Whether it’s your first time going abroad for a long time or not, adapting to a new university, country or culture is hard. Almost everyone feels lost at some point in the first weeks. Whether you can’t find your next classroom, can’t figure out your timetable, have troubles adjusting to the Irish culture or just feel overwhelmed, there is someone at UL that can help you. In this blog entry, I want to introduce some services UL offers to help new students to settle into university life.
- First 7 weeks
The first 7 weeks program is designed to help people settle into university. They offer advice and workshops on lots of different topics. Every week has a different motto like ‘Time Management’ or ‘Health & Wellbeing’. They are nice people in bright orange t-shirts that you can’t miss and can ask anything. Their Hub is located very conveniently in the Student Center, so it’s easy to find. If you are totally lost and have no idea where to go, just walk in there and ask them. Even if they can’t help you directly, they can help you find the person that can. Check out the free events besides the workshops like the free tea-party to meet new people.
- Chaplaincy Centre
Right next to the first 7 weeks program you’ll find the ‘Teach Failte’, the House of Welcome. University and studying abroad can be a challenging time, where you learn a lot about yourself and your worldview. Sometimes it’s good to reflect this or just to talk to someone about all the new impressions. Whoever you are, religious or not, you can go in there and talk to someone. With the very welcoming atmosphere, it’s a great way to get out of the busy student center at lunchtime and enjoy a nice cup of tea. It helps take the stress out of university life and you can meet great people there.
- Éist Student Counselling and Wellbeing
If you have more serious mental health issues, like depression or anxiety, this is the place to go. They have drop-in hours where they can figure out how to help you properly in a short conversation. These sessions are free for every student and confidential. The trained psychologists are there for your help, so don’t be shy and actually go there if you think it might help you. They have special drop-in times for LGBT issues as well. If you have trouble with your sexuality or coming out, this is the place for you.
- The international office
Last but not least: The international Office is there for you. Whatever you need, they can help you. If you have problems figuring out your classes (trust me this will be an issue), you need to open a bank account and need a letter for that or just a chat, they help you. They also offer many free events which you should attend. I met some great people at their free welcome coffee meeting & other events. Keep an eye on your student email to see what cool things they are planning. The place can be quite busy, especially during the first weeks but that is only because everyone actually tries to get to know you and help you in the best way they can.
There are way more services offered to students, but these are the main ones. Just keep an eye out on your emails or around campus. The Library often has lunchtime sessions that help you with using the resources in the library and on essay writing. Another good place to go to is the reception in the Student Life Center. If you have any questions about clubs, societies or anything, they can direct you to the right person.
This has been a brief introduction to the support services on UL. As you see, you never are alone. You are part of a pack now.
Comment and tell me what you think. If you have any questions you can also message me on twitter. Is there anything that you would like to read about? Please let me know and have a great day 😊