Your results are in, you’ve got your place at SOAS confirmed, and the hangover from all the celebrating has finally worn off. The question is – what happens next?
Its actually a bit of a horrible word “Fresher”. Derived from the US term Freshman, it is at least not gender specific (just as well at SOAS) but it still summons up connotations of boxfresh naifs wandering corridors with a piece of paper waiting to get hazed or some such horrible traditions. Well at SOAS we know you are not that inexperienced (not just those of you who have been on a gap year), and we are much, much more friendly. So on this page we hope to drag together all of the information you’ll need to become a seasoned SOAS Student.
UNION EVENTS For a lot of people this is the most important thing we will do for you over the next few weeks. Freshers Week at SOAS is actually two weeks, Welcome Week and the first week of teaching. Parties, cultural events will all start to go up on our calendar. Just click here: http://soasunion.org/events/ . You can even add it to you SOAS E-mail’s Google calendar, so you will always know what is going on at the Union. You’ll be able to pick up the Freshers’ Planner in the JCR or the helpdesk when you turn up, which is the complete diary for the two Freshers Weeks. Also when you get here keep an eye out for the Union E-mail, sent to your SOAS E-mail with new event details. A key date for your diary now though is the Freshers Fayre: where over 100 societies and sports teams will be showing you what they have to offer. Its on Saturday, 29th September11am-4pm in the main Students’ Union, and all over the building.
UNION INFORMATION You’ll get the SU Handbook and Diary when you get here, its your essential guide to everything to do with the Union. How to get involved, who to contact in emergencies, societies, sports, campaigns. Though most people use it for the academic diary in the back half of the book. Pick these up in the JCR when you get here. You don’t need to pick up a NUS (National Union of Students) card, your SOAS ID is also your recognized student ID. However while you are waiting you can order an NUS Extra Card – which is an additional discount card which also has an International Student ID Card on it, useful if you are traveling. For details of the additional discounts and how to get it, click the image below. Order one now and you can pick it up when you get here.
A few bits of terminology for you when deciphering our e-mails and so on:
JCR: Junior Common Room, archaic way of saying Students’ Union Common Room. Its the room on the ground floor to your right as you come in with the Shop in it, and loads and loads of students.
The Bar: Its the bar, basement below the JCR.
Russell / Russell Sq / RS: Russell Square campus. NEVER SPELL IT WITH JUST ONE L. Sometimes called the Old Building, Phillips Building.
Vernon / Vernon Sq / VS: Vernon Sq campus in Kings Cross. Has the Vernon Sq Common Room. Also any room number prefixed with the letter V is at Vernon Sq.
Brunei: Does not usually refer to the State of Brunei Darussalam, but rather the Brunei Gallery opposite the main SOAS building. All rooms are prefaces by the letter B. BGLT is the lecture theatre over there.
KLT: Khalili Lecture Theatre, basement of the Russell Sq building. Lots of Union events take place here.
Union Offices: G7 and G8, just on the way into the common room
SCHOOL INFORMATION All the Welcome Week Guides and so on can be found on the SOAS Website http://www.soas.ac.uk/welcome/ Click through here:
Information about enrollment should be sent out to you by e-mail. If you don’t get anything then let us know, its our job to ensure the School does ITS job! Though it may be worth e-mailing them too!
GENERAL ADVICE There is loads of good advice on this website, under Welfare, about living in London and so on. Or click here. But if you can’t find the answer there, please e-mail us. We are students, and have been around for years and its unlikely your issue has not come up before, so we can almost certainly help you. And its really quiet here over the summer, so e-mail us, we love to talk. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, FEEL FREE TO ASK IN THE COMMENTS AND WE’LL GET RIGHT BACK TO YOU, OR E-MAIL PB14@SOAS.AC.UK