English at University

Intermediate level

Episode 5 - Registration

Episode 161010 / 10 Oct 2016

Episode 5 - Registration

Mary's met her new roommate Abi and is settling in to university life. Before her lectures finally begin there's some 'admin' to do but first she needs to know what 'admin' is and how to do it.

Language focus

Learn useful phrases to ask for help when filling in forms

I'm really sorry but I'm not sure what to write.
Could you explain this form to me please?
I know you're busy but I'd be grateful if you could help me.
Could I borrow a pen please?

Here are some other phrases you could use:

I'm finding this form a bit tricky to complete, could you help me please?
What is this form for?
Could you see if I have filled this form in correctly please? 

Vocabulary

Words and phrases Mary found on some of the university forms

D.o.B  - date of birth
next of kin - your closest relative who is usually contacted if something bad happens to you
plagiarism declaration - an official document you sign to say you will not copy anyone's work

Other words you might see 

address - where you live
place of birth - where you were born
nationality - the country you are a legal citizen of
contact details - your phone number and/or address

Transcript

Narrator
It's time again for English at University - the series that teaches some English phrases to help you through your first year of study abroad. Mary's met her new roommate Abi and is settling in well. But before her lectures finally begin there's some admin to do…

Mary
Admin?

Narrator
Administration – paperwork – you need to go to registration and complete some forms. Oh and don't forget to pick up your student card – that will be very useful.

Mary
Oh ok. Thanks. I'll do that now.

Sharon
Next.

Mary
Oh, hello. I'm Mary. I'm new.

Sharon
So is everyone else – you've come to register have you?

Mary
I think so. I think I need to fill in some forms.

Sharon
Oh yes, lots of them. Here you go… next!

Narrator
She's not very friendly – but it's a good idea to keep in with the administration assistant – she can help you with lots of things. Do you need help now Mary?

Mary
Oh yes I do. Look at all this paper… this one asks for D-O-B and this one says plagiarism declaration.

Narrator
Don't panic. Be polite and ask for help. Say something like… I'm really sorry but I'm not sure what to write, or, could you explain this form to me please, or, I know you're busy but I'd be grateful if you could help me. Give it a go – I'm sure she won't bite your head off.

Mary
Bite my head off?! I hope not. Right… I know you're really busy but I'd be grateful if you could help me. Please?

Sharon
Yes of course dear… this is a 'plagiarism declaration' which says that you won't copy anyone's work… just sign it here. This is a form with your important contact details and next-of-kin… that's the person we'll contact if you get ill or die or something.

Mary
And this?

Sharon
Oh don't forget this one. Fill this in and you'll get a student card – that'll give you discounts on books and food and get you into the student nightclub. You'll need to include a photograph of yourself.

Mary
Oh great. Thanks so much…err?

Sharon
Sharon.

Mary
And I'm Mary. One last thing… could I borrow a pen please?

Narrator
Well done Mary. You're making progress. You can usually get help by using these useful phrases…

I'm really sorry but I'm not sure what to write.
Could you explain this form to me please?
I know you're busy but I'd be grateful if you could help me.
And of course…
Could I borrow a pen please?

Visit bbclearningenglish.com to practise these phrases and learn more about some of the forms you may have to complete when starting university. Now how's Mary getting on?

Mary
….D-O-B…date of birth…. There all done.

Sharon
Ah, hello sweetheart… are those the forms for me? Great. Now all I need now is your passport… to prove who you are.

Mary
Yes of course… oh no, my passport! It was in my back pocket…

Daniel
Hello… are you looking for this?

Mary
Daniel… my passport! Oh thank you.

Daniel
You look prettier in real life than you do in your passport photo.

Mary
Thanks!

More

You can't speak English without asking questions! There are a few different question types in English. Watch this video and you'll see our presenters asking each other questions. It will show you the grammar rules of question forms - and then you'll have a chance to practise.

If you need to fill in some forms, this BBC guide to form-filling might help you.

If you're a Chinese speaker, this discussion about filling in forms might help you.

Next

It's time for Mary's first lecture but she's very nervous especially as she's going to meet her professor again. 

Ever thought about doing distance learning?

Wondering if it's right for you as a non-native speaker? You can learn about distance learning with our new course: Go The Distance.

የቅርብ English at University

  • 18 - Emergency

    18 - Emergency

    Episode 170116 / 16 Jan 2017

    Term's getting under way - and Mary is stressed! Does Abi have a solution so they can both chillax and take a break?

  • 17 - Take note

    17 - Take note

    Episode 170109 / 09 Jan 2017

    Term starts again at the University of Studies and Mary's struggling in Professor Not's lecture. Will she be able to keep up?

  • 16 - A home from home

    16 - A home from home

    Episode 161223 / 23 Dec 2016

    The first term is over at the University of Studies. All the students are packing up and heading home for the holidays – all except Mary that is! Where will she be spending the Christmas holidays?

  • 15 - Feedback

    15 - Feedback

    Episode 161219 / 19 Dec 2016

    It's almost the end of term and time for Mary to get her feedback from Professor Not. Will she be happy with what he's got to say?

  • 14 - Lost property

    14 - Lost property

    Episode 161212 / 12 Dec 2016

    Mary's got to hand in her assignment, but her memory stick has gone missing. Will she find it at the Lost Property office?

  • 13 - Deadlines

    13 - Deadlines

    Episode 161205 / 05 Dec 2016

    Mary's got an important deadline fast approaching. Will she finish her work on time?

  • 12 - Reboot!

    12 - Reboot!

    Episode 161128 / 28 Nov 2016

    Mary has to deal with a crisis when she accidentally loses her assignment

  • 11 - Study skills

    11 - Study skills

    Episode 161121 / 21 Nov 2016

    Mary attends Professor Not's study skills workshop but it sounds like she knows more about studying than him!

  • 10 - Getting down to business

    10 - Getting down to business

    Episode 161114 / 14 Nov 2016

    Finally, Mary starts to learn something about business - and how to ask for clarification

  • Episode 9 - Dinner time

    Episode 9 - Dinner time

    Episode 161107 / 07 Nov 2016

    Mary's feeling hungry

  • Episode 8 - The Library

    Episode 8 - The Library

    Episode 161031 / 31 Oct 2016

    Mary needs to borrow some books

  • Episode 7 - The Seminar

    Episode 7 - The Seminar

    Episode 161024 / 24 Oct 2016

    It's time for Mary's first seminar

  • Episode 6 - Lectures begin

    Episode 6 - Lectures begin

    Episode 161017 / 17 Oct 2016

    Mary's studying can finally begin

  • Episode 5 - Registration

    Episode 5 - Registration

    Episode 161010 / 10 Oct 2016

    Before Mary's lectures finally begin there's some paperwork to do

  • Episode 4 - Freshers' Week

    Episode 4 - Freshers' Week

    Episode 161003 / 03 Oct 2016

    There's an important event Mary can't miss

  • Episode 3 - Roommate

    Episode 3 - Roommate

    Episode 160929 / 29 Sep 2016

    Mary finds her new room and gets a big surprise

  • Episode 2 - Just landed

    Episode 2 - Just landed

    Episode 160926 / 26 Sep 2016

    Mary arrives in the UK but can't find her way to the university

  • Episode 1 - Leaving Home

    Episode 1 - Leaving Home

    Episode 160921 / 22 Sep 2016

    Mary leaves home to start her first year of study abroad

Coronavirus: Self-isolation tips

Staying active at home

How to clean your phone safely