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 24 September Morning session East Asian Languages & Cultures
Finance & Management
Afternoon session Interdisciplinary Studies
Tuesday 25 September Morning session Politics & International Relations
Certificates & Diplomas
Study abroad & exchange students
Afternoon session History, Religions & Philosophies
Wednesday 26 September Morning session Law
Afternoon session Anthropology & Sociology
Thursday 27 September Morning session Languages, Cultures & Linguistics
Afternoon session Development Studies
Friday 28 September Morning session School of Arts
Afternoon session Open enrolment

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.

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.  For locations see the table below.

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. 

Language As part of your core subject As an open option
Arabic Wednesday 26 September 10:30-13:00
Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre
Wednesday 26 September 10:30-13:00
Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre
Chinese Monday 24 September 10:00-12:00, B101  Monday 24 September 11:00-13:00, B204
(inc. MA students taking Chinese language modules)
Japanese Wednesday 26 September 09:30-11:30, B102 Wednesday 26 September 11:30-13:00, B102
Korean Tuesday 25 September 12:30-14:00, B211 Tuesday 25 September 14:00-15:30, B211

If you miss a test please contact the relevant Convener immediately:

Arabic: Mohamed Said (, office 425)
Chinese: Dr Lianyi Song ( , office 367)
Japanese: Dr Akiko Furukawa ( , 383)
Korean: Mrs Kyung-Eun Lee ( , 395)

Stories on the steps

From Monday-Thursday at 13:00 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 the week. There is no need to book, just turn up and join our student ambassadors.
  • Language tasters: SOAS offers more than 40 languages from Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and you are able to try several of them during Welcome Week. Each taster session is 30 minutes, so be on time.

Questions? Lost? Find a Welcome Week volunteer (wearing purple jackets) 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.