How to prepare for your first day at school

If you’re attending a new language school abroad for the first time, we’re sure quite a bit of planning has been involved in getting you to this moment, so we've put together some tips to think about before you start so you feel confident and ready on your first day! 


1. Take the essentials

You might be filled with a mix of excitement and nervousness as your first day approaches, and the best way to ensure you remember to bring all the essentials to class is to write yourself a list of things you might need.

  • Confirmation documents / acceptance letter
  • A passport and student visa form (if you need one)
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Enough pocket money (in the right currency) to get yourself to class, buy some lunch, and pay for a SIM card or any others essentials
  • A city and transport map
  • The right clothing– you might have come from hot or cold weather to the total opposite so keep this in mind when heading out on your first day
  • Pen and notebook


Pen and paper first day
Bring a notebook and pen, staff at Kaplan will give you important information on your first day 


2. Know where you’re going beforehand

You might have only arrived in your new city over the weekend and with classes already starting that Monday, this doesn’t really leave you with much time to learn about your surroundings. In this case we suggest familiarizing yourself with your homestay or residence area and figuring out the route to school before you leave for class. Print off directions or save them in a map app on your phone, it’s also important to save your accommodation and school address and both phone numbers, just in case!


transport map first day
Know where you're going before you leave your accommodation! 


3. Ice-breaker phrases to make friends

Whether you’re going to a new city or a different country you’ll need to meet your new classmates and make some friends. It’s especially difficult if you can’t really speak the common language, but don’t worry many new students quickly realize they all feel the same way and there really isn’t any need to feel worried. However we’ve put together some "ice-breakers." These are terms you can use to get a conversation going to help you build a new friendships with your classmates.


"What is your name?"

Ask your new classmates what their name is, that’s the first step!


"What country and city do you come from?"­

Find out where they are from, it’s most likely from somewhere you’ve never been before, and this is the start to learning about their culture and way of life.


"Have you ever been to London before?"

Why not find out if they’ve ever been to the city you’re studying in? If so, you can ask them some tips of things to do and see, and if they’ve never been to the city before you can perhaps explore it together.


"Are you studying or working?"

Find out if they’ve been studying at university or if they’re working in an interesting job – you never know you might have a lot in common.


"Do you want to eat lunch together?"

Don’t be shy! Ask someone you get on with to have lunch with you. The more you speak to others you more you’ll get to practice your English skills (as it's only day one).


4. Any questions for staff members

We’re sure you will have many questions before arriving in your new city. Our Partners worldwide, sales, and customer care teams are equipped to answer any questions you might have, but sometimes it might be easier to see the school and meet the staff yourself. They will have first hand knowledge of life in our schools and will be able to help you with any concerns. Make sure to bring any questions along on your first day that you want to know, sometimes these will be answered in the orientation presentation or when you meet all the staff like your teachers, the Student Services Manager, the Accommodation Manager, and the Principal.


question mark first day
If you have any questions for staff members, write them down and bring them with on your first day


Don’t be too nervous for your first day, our staff are used to dealing with international students and will ensure your stay at Kaplan is enjoyable! We wish you luck if you’re starting your course soon, and if you're just thinking about learning English abroad, find out where you can study with Kaplan.

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