Tips for your first weeks as a postgraduate student – Part I

Bristo Square in a lovely morning

You finally made it! You are about to start your postgraduate program, and as much as that alone is really exciting you also have to deal with some “practical stuff”. How do you do it? What do you start with? Well, to be honest, there is nothing like an official list, but believe me when I say that you will keep discovering new issues every day.

From my experience as a sponsored student from my home country -Ecuador- one of the most important things you need to do as soon as possible is opening a bank account. If you are staying in an accommodation administrated by the University you will be able to access an Introductory Bank Letter from your personal profile and after that just select the bank of your preference and follow all the formal steps (you must have a UK address, and you need to show your passport as well as your resident permit). After one week or so (depending on the bank) you will receive your debit card that can be used right away!

The second thing you have to address is grocery shopping. Believe it or not, this has been proved to be a challenge for some of us. During your first visit to the supermarket it is a good idea to keep a list of essential items that you will need in your room and flat, in this sense and depending on where are you staying you will have to buy plates, glasses, sheets, stationery items and of course food. Keep in mind that it is important to consume healthy meals during the week life fruits and veggies, but you should also have a cheat day to treat yourself!

Remember to treat yourself once in a while

Finally, try to set a -realistic- budget. This might be a little difficult to achieve in the first month or so because you are not really sure what else do you really need, but you should nevertheless establish a way of tracking how much money you are spending. It has been useful for me to keep all the receipts of things I had bought so, at the end of the week I can check and adjust my monthly budget.

I will post the second part of this tips in the following weeks!