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School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Adjusting to UK Study

Overcoming academic culture shock! What's the problem? When studying overseas, some differences in the ways of teaching and learning are obvious, such as the timetable, or the need to attend lectures and sit exams. Some differences, however, may be more subtle; for example, the type of writing you are expected to produce or, the way tutors believe students learn through questioning. If you approach study in the UK in the same way as in your country, you are likely to experience problems, not because of language difficulties, but because tutors in different countries often expect and value different qualities. If you're ready for differences, you'll overcome problems more quickly and be able to get on with your studies right from the first semester. Am I alone? No. The video podcasts featured here are from interviews with Queen Mary postgraduate students from countries as diverse as China, Italy and Pakistan, studying various subjects. These students all came across unexpected differences when they first began their UK studies, some of which were the result of cultural misunderstandings. What can I do? Watch the videos (each has a transcript) in order to better understand areas such as your relationship with tutors, teaching methods and writing styles. Advice in a nutshell: one piece of advice all students give is to use your tutors as much as you can! If you don't understand something, ask. If you can't face asking face-to-face then email. Your tutor is there to support you, watch no 1, 4 and 11 for more on this.

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