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Tips for the first weeks

We asked some of our current students about their experiences during their first few weeks at Royal Holloway, and they have also provided some helpful tips to help you make the most of your time here.

Preethi Manjunath and Bao Chu are both coming to the end of their studies and have reflected on their experiences below. 

What were your thoughts before you started your course at Royal Holloway?
Preethi: I was quite excited and a little nervous as this was the first Preethi150time I was moving outside India to study. I was anxious about how lectures were going to be held, engaging with students from different countries and settling in. However, it was easy to settle down as everyone around was extremely friendly and supportive.
Bao: I was feeling very excited about starting a new course at a new university and environment but also worried that I might not make many friends.

What were your first impressions of Royal Holloway?
Bao: My first impression of RHUL, as it’s commonly called, was breathtaking with the Founder’s building, how could you miss it!! The campus is really large and spaced out so I kept getting lost but luckily there were lots of friendly staff and students to point me in the right direction.
Preethi: The campus is so huge and there are facilities for everything ranging from sports, theatre, prayer halls to academic labs. I was thrilled to see such a green campus near London.

Where did you live while studying at Royal Holloway?
Preethi: I lived with a friend in Staines for about two terms and later on moved to Halls of Residence. I preferred to live in the Halls of Residence as we had exams approaching and I wanted to make use of the library for longer hours in the night. I went to the Student Administration Centre who were helpful in giving me a place at the Halls of Residence at the right time.
Bao: I didn’t live in Halls but actually commuted from London as that was where I already lived. At first I found the commute quite stressful but the atmosphere in Egham is very peaceful and relaxing which makes a nice change from central London.

How easy did you find it to make friends during your first few weeks?
Bao: I found it very easy to make friends on my first day on campus. Bao150I think when everybody is in the same situation so we all tend to make more of an effort. So don’t be shy and pluck up the courage and say hello to the person sitting next to you!
Preethi: I found it very easy to make new friends as everyone is trying to settle down and make new friends. You are not the only one!

Did you find it easy to adjust to the food in the UK?
Preethi: I love the food in the UK. The dining halls on campus have so much variety to offer. Initially, I was nervous as I am a vegetarian. However, I was very impressed that all our dining halls have a separate section for vegetarians. This made life easy for me - I don’t cook for myself often during term time. Also the weekly fruit and vegetable market on campus has a good range of Chinese and Japanese products.

Preethi & Bao’s Top Tips

  • Do not miss the Freshers Fair for anything! This is where you will get to join clubs, associations of your choice. There is a society or club for almost everything on campus ranging from singing, entrepreneurship, societies of your country, sports etc. This is also an excellent opportunity to meet students from across the globe.

  • Speak to your classmates and get to know one another, chances are you will be working together - they say the friends you make during your time at uni will last a lifetime!

  • The residential support team conducts social events if you live in on campus accommodation. Go along to meet your neighbours and make new friends.

  • It’s easy to naturally start looking for food from your home country, but make the effort to try the local or different types of food and you may end up learning how to make it!

  • With so much to try on campus, take the opportunity and learn a new sport.

  • Don’t be scared to venture off campus with friends to visit new places – there’s a cinema close by in Staines and lots to do in Windsor, Reading and London.


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