English at University

Intermediate level

Episode 4 - Freshers' Week

Episode 161003 / 03 Oct 2016

Episode 4 - Freshers' Week

Mary's a new student who has just arrived at the University of Studies, but before her lectures begin there's an important event she can't miss. It's a week of activities that'll help her get to know other new students - or 'freshers'. She can also make friends, and find her way around the campus, and hopefully start getting used to living in the UK.

Language focus

Learn phrases about saying 'no'

I'll have a think about it.
Sorry, I don't think I've got the time.
It's not my cup of tea.

Here are some other phrases you could use:

I'd rather not thanks.
I'm really not interested.
No thanks, maybe another time.

Vocabulary

Words and phrases about being the new person

Fresher
New recruit
The new kid on the block
Novice

Transcript

Narrator
Hello and welcome back to English at University - the series that teaches some English phrases to help you through your first year of study abroad. Mary's a new student whose just arrived at the University of Studies but before her lectures begin there's an important event she can't miss…

So Mary, are you ready for Freshers' Week?

Mary
…what's Freshers' Week?

Narrator
It's where there are lots of events that'll help you get to know other students or 'freshers'. You can make friends, and find your way around the campus, and hopefully help you start getting used to living in the UK. It's fun… and it starts right now!

Mary
Right I'd better go….

Abi
Hey Mary - over here! I run the Get Fit Society – we go running, go to the gym – check out some of the hunks there – fancy joining?   

Mary
Well errr….

Abi
Great – just sign here – and give me ten pounds. Thanks. See you later.

Student 1
Hey, over here – come and join our book club…

Mary
Oh…hmmm… well… 

Student 1
New recruits like you get a discount… just errr… nine pounds.

Narrator
Mary Mary stop! We can tell you're the new kid on the block – someone who's just started university – you don't need to join everything. You need to use some polite ways to say you're not interested – say you're busy, or you haven't got time, or you'll think about it...

Mary
Well I'll try but it's not easy saying 'no'.

Student 2
Come and have a stab at Fencing Club…

Mary
Fencing? Like sword fighting? Oh interesting… but I'll have a think about it.

Student 3
Would you like to join the Debating Society?

Mary
Oh sorry… I don't think I've got the time. Oh, Daniel – it's nice to see a familiar face.

Daniel
Yeah, it is, hi. It's all a bit mad isn't it?  I've already signed up for Get Fit Soc…

Mary
Soc?

Daniel
Society. And I've joined the Beer Appreciation Soc… Society.  

Mary
Well that's not really my cup of tea.

Daniel
Oh right. You're thinking of joining Book Club aren't you? Boring - who wants to read more books eh?

Mary
Excuse me Daniel.  Hello again… I love reading so I think Book Club sounds great – sign me up please!

Daniel
Err yeah… sign me up too mate.

Narrator
Poor Mary, she just can't shake off that idiot Daniel – but she has managed to politely say 'no' to some of the people who wanted her to join their clubs and societies by using these phrases…

I'll have a think about it.
Sorry, I don't think I've got the time.
It's not my cup of tea.

And when she found something she liked, she said:

Great! Sign me up please.

You can practise these phrases, pick up a few more plus learn some top tips for studying in the UK on our website at bbclearningenglish.com. Now, back to novice student Mary… and it's time to let her hair down – I mean relax and enjoy herself…

Abi
Hi Mary! Thanks for joining Get Fit. Now this is the fun bit – par-ty! Time to make some new friends and dump that Daniel. Here, have a drink…

Mary
I don't really…

Abi
Go on, it's your first university party – you've got to get drunk!

Mary
No no, really… ooops

Prof.Not
They are my new shoes!

Mary
Oh, I'm so sorry… I'm Mary… I'm doing Business Studies.

Prof.Not
Really… well I'm Professor Not – I'm your new lecturer!

Mary
Oh no!

More

More than half a million young people across the UK will be planning for their new life as a university student. Here's a BBC guide to what things to take with you.

Read these stories about students' experiences of Freshers' Week.

Try our quiz about Freshers' Week.

Next

Mary has some boring paperwork to do before she can officially start studying. But what forms has she got to fill in and what are they for?

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