" Things I wish I knew... by an MBA2011"


1. Get an early start on your visa application. Some people came to school 2 weeks late because they didn't get a jump on it. ->是的,雖然英國已經對台灣人免旅遊簽證,但學生是屬於Tier 4簽證,申請曠日費時且要價近一萬元幣,最麻煩的關卡是財力證明(第一年學費加上7200英磅的生活費,一定要放上28天,各國同學常為了這一項要求硬是被迫開學後才能抵達英國,另外台灣只有收件中心,所有東西要送給馬尼拉的簽證官,來回一趟5-10的工作天,要是缺件或被拒絕,所有過程從來一次,大家千萬別鐵齒,愈早開始準備愈好!

2. Come to school in August. I came in early August and had more time to make friends, find a flatmate, find a flat, get used to London, etc. Great decision, in retrospect. 沒錯,我大約是七月開始發信問一些女同學跟我分租公寓的意願,才發現大家手腳可真快阿,很多人都已經在 Admit Weekend(五月底)時見過面,說好要一起當室友啦,幸好也有一些落單的學生,不然還真有點緊張~

3. Expect that finding a flat will be tough. And be willing to settle for a place that's just so-so. And will cost more than you budgeted. 光是FB和 Portal就有許多討論"找房子"這件事的文章,我也聽說倫敦的房子多半老舊,若不好好選擇,很有可能碰到冬天暖器壞掉的窘境~

4. Find flatmates soon, via Facebook. I didn't and it worked out wonderfully for me, but that was the exception to the rule.

5. Don't worry about the start of school. It starts slowly on purpose, you can't fail, everyone passes, there aren't any grades until October.

6. Join clubs. I didn't do enough of this. Definitely join 1 sports club. 

7. Go to all the speakers at school. They're great. A major part of the education will just be hearing these brilliant people talk about business. Often more educational than any class. And some have free food.

8. Opt out of everything you can; start studying in July/August. IT for Biz Value, Accounting, languages, etc. The "refresher" element isn't worth it, if you have a background in the subject. Staying in Core classes to contribute your experience is admirable, but hurts the grading curve. Tutor your study group instead. Note: other people might disagree with me on this one.

9. Only exception to #8. If you are considering the 15 or 18-month track, do NOT opt out of languages. Take Level 1 in a language you are decent at. An easy way to pick up an additional credit (you need 9 electives).

10. Your study group is not something to be anxious about. It's a good way to get to know some diverse people. I've made great friends.

11. You won't do much group work together; your group will end up assigning most of it to individuals. I never saw our MOB or Marketing final projects, and I did 75% of our DEO final project. That's typical.

12. Meet some people in the class above you. We have back-tests for every class, sometimes for the past 3-4 years. And it's not an honor code violation, so network.

13. You will get a lot of negative feedback on your personality and performance in your first month at school. Internalize it. You need to make changes, or you wouldn't be going to school. I'm a converted believer. Amen.

14. You don't need to travel too much in your 1st semester. I know you came to London so you can travel in Europe. But there are 10x more opportunities in your Spring semester, and even more in your 2nd year. So, no rush. 說得好,在歐洲旅行何需心急呢? 第二年會有很多時間讓大家規劃時間~

16. Apply for a National Insurance (NI) number. You will need one to get paid for work in the UK. Super easy to get, but it takes 2 months. Can't hurt to apply.

17. Apply for a student rail card (aka 16-25 rail card). Pays for itself in 1 trip.

18. Nightlife. Pubs close at 11pm. Nightclubs close at 3am. You can't get into a nightclub unless you call / e-mail by 5pm on the day you are going. And men must wear leather dress shoes to get in - someone always screws this up for the group. There are no exceptions and no negotiating.


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