This two-year study was conducted to explore the experience of international direct-entry students making the transition from overseas higher education partners to a UK University. Using mainly qualitative data from forum discussion, focus-group interviews and face-to-face interviews with students and staff, we document how international direct-entry students cope with academic and social anxieties during their transition. The findings reveal that there are some similarities, such as language issues, which are experienced by most international students. However, this study has highlighted a distinguishing factor for direct-entry students which relates to the use of intra-networks to overcome their social anxieties. The exploratory analysis also indicates that international students entering directly into an academic programme at a later study stage face a steep learning curve and require additional support to adapt quickly to a UK educational system.