hamburg.
Having that link with the University was very comforting. I felt like I still belonged at Bath, even after a year of not being there.
Making the most of Bath
I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to ask for help when you need it. If I had not had access to the University’s support resources, I wouldn't have enjoyed my time at Bath as much as I have. Bath will forever have a special place in my heart. It has been a place of personal growth, as well as a memorable part of my life.