Thinking of coming to UCL for 2012?
The pros of London…
★ London is a fantastic place to be a Christian!
★ There are so many excellent and varied churches!
★ There are often special events and training days which we can make the most of.
★ UCL is called London’s global university for a reason. 40% of students come from overseas, many from countries where they would never hear the gospel message. At UCL, world mission happens on campus!
★ UCL is a secular, but not an anti-faith institution. It is very ‘tolerant’ and fiercely protective of freedom of speech and opinion. Therefore we are able to share our faith openly, both informally and in large meetings.
★ Our Christian Union is very international, and also very inter-denominational. Last year, more than ten churches were represented, so whatever your background, you will be more than welcome!
★ Christian Unions in London tend to be smaller than elsewhere, but this means that you’ll be able to get to know other members better and really get involved if you want to. The harvest is plenty!
★ Our UCCF workers, whose job is to support Christian students, are great!
★ Each year central London Christian Unions unite for a joint Mission week, which is a very exciting thing to be involved in! See ‘Events Week’ for more info.
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Already made the grade?
Congratulations, you made it! What to do before you get here…
1: Let us know you’re coming. We’d LOVE to hear from anyone interested in CU! You won’t be committing to anything, but it’ll enable us to keep you updated on everything that’s happening in Freshers’ at CU. It may be that you have some questions for Christians at UCL or just want to find out more – if so, we’d be more than happy to get back to you. So please do contact us, even just to say hello, and also sign up on the UCCF website – you’ll be able to stay in the know and even get a free cookbook!
2: Check out UCCF’s info for Freshers. The advice there is fantastic, so do check it out by clicking here!
3: Have a look at some church websites. We’ll be running a ‘church search’ in the first few weeks of term, where you can meet up with 2nd/3rd/4th year CU-ers and go along to their churches. But in the mean time, do check out some church websites – there are so many good churches in London. We hope our church search will give you variety in church size and style. Whilst it’s good to check out a few, it’s probably better not to visit too many before deciding, so you can get committed and get involved!
4: Ask people at home to pray for you. Being a Christian at university isn’t easy, and having prayer support behind you is very important. If you’re coming from a home church, you could even write a mini prayer letter every couple of months. But most importantly, keep people up to date on how you’re getting on so they can be praying.
5: Spend time with your Father and Creator! Freshers week can be a culture shock for some people, and it’s good to come to UCL aware that your faith may be challenged at university. Before coming, a good idea might be to think about your quiet times with God. Pray that you will you make time to study the Bible and listen to God when you arrive, even though Freshers’ will be hectic! God loves us so much that he sent his son to die for us; even though starting University can be daunting and different, we can be assured that God reigns through it!
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A Freshers’ Week survival guide…
Here are a few pointers you might find handy as you think about starting at your first week at UCL.
1: Be yourself! It is tempting to try and be someone you aren’t to try and fit in during Freshers’. There will be a lot of people doing just that. Don’t be afraid to be different!
2: If you are a ‘party person’, get your tickets early for the Union events, because they always sell out.
3: If you aren’t a party person, don’t feel under any pressure to go to the parties. There are plenty of opportunities to meet people elsewhere.
4: It is quite normal to find yourself alone in your room in the evening – if you are, it really doesn’t mean you are a social failure! There’s plenty of time, so don’t feel bad about taking time out and spending a night in with a good book/movie.
5: Of course, you still have to make an effort to meet people! Make a special effort with your corridor/flat and coursemates
6: Don’t expect it to be the best week of your life! It isn’t, but it can be a good week. Random people will never be so friendly again, so make the most of it!
7: Freshers’ Week is all about getting to know people, so you being a Christian may well come up! Before you come to UCL, it would be good for you to ‘be prepared to give an answer’ about your faith, so you can effectively explain it to people when they ask!
And finally, as a CU we are hosting a whole range of events during Freshers week, from meeting CU members one-on-one over coffee to show you round uni, to bigger central events such as lunch bars and freshers fayre stalls. We are really looking forward to meeting you and getting to know you and would love to hear from you.
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You may well have more questions to ask before arriving or may like to meet up with one of us when you arrive (perhaps to help you settle in, take you to church or to show you where the first CU meeting is.) If you want any more info or just want to say hello, please do contact us – we’ll be happy to hear from you!