On my first day in Edinburgh, while travelling to my student accommodation, I noticed lots of flyers and posters around campus. They were all about Welcome Week and the various events that would be happening in our first week at the School.
Registration and Principal’s Welcome
The week began with the programme registration, which is where I met mycourse mates and programme officers. It was a great opportunity to interact with them and get to know them better. The first official event was the Principal’s Welcome Ceremony, where the University of Edinburgh’s Principal and Vice Chancellor, Prof. Peter Mathieson, officially welcomed all the new students and introduced us to the University of Edinburgh. It was a pleasure to meet people from different courses and academic disciplines.
The entire week was very busy and full of events. There were Pizza Parties in the Meadows, movie nights, picnics, and activity fairs where you can find out about the different societies and volunteering opportunities.
The university also made it convenient for international students to connect with different banks to open accounts, familiarise ourselves with the library and internet resources, register with a general practitioner, and collect our Biometric Resident Permit (the visa that has to be collected after entering in the UK), on campus.
It was not only the university which made an effort to make life easier for international students, but also the student accommodation team. Each student accommodation building has a team of Resident Assistants (RA’s) who help new students to settle in by arranging informal meetings where students can meet one another and get to know each other better. They take them for outings and sometimes arrange free lunches/ dinners. The RA’s in my accommodation made our first day special by organising a little get-together on the Monday before our classes started and they greeted us with ‘Good Luck’ cards in various languages.
The best bits
The best part about Welcome Week was that there was free Domino’s and Pizza Hut pizza distributed on campus. Different societies organised coffee crawls and tours of various places, including the School Buildings and the main library, and workshops on various subjects were organised. The Business School also had its own official welcome event for all the MSc and MBA students, which was another great opportunity for the students to interact.
I think Welcome Week is one of the most ‘happening and cool’ times of the academic year. It is all about attending events and meeting new people from different countries and cultures.
Welcome Week is a great initiative by the university to help the students settle in and get acquainted with the people around them. It not only helps the students understand the environment but also prepares them for the weeks to come.