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Alex Wager, a Study Abroad student from the United States recently arrived in the UK to study at Chester Business School.

He sent us his top tips for surviving that important first week as a student in a new country!


After a long period of travel, you will probably feel anxiously awake or stressed to the point of exhaustion and that’s fine! The most crucial thing to do when you arrive is eat. You may want to start buying necessities or explore your new surroundings when you first arrive and it’s easy to lose track of time and on my first day in England, I didn’t eat for 14 hours. I didn’t feel hungry however as I was that excited. Therefore, I would say it’s very important to ensure you eat properly to help settle you and fuel your body for new demands. There are many cheap places to eat in Chester so there’s no excuse to go hungry!

Budget but make sure you get the necessities

Some students may have minimal funds when arriving in a new country so it’s understandable to want to be savvy. However, students must get over their fear of ‘breaking the bank’ and ensure they buy the essential items required for moving into a new home.


Travelling long-haul and switching time zones can throw the body’s perception of time completely off. It is incredibly important during the first few days to get enough, but not too much sleep. Eight hours a night is more than enough and anything more than this can often do more harm than good. My biggest piece of advice for that first week is to live by your alarm clock and not by your body clock.

Keep connected

A key to making you feel more comfortable and relaxed when you reach your host country is speaking to your advisor or primary contact while abroad, as well as setting up lines of communication to family and friends back home. While it is important to meet new people and find new friends, it is equally important to have regular communication to help you adapt and feel at ease.

Meet new people

The quickest way to adapt to any new place is by meeting people and making connections. Depending on where you go, it may be easy or somewhat difficult to find people your own age and with similar interests to socialise with. I would say joining clubs or societies is the best way to make new friends in Chester. Find it in yourself to outwardly speak to people and in doing so you will find that it is easier than expected and makes your time abroad more enjoyable.

Stay active

Whether it’s through playing sports, going for walks to familiarize yourself with the area or participating in clubs/societies, staying busy and active is one of the best things you can do once your programme begins. Exercise is great for lowering stress and helping to stay physically, mentally, and emotionally fit. However even just walking around and traveling can do you the world of good.

Interested in studying abroad? Find out about the exchange programmes we offer here.

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