SOAS University of London

Welcome week programme

Welcome Week provides a range of events to help you get settled at SOAS, which we highly recommend you attend. The programme will be online in a few weeks but for now, here is a description of some of the activities you can participate in.


This is a compulsory part of Welcome Week and is the process of making you an official SOAS student. The below schedule shows when each overall department will have their enrolment, but please do note that you will be sent a more specific time slot at a later date - please ensure you come within the time slot that you will be allocated via email.

Date Time Event
Monday 23 September Morning Session

East Asian Languages & Cultures, International Studies & Diplomacy, Cultures & Linguistics, Foundation year programes (Surname A)
Afternoon Session

Languages, Cultures & Linguistics, Foundation year programes (Surnames B-F)
Tuesday 24 September Morning Session

Gender Studies, Finance & Management, Global Media and Communications, Foundation year programes (Surnames G-K)
Afternoon Session

Development Studies, Economics, Foundation year programes (Surnames J-P)
Wednesday 25 September Morning Session

Law, Foundation year programes (Surnames Q-T)
Afternoon Session

Anthropology & Sociology, History, Religions & Philosophies, Foundation year programes (Surnames U-Z)
Thursday 26 September Morning Session

School of Arts
Afternoon Session

Politics & International Relations
Friday 27 September Morning Session

The Student Advice and Wellbeing team will be holding a day of interactive sessions in the Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, where they will share top tips from current students and friendly support staff to Freshers. There will also be stalls in the foyer all day for anyone to come and ask questions and get on the spot help.
Sessions take place on Friday 27 September, on the hour between 9am-4pm for UG students and 5pm for PG and mature students. The 9am and 4pm sessions will be tailored towards international students
Afternoon Session

Department welcome talks

These meetings are specific to your degree programme, and this is where you’ll get a chance to meet the department staff and other students doing the same degree as you, as well as getting your questions answered about the structure of your programme.

Date Time
Monday 23 September 09:30-10:00 Languages, Cultures & Linguistics

13:30-14:00 East Asian Languages & Cultures

15:30-17:30 Foundation Year

Tuesday 24 September 09:30-10:00 Economics

10:30-11:30 Postgraduate Development Studies

11:30-12:30 Undergraduate Development Studies

13:00-13:30 Finance & Management

15:00-17:00 Gender Studies 

15:00-17:00 International Studies & Diplomacy

15:00-17:00 Media Studies

Wednesday 25 September 09:30-10:00 Anthropology & Sociology

10:00-11:00 History, Religions & Philosophies

13:00-15:00 Undergraduate Law

15:00-16:00 Undergraduate (senior status)

Thursday 26 September 09:00-10:30 Postgraduate Politics & International Relations

11:00-12:30 Undergraduate Politics & International Relations

14:00-14:30 School of Arts

15:00-17:00 International Studies & Diplomacy (dissertation talk)

Departmental receptions

Departmental receptions are informal, networking events that give you an opportunity to meet all academics and students studying similar subjects.

Language placement tests

Please note:

  • if you have no prior experience of a language you do not need to take a placement test.
  • there is no need to book a slot for a placement test, just turn up at the test location.  

You can study languages as a part of your degree in two ways mentioned below: 

1) As part of your core subject
2) As an open option 

Language placement tests take place during Welcome Week and are ONLY to be taken by those students who have some prior knowledge of the language. If you have no knowledge of the language, you do not need to take a test. 

Chinese Language placement tests -  Monday 23rd September Room
  • BA Chinese Studies (1st year students who have experience of learning Chinese/taking Chinese exams)
  • BA Chinese (Modern and Classical) / BA Chinese and…(1st year students who have experience of learning Chinese/taking Chinese exams)
  • Open option students for Ch 300/400 language modules
  • BA and MA degree open options: Chinese 1A, 1B, Chinese 2, Chinese 3, Chinese 4, Chinese 5, Chinese 6 and Ch 300/400 language modules)

Japanese language placement tests- Monday 23rd September Room
11am- 1:30pm
  • BA Japanese / BA Japanese and... 1st year students
11am- 1:30pm
  • MA …and Intensive Language (Japanese)

Japanese language placement tests- Tuesday 24th September Room
9:30am - 11am
  • BA Japanese Studies / BA Japanese Studies and…
  • BSc International Management (Japan)(Year Abroad)
  • MA Japanese Studies
  • Open option students

Korean language placement tests- Tuesday 24th September Room
12:30pm- 2:30pm Written language placement test
  • BA Korean / BA Korean and…
  • BA Korean StudieS
  • MA…and Intensive Language (Korean)
  • Open option students
2:30pm - 5:30pm  Speaking language placement test
  • BA Korean / BA Korean and…
  • BA Korean Studies
  • MA…and Intensive Language (Korean)
  • Open option students
MB395 and MB351

Arabic Language placement test Wednesday 25th September Room
  • BA Arabic / BA Arabic and...
  • MA... and Intensive Language (Arabic)
  • Open option students

Stories on the steps

From Monday-Thursday on the Atrium steps, you will have the chance to listen to personal stories from the SOAS Director & Pro-Directors. Come along and learn more about the people behind the roles, their experiences and their mistakes!

International students and study abroad

All international students are invited to attend the International Students talks which will be detailed in the programme. Exchange Students and those on a Study Abroad programme have an Orientation and a drop-in session available for more information about the structure of your stay.

Students’ Union events

The Students’ Union organises the Freshers’ Fayre, where you will get a chance to explore the wide range of student societies and teams the Union holds and sign up for as many as you want. The Students’ Union also hosts several talks about their work, and the official SOAS Freshers’ Party.

Other events:

  • Library tours: Tours of the Library will be taking place at various times during the week. No need to book, just turn up. All tours start just inside the Library entrance on the ground floor of the School. For tour times and other training events see
  • Local area tours: Walking tours of the local area and Russell Square campuses will take place each day during Monday 23rd -Thursday 26th September:
    • 11:00 - 12:30 
    • 13:00 - 14:30 
    • 15:00 - 16:30
    • Local area tour with a student ambassador (meet in front of Brunei Gallery steps)

Questions? Lost? Find a Welcome Week volunteer on campus throughout the week, and they’ll be able to help you on your way! Alternatively, please visit the Student Hub on the lower ground floor of the Paul Webley Wing.