ABOUT 400 students who will further their studies in the UK this autumn attended a large-scale information day to better equip themselves for the challenges ahead. Held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre recently, the ''Pre-Departure Orientation for United Kingdom-bound Students'' was co-organised by Hang Seng Bank Limited and the British Council. The orientation featured three seminars and some group discussions. The first talk was on ''Life and Studies in the UK'', presented by Ms Diana Driscoll of the Education Counselling Service, British Council, and Ms To Ching-yee, Senior Student Counsellor, Education Advisory Service, Hang Seng Bank Limited. Ms To cited researchers such as Gullahorn and Gullahorn in her description of the four stages of cultural adjustment experienced by foreign students: honeymoon stage, hostility stage, humour stage and at-home stage. ''For a smooth transition from the hostility stage to the at-home stage, one needs to have good language ability and an open mind,'' she said. Ms Driscoll illustrated the social life of Britain with examples drawn from housing, medical care, transportation, religion and law. As for the academic side, she talked about plagiarism and the rules for establishing the authority of a quote in course assignments. Mr Wallace Wu, Assistant Controller of the Student Financial Assistance Agency, gave a talk on ''Application for financial assistance available from the UK and HK Government Joint Funding Scheme''. He said the closing date for applications for the 1993 academic year was October 2. Applications submitted after the closing date would only be considered for loans. ''As payment of financial assistance will normally be made in January or February of the following year, students should consider their own financial resources before leaving for the UK.'' The third talk, ''How to apply for a Student Entry Certificate (Visa) to the UK'', was given by Mr Tsang Wai-leung, Immigration Officer from the Immigration Department. It usually takes about a week to process a student visa. Return students from the UK also led informal group discussions in which they shared their experiences with the newcomers.