International Student Advisory Scheme
The International Student Advisory Team provides information, support and advice to all international students and their families throughout their time at UEA.
They act as an important point of contact for information on subjects such as employment regulations, financial advice, childcare provision and any personal matters. There is a programme of social events and trips throughout the year and all international students are kept up to date with important news and advice through the International Student email list. They maintain close links with organisations such as the Home Office Borders Authority (UKBA), UKCISA and the British Council to ensure that the concerns and needs of UEA's international student community are well represented.
Find out more on our International Student Advisory Team web pages.
Do not hesitate to contact the team if you have a general enquiry or a specific problem and they will be pleased to help. All enquiries are treated as confidential. Have a look at their Information guides which will also give you useful information across a range of subjects.
If you cannot find answers to your questions in the Information Sheets please contact them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Advice and tips from international student, Roger Dolorosa
As an international student from a developing country, I found it hard to adjust in my first few months of academic life in UEA. This may not be the case for other international students, or the degree of such case may vary for each student because they will be influenced by many factors ranging from religion and gender to personal attributes and a lot more. What I have written here are my experiences on how I survived during the first two years of my study, which can be of help for other UEA students to survive in their first or succeeding years.
We always think that it is good to live and mingle with fellow nationals and speak our own language while living in the UK, but I think that it is worth experiencing how to live with the international community. Integrating with other nationals can help us acquire the skills of speaking and listening. This could also be a great opportunity to learn other people's culture or language. Attending some gatherings (meetings, happy hours, societies, volunteering works) is one way to meet the locals and speak the English language. Attending these gatherings enabled me to meet someone who is a friend of my friends back in my country, people who once worked in my country, and people who offered me help in my studies or who know people who I could contact for assistance.
It is important to know what services UEA is offering and it is best to take advantage of these. Knowing your campus in terms of the services it provides or getting acquainted with where these facilities are can be done in varied ways, such as by browsing the web site or walking around with a friend. Going with friends for a coffee break, visiting some friends in their offices or attending some courses and seminars can help familiarise us with places, refreshing our mind from demanding academic work.
It may be a good idea to keep a file of drafts of your writing and see how your work evolves in time. Information in earlier drafts is vital and might be useful for later drafts.
Don't be afraid to ask questions; when in doubt, ask other people to validate the information. I experienced UEA personnel giving information by email about some software which I thought was wrong so I queried the information and I turned out to be right. So, do not be afraid to ask questions if you think someone else is giving information that is not correct.
Treat yourself by visiting some places or friends on holiday or after finishing a piece of hard work to refresh your mind and come back with huge and bright ideas.
It is natural for a PhD student to have problems in the course of his/her studies. UEA has a lot of support facilities to help students overcome these problems, ranging from drop-in sessions and PPD courses to regular meeting with supervisors. It might be a good idea to attend some mind relaxation courses such as de-cluttering, labyrinth and mindfulness.
It may be a good idea for you to arrange appointments with your supervisor given their extremely busy schedule, rather than expect your supervisor to arrange meetings. Though supervisors may not mind you knocking on their door at any time for some quick queries, it could be a good idea to make your supervisor aware of the topic you want to discuss by sending an email in advance. Remember, it is important to maintain a good working relationship with supervisors because these people can either make or break our dream of getting a PhD degree.
There are lots of conferences and talks going on within the university. These could be a great venue to learn what others are doing and have insights on how to present your own talks. Depending on your scholarship, UEA may support attendance to both local and international conferences. This could be an opportunity to combine work and pleasure for free.
Many of these are quite generic but are quite helpful, especially when we don't have the luxury of time to read and do the exploration on our own. Reading a lot of books is tiring so somehow it would be relaxing to learn by listening or by interacting with other PhD students. Attending PPD courses can be a great opportunity to understand how the university works for us, learn new skills and have the chance of meeting other PhD students.
UEA provides opportunities for students to earn while studying. Engaging in work could help develop self confidence and enrich our CVs.
Writing a dissertation using a second language can be a huge challenge to most international students. It requires a whole lot of perseverance, patience and motivation. It could be a good idea to start writing at the early part of our studies to allow enough time for revision and polishing our work. Starting to write, thinking what to write and how to write could be difficult, but this could be overcome by using a free-writing technique.