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The University of Southampton
Transition Project

During semester one

The International Welcome Week Programme is en excellent way to introduce international students to the University and make them feel welcome here. However not all students manage to attend the Programme either because they are busy securing accommodation, organising banking and locating shops where they can purchase bedclothes and basic necessities or because of delays in their arrival in the UK.  An extended induction programme which accompanies the students throughout their first semester can be more effective in helping international students settle into the University life and to adapt to a different culture.

An extended induction programme should be built around the W-Curve model which identifies five key stages of adjustment experienced during orientation the honeymoon stage, the distress stage, the re-integration stage, the autonomy stage and the independence stage. By only gearing up all our support in the honeymoon stage we risk to intensify even more the impact of the distress stage in the student. One of the advantages of an extended induction is that information can be provided to students when they need it, for example information on in-sessional English language support after their first essay, advice on revision techniques and managing exam stress before semester one exams.

The Transition to Living and Learning Project and the Students' Union for the 2010 international student intake piloted the Settling In Programme which consisted of a weekly e-Newsletter released to all UG and PGT international student in the University throughout semester one and three workshops.

International eNewsletter

The first workshop, Making Sense of British Culture was timed during the International Welcome Week and was designed as an introduction to the Programme as an opportunity for students to ask questions, make friends and meet 2nd-3rd year students. The second workshop was centered around sharing experiences of life both studying and living at the University and was timed at the end of October when students might start falling down the distress phase. The third workshop, focused on sharing strategies to cope with studying in a different culture, took place in the first week of November, when many students start to receive their course work marks.

Attendance to the workshops was very high with 40 students per session at Making Sense of British Culture (the workshop was repeated four times) and respectively 90 and 50 students attending the second and third workshops during the semester in weeks 4 and 5. At every workshop a panel composed of senior tutors, international student advisors, learning and teaching coordiantors and representatives from key services in the University was present to provide feedback and answer questions.

The Student's Union has been very supportive of the International Student Newsletter and has continued to deliver it monthly throughout semester two.

Useful Downloads


Looking for Masters Student specific resources?

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Tips for Teaching International Students

a resource developed by Jill Doubleday, English for Academic Purposes (EAP) tutor from Modern Languages

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I really enjoyed interacting with different international students who are experiencing similar challenges in a new environment - volunteer's network and whole organisation was fantastic!

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