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What will Freshers week 2020 be like?

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3 minutes

The coronavirus pandemic has had an impact on every part of day to day life and [university life this year] will of course be affected too. Are you thinking about coming to university in the UK this year and wondering how freshers week will be affected? We’ve got you covered! 

What is Freshers week?

Freshers week is an important date in the university calendar. This takes place the week prior to the first week of semester one. A “fresher” is a student who is in their first year of their undergraduate degree. This is the week when traditionally students move into their accommodation and enrol in classes. 

During this week the university usually runs an orientation week where information on how the university works is offered and tours of the campus organised. The student union runs different social events such as pub quizzes, comedy nights, gigs and scavenger hunts. Although this is focused on freshers, anyone can get involved and it is a great way for international or exchange students to socialise and make friends. 

What will Freshers week be like in 2020?

Many universities are staggering student arrivals to avoid having too many people coming to campus at once. So you might arrive at a different time to your flatmates or others on your course.

Freshers events with lots of people are now unfortunately a thing of the past with most universities having a blended model of in person and online events. For example, Strathclyde University Union in Glasgow have a jam packed welcome month. It has planned many great online events for freshers such as online welcome dinner parties, zoom speed meeting and campus tours through Instagram live!

In terms of the in person events, hopefully the British weather will be at it’s best as these are likely to be outside. It is also likely there will be limited spaces due to social distancing and allocated time slots so if you want to take part, best to reserve your spot early!

Night clubs were traditionally a big part of freshers week but they will not be this year as they are still shut in the UK. There are plenty of other ways you can get to know people through organised university events or you can organise a socially distanced walk or a zoom drinks night yourself!

How can I stay safe during Freshers week?

Freshers week and socialising in general will be in line with government and health guidelines. It is important to practice social distancing, wash your hands regularly and wear a mask in shops, on public transport and where social distancing is difficult. It is worth checking individual institution’s guidance for staying safe on campus.

There is no reason why Freshers week can’t be enjoyed even with the current restrictions. Get out there (and online) and have fun! 

If you haven't got your place at university yet for this academic year then head over to UCAS Clearing to find out more! You can also read our blog about applying through clearing as an international student. 

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