Your time at University will probably be one of the most exciting and memorable of your life. The fact that you have decided to study in another country will make the experience even more special. We hope that the time you spend with us will be both rewarding and enjoyable and we will certainly do all we can to make it so.
An important step in settling down in your new home will be to acknowledge that, at first, things might not be easy. Whatever your background and experience, there will be things that you will find different and challenging.
There are obvious differences such as language (even if English is your first language you may be surprised by the many regional accents and dialects in Britain) as well as more subtle differences in customs and behaviour. The term ‘culture shock’ is often used to describe feelings of surprise and unfamiliarity that can occur when you arrive in a new country. It can affect anyone who finds themselves in a different environment and culture from the one they are used to. You may miss people who are closest to you, and your new surroundings may feel strange.
It is important to remember that you will not be alone if you do experience some anxiety. There will be many other international students sharing your experience, and some of the British students too will be living away from home for the very first time. Making friends and talking to other students will usually be enough to start making you feel at home. Your personal tutor and the other student support services at Queen Mary will all be happy to help you with any difficulties you might experience.
Generally, British society is well-ordered and tolerant. People enjoy a high degree of personal freedom and are expected to respect the freedom of others. Britain, especially London, is a multi-cultural society. This means that differences in religion, diet, dress and behaviour are a normal part of everyday life. In such a varied and exciting environment, it’s unlikely to be long before you feel at home.
Don’t forget to attend the International Student Welcome Programme for further advice and information about settling into your new environment.
If you are particularly struggling you can also receive further, personal advice and support from the College's Advice and Counselling Service.
The Students’ Union
As a student at Queen Mary you’re automatically a member of the Students’ Union. Your membership to the Union is free and it brings with it lots of opportunities for you to get the most out of your time at Queen Mary.
The Students’ Union is here to make your life at Queen Mary the best it can possibly be. We do this by making sure your voice is heard and giving you the opportunity to make the most of your time inside and outside your studies. We run the Drapers Bar, evening entertainments, the gym (Qmotion) and a host of other commercial activities. We also run all the sports club, societies, volunteering, student representatives programme, campaigning and an academic advice service on campus.
To make sure we stay true to needs of the students we’re run by a team of student officers, who you get to elect each year. Five of these students work full-time (they are known as Sabbatical Officers) and others are still studying.
The Students’ Union, as mentioned, does run bars, shops, the gym, coffee houses and evening entertainment. All the money that is made goes straight back into services and facilities for students.
If you can see ways that we can grow or do things better then all you need to do is tell us, either in person or through the website. That way we can make sure that the Union continues to reflect what you want it to be.
The Students' Union have set up their own Facebook group to give you all the information you need about Union organised activities. This is the official QMSU Facebook Group so if you want to ask anything from your Students’ Union Officers just ask on the wall. Please click here to view the QMSU Facebook page.
How QM Careers can help
- Advise on finding part-time work, work experience or internships
- Provide information and presentations about different careers and postgraduate study in the UK and overseas
- Help with making applications, writing CVs and preparing for interviews
- Provide a part-time and full-time online job vacancy database and offer on campus part-time work for you through the QM Temps Agency
- Provide 100+ employer led events and workshops, including tailored events for each department.
What we cannot do:
- We don't recommend or match students to employers, although we can help you find out about employers in your sector
- We cannot provide specific lists of employers recruiting people from your country or your degree subject
- We don't have an adviser dedicated to placing you in part-time work
- We don't hold on-campus job interviews, although we do offer interview training led by careers and employers.
For contact details and opening times visit the Careers website.
Disability and Dyslexia Service
The Disability and Dyslexia Service provides advice, guidance and support for students with disabilities and/or specific learning difficulties, including dyslexia and dyspraxia. Services provided include assistance with applying for the Disabled Students’ Allowance; Study Skill tuition; mentoring, special exam arrangements; training with assistive technology and equipment loans. Staff can approach the Service for guidance on how to adapt lecture style and materials to increase accessibility.
For contact details and opening times visit the Disability and Dyslexia Service website.
Advice and Counselling Service
The Advice and Counselling Service offers confidential professional advice and support on a range of financial, practical, legal, emotional and psychological concerns to students. Welfare Advisors provide advice on practical and welfare issues including funding your studies, budgeting, tuition fee payment problems and immigration law. Counsellors can support students with emotional and personal issues which may be impacting on your ability to study or to make the most of life as a student.
For contact details and opening times, visit the Advice and Counselling Service website.
Living on Campus
One of the most striking things about Queen Mary is our campus. It’s the largest self-contained student campus in central London, and only 15 minutes by tube from the Oxford Street, Covent Garden and the rest of the West End. It’s very unusual for a London University – in fact we’re the only college in the University of London who can offer students a central site containing cafes, a bar, restaurants, accommodation, a gym, a student shop, a bookshop, cashpoint and laundrette.
You have all the advantages of living in the capital city as well as being part of a sociable and safe student village. There’s 24 hour security on campus and all student flats have entry phones.
Living in London
As one of the world’s most exciting cities, London is a great place for students. There are so many things going on – many of them free it's very unlikely you will ever get bored. In fact, it's impossible for us to give you anything like a comprehensive overview. However, there are a great number of listings magazines and websites which are a good place to start for the most up-to-date information. Have a look at Time Out, Lonely Planet and Visit London.
To get you started, we've listed a few of our favourite things about , including parks, culture, nightlife and eating out.
English Language and Study Skills
Whilst studying at Queen Mary you can attend free English language courses during the academic year that can be adapted to meet your individual needs.
There are courses in general areas such as improving conversational English, as well as courses designed to help you communicate in particular subject areas, such as law or economics. You can also develop your study skills by joining part-time courses in academic writing, presentation skills, research and note-taking, time management and revision and examination skills. You can get more information at the International Student Welcome Programme or visit the English Language and Learning section of our website.
During your time at Queen Mary, our Learning Development team will provide you with a range of activities and resources to help you.
- Writing and study guidance – From one-to-one and small group tutorials to drop-in sessions, workshops and retreats, the Centre offers guidance on how to approach your subject and giving general help on questions.
- Our Royal Literary Fund Fellows are all published writers. They offer one-to-one tutorials to help with written assignments and are happy to work with students from any discipline and at any level.
We also run other activities and events to support and extend your studies. Find out much more on our Learning Development pages.
Queen Mary University of London - Social Media
The Queen Mary University of London social media directory highlights the social profiles you can use to connect with our various departments, centres and organisations: http://www.qmul.ac.uk/media/socialmedia/index.html
Making the most of your time in the UK
Weekend Home Stays with HOST
Once you are in the UK, you may like to consider a homestay with a British family through the HOST scheme. This is a fantastic way of experiencing true British family life, and to visit areas that tourists don’t reach, with short stays with families from various areas all around the UK. A HOST visit is a wonderful chance for you to experience the real life of this country, to change your perceptions, and to make friends with a wide range of British people.
For more information visit the HOST website.
International Student House (ISH)
International Students House (ISH) is a student residence and a unique social, cultural and recreational centre. ISH is a charity with the sole aim of improving international understanding and friendship, ISH provides a wide programme of events for students 365 days a year. Located in the safe neighbourhood of Regent's Park, ISH is a central place to meet students from Britain and around the world. ISH has become a ‘home away from home' for many students, the many facilities and our fun and friendly environment make ISH the perfect place to spend time, whether for an evening event, a weekend in London or the entire year! For more information check their website www.ish.org.uk or www.ishevents.org
Opportunities Fair 2016
In late October we will be running an Opportunities Fair where you can come along to find out more about volunteering, working in the UK, HOST, International Students House and much more! More details will be available here soon along with how you can book to attend.
St Benet's Chaplaincy
St Benet's is a Christian chapel and a meeting place open to all students and staff at Queen Mary University of London regardless of their religion and beliefs.
The chapel is open throughout the day Monday to Friday from 9am – 5pm for private prayer and quiet reflection.
Also in the St Benet’s Chaplaincy building:
- Daily morning prayer
- Midweek Roman Catholic Mass
- Coffee lounge
- Mondo movies
- World lunch
- Other fun stuff
For further information, please visit the Faith website.
Mile End outlets
Mon to Fri:
Breakfast Service: 08.00 - 10.30
Lunch Service: 11.30 – 14.30
Evening Service: 16.00 – 19.00
Mucci’s - Italian restaurant
Mon to Fri: 09.30-15.45
Student Union outlets:
Mon-Fri: 08.00 – 18.00
Mon to Fri: 12.00 – 18.00
Mon-Fri: 08.00 – 22.00
Sat & Sun: 12.00 – 18.00
The Village shop
Mon-Fri: 08.00 – 20.00
Sat: 10:30 – 20.00
Sun: 11:30 – 20.00
Charterhouse Square outlets
The Shield (in Dawson Hall) - serves Costa coffee, iced drinks, soft drinks, sandwiches, paninis, salads and snacks.
Mon to Fri: 08.30 – 18.00
The Griff Inn Bar & Kitchen
Mon - Fri 8.30am-9pm (Wednesdays open until midnight and Fridays open until 1am)
UK Border Force Top Tips - First Time Student Arrivals
As part of your preparations for studying in the UK this year, Border Force has created these top ten tips to make sure you have everything you need for a smooth arrival.
- If you are a non-European Economic Area (EEA) national complete the landing card given to you during your flight and certainly before joining the queue.
- Have your passport ready, including removing it from any cover. Remember to remove sunglasses and hats.
- Keep information about the course you’re studying in your hand luggage and in paper copy (not an electronic copy on tablet or phone) and where you have one, your university Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number.
- Keep any medical documentation, recent bank statements and details of where you are staying in your hand luggage, Border Force officers may ask to see this information.
- Expect Border Force officers to ask simple questions about your stay in the UK when you arrive at passport control.
- Do not bring in any meat or dairy products from outside the European Union (EU) and be aware that there are restrictions on traditional medicines and other food products such as fish, eggs and honey, as well as some fruit, vegetables and plants (e.g. bulbs, seeds, cut flowers and tree bark).
- There are also restrictions on the amount of tobacco, alcohol and gifts you can bring in the UK. If you exceed your duty-free allowance and do not declare them, all of your items could be taken away from you.
- Never bring in counterfeit goods, illegal drugs, offensive weapons or indecent or obscene material. Some items are restricted and will require a licence or permit.
- You must declare any sums of cash of 10,000 Euros or more (or the equivalent in another currency) if you are travelling from a country outside the EU.
- Never give false or misleading information (including forged or counterfeit documents).
More information can be found on coming to the UK on the GOV.UK website - Entering the UK
Student Enquiry Centre
The Student Enquiry Centre is a general enquiry service and the front of house for the Academic Registry and Mile End Admissions teams. We handle queries from current undergraduate and postgraduate taught students, who can ask us a query face to face at our counter, by telephone or email.
The SEC also handle face to face queries from graduates for duplicate degree award letters and transcripts, and from prospective students for prospectuses and general course enquiries.
The main services we provide current undergraduate and postgraduate taught students include:
- general enrolment, records, awards, exams, bursaries and scholarship queries
- Production of Official QM letters and provisional transcripts, on request
- Replacement student id cards
- Bursary and scholarship cheque collection
- emergency loan appointment bookings
- and sign posting to other student support services.
Comprehensive information can be found on the Student Enquiry Centre website.
The site includes a great deal of information such as how to request official QM documentation and replacement students id cards; information about your MySIS record (including MySIS ‘how to’ video guides), information on examinations, bursaries, scholarships and much more. There is also an interactive ‘Key dates for your diary’ calendar for you to use.
If our website doesn’t answer your query, you are not sure about something or do not know who to contact, then ask us. We are based on the Mile End campus, on the ground floor of the Queen’s Building opposite the Octagon.
Our exact location, opening hours (including our closure notices) and contact details can be found on our website.