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What is Freshers' Week and how to make the most of it

Updated: Dec 12, 2023

Freshers' Week is an exciting time for a UK first-year student. It's the period at the start of term (UK universities usually split the academic year into three terms across two semesters) when newbies are introduced for the first time to their university's student life.

This "'Welcome Week", as it is sometimes called, usually lasts from 4 days to 2 weeks and is packed full of activities, social events, tours, nights out, workshops, and more. If done right, it's an amazing opportunity to discover more about your university, make new friends, explore existing clubs, societies and groups, save money and, of course, have a good time.

We have prepared some tips on how to make the most of this unique experience:

Make sure that you have registered as a student

It's the most important step for first-years. Every university in the UK requires students to complete the registration process. Failure to register can lead to you being fined or even suspended from study for that academic year.

Get your bearings

Freshers' Week is a perfect time to explore the town or city where your university is located and learn about public transport routes (or if you can actually walk around or rent a bike), the best places to eat and shop for food, and how to find your way around campus. For example, Oxford University provides maps and directions, an online access guide, and a guided audio tour of parts of the city.

According to UCAS (The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service), most UK universities have shops, restaurants, laundry facilities, and a gym on campus.

Join clubs and societies

Don't miss your chance to visit your university's freshers' fair and explore different societies and clubs at your university. Some UK universities have over 200 different student societies dedicated to a wide variety of interests - from Harry Potter and sports to music and philosophy. Sometimes it's even something more than a hobby or a chance to make new friends - for example, there are famous actors and actresses who began their careers as members of their universities' theatre/drama societies.

As an international student, you can also join societies run by students from your country to bond over familiar things and beat homesickness.

Look out for Freshers' Week deals

There's always a risk of overspending in a dizzying atmosphere of meeting people and having fun. However, one doesn't need to splash out when so many discounts, vouchers, freebies and prizes for students are available. They are offered by restaurants, cinemas, gyms and even big brands like Apple, Microsoft, and Spotify.

Don't forget about your physical and mental health

Living away from home (for many students, for the first time), academic pressure and other challenges can take a toll on one's physical and mental health. You don't want to be caught off guard by any health-related problems while adjusting to university life. Find out how to register with your local GP (your university may provide information about how and where to do this) and where to get help if you're mentally struggling (usually universities have a free counselling service for students).

Want to learn about what it's like to study in the UK and how to get into the best universities in the country? LEO International Online School offers a diverse and intensive two–year A-Level programme designed to prepare students for university entry in the United Kingdom. Learn more about this programme and our other courses here, and don't hesitate to contact us at

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