Travelling alone to a foreign country to commence your LLM studies for the first time may be a daunting challenge. Not sure what to do when you first arrive? Here are some useful tips to consider.
ATTEND THE FRESHERS’ FAIR/WELCOME WEEK
Welcome week is the first and the best platform for you to meet new friends. Initially I placed least expectation on the Welcome Week, thinking that it will be some non-creative ice-breaking activities where everyone stares awkwardly at each other and is compelled to fulfil a series of (boring) tasks. To my surprise, I made some close friends within that short duration and I still get in touch with them even after completion of studies. It is important to take the courage to initiate a conversation. Begin a conversation with the person standing next to you on a campus guided tour or someone sitting next to you during a briefing with a simple ‘Hi’. General questions such as ‘what course are you doing’ or ‘where are you staying’ are good conversation starters.
JOIN A SOCIAL MEDIA GROUP LINKED TO YOUR COURSE / YOUR ACCOMMODATION HALL OR SET UP YOUR OWN IF THERE ISN’T ONE YET.
Search for and join groups formed by or for students living in the same hall or studying the same course with you even before your course starts. You might notice that many prospective students are also looking to meet new people. If there isn’t any yet, create one and expand the group. I created a LLM facebook group for the particular intake and since then it has developed into a primary mode of communication for LLM students in the university to keep in touch and exchange materials, information as well as to organise gatherings.
JOIN A SOCIETY OR SPORTS CLUB WHICH CATCHES YOUR ATTENTION
Whilst it is true that you only have a year or two to spend in the university, picking up a new skill or taking part in interesting activity such as the Quidditch society or the Kung Fu society will definitely spice up your university life a little bit more.
REMEMBER THAT FOOD IS ALWAYS THE BEST WAY TO CONNECT PEOPLE.
And whilst eating out on a daily basis may cost you a fortune, it may be less costly to organise a potluck where group of people contributes different types of cuisine originating from their home country. You will be amazed by how people from different cultural background prepare their food and get some inspiration out of it. Alternatively, simply prepare some food and invite your friends or flat mates to eat with you.
Studying an LLM program can be quite intensive. As soon as the term time begins, you may be caught up with hectic workload and (crazy) schedules resulting in less time to attend socials. Remember that the aim is not just to survive and obtain a degree but to get the most out of it!