Studying in a new country is a very exciting experience, and you will find Heriot-Watt University presents you with an environment which is both academically challenging and rewarding as you work hard to achieve your goals and progress through your programme.
It is however important to remember that your University can also provide you with opportunities for social and personal development, through participation in a diverse range of activities and associations.
The Student Union
Many students will see the Union as a hub point for organising and hosting social and entertainment events; just as important is their role in coordinating student representation, voluntary work, charity activities and University societies. International students often have a different perspective and a wide range of experience, and therefore have a valuable role to play within the University by participating in the full range of Student Union activities.
As well as coordinating both spiritual and social wellbeing, the Chaplaincy arranges a programme of events throughout the year which are of particular significance and interest to international students. These range from the world meal on Wednesday evenings where students cook for each other preparing dishes from their home country, to the wives group for Wives of International Students and Staff, through to organising trips and tours to visit locations around Scotland. As a centre of friendship and spiritual support within the University the Chaplaincy is also a great place to meet fellow students and to relax.
Sport and Exercise
The University is fortunate to have excellent sports facilities based in Oriam, Scotland's Sports Performance Centre, and a very active Sports Union which coordinates sports clubs, coaching and the opportunity to compete at higher education level. Whether you want to take your existing sports skills and performance to a higher level, to try new sports for the first time, join a regular fitness class or follow the jogging/walking routes the CSE can help you access the activity programme that is right for you.
When you move to a new location the first few days will be very exciting as you encounter lots of new people and experiences, and explore local areas for the first time. This may happen at a very fast pace, and at the start you may feel a bit like a tourist or visitor rather than a student. Over a longer period you will develop natural routines based on your study and social habits, but it is important to still keep exploring new activities and visiting different attractions within your local area. This approach will help you to develop a broader knowledge of life in the UK, and ensure you the best use of your leisure time and resources.
The following are just a few links to ideas for activities and places to visit, things to do with existing friends or opportunities to meet new people.