How to make the most of your International Study Centre experience

Students laughing together on campus

Ryanne from USA has just completed her International Foundation Year at the University of Surrey International Study Centre, and offers her advice to prospective students on how to get the most out of studying with us, even through the pandemic.

My experience during this programme exceeded my expectation - this was due to the stimulating lessons, variety of extra-curricular opportunities and endless support from the International Study Centre community.

Despite studying online, our lessons had a really engaging and interesting atmosphere, where I gained so much valuable knowledge. The lectures and seminars taught me more than just course material, and I believe I enhanced my personal attributes through further development of my teamwork, listening and communication skills.

In addition to scheduled contact hours, I felt engaged through the array of extra-curricular opportunities. Clubs, societies, webinars, mentoring and so much more. Being the Art Club leader is one of my most cherished memories, as I thoroughly enjoyed creating fun art pieces with the Art Club members and admiring the final pieces – they were so creative! Additionally, I was a Student Ambassador, whereby I created content for social media and met so many other students from several different International Study Centres. It was a wonderful experience!  

I believe I have filled my time at the International Study Centre well, and I attribute my enthusiasm to the amazing community here. The teachers were so supportive and pushed me to think critically., which led me to reaching my academic goals. My peers were so kind and approachable, which made the experience so warm and welcoming. Finally, the Centre staff were very helpful and made everything feel so seamless. Because of this amazing community, I was successful and made the most out of my time here. Now it is your turn, and I wish you all the best!

My advice to you, students, is:

  1.  Be proactive - you will be sent emails with so many opportunities to get involved with, join all the ones which interest you!
  2.  Seek a challenge - if you’re new to leadership positions, start a club, become an ambassador, or even a mentor! I can guarantee you will learn valuable skills.
  3.  Be organised and manage your time effectively - try using your weekly timetable and fill in empty times slots with your extracurricular activities. This will keep all your events organised in one place.
  4.  Take note of everything you do - keep your efforts documented in your notes. This will help you remember all the great things you’ve done when you are writing your scholarship application.
  5.  Take care of yourself and each other - make sure you have time to rest, recharge and socialise with your friends. Stay positive and ask for help when you need it, because the Centre staff and students will always support you.
Find out more about starting your studies or check the latest COVID-19 information.