Amara Aslam Klair
2 November 2023
Amarsa Alsa gives her first impressions of ARU and shares her experience of her first term studying in Cambridge.
I landed in the UK one day before the international orientation program started. I took the ARU airport transfer service to get to Cambridge from Heathrow airport, which dropped me right in front of my student accommodation. As a first timer in the UK, this service was a life saver, and it gave me such a welcoming impression on the student ambassadors who came to pick up new international students to help them settle down with ease.
My first day on campus was for a welcome event, specially organized for the international students to help them understand the system and the British way of doing things. This was a 2-day interactive session with talks and Q&A sessions with different departments in the university and the student union. I got so much useful information about my Visa, facilities available on campus, sports, ARUCPD and how I can take part in short courses to enhance job-ready skills. ARU Temps, who help students with part-time jobs during their studies, were also present at the event. I met a lot of people who will be of help in case we face any issues during our time at ARU.
The Students' Union also made a brief appearance where they discussed societies, events, support and well-being. One thing I have loved about ARU since day one to date is how the student's mental and physical wellbeing is important and how we have support on and off campus without feeling
the pressure of being judged. The Orientation helped a lot with mingling with fellow students and making friends, and I socialized a lot throughout the event and had a bunch of friends of friends by the end of the two-day program. The faculty induction took place on a separate day with an introduction from the Dean, Deputy Dean, and the amazing faculty.
I learned more about the way of teaching, the way of learning, and came to know about on-campus facilities like the library and study groups. Learned about how to access virtual learning tools like Canvas and MY ARU app to help me make my transition into the UK education system easier.
After the orientation was over, the welcome week kick-started with a bang with an amazing range of events. From welcome games night to city tours and punting, a tea time with British snacks like scones (loved them)! There was also a welcome fest where different societies put up stalls to raise awareness.
The engaging events organised by the university helped me learn a lot about the university, the city, and the people of the city. It helped me settle down and feel at home, the best I could being away from home!
My experience so far of the city and its people is so positive. I am about halfway through trimester 1 and I am loving my modules. They are a perfect balance between tutor-led lectures and discussions within the class, to learn more about the topic in discussion by knowing the views of my peers. The welcoming environment at ARU has helped a lot with this transition to a new phase of life!