A lot of foreigners seem to have a fascination with the UK and London in particular, which is easily satiated by visiting the place for a few days. I felt the same way about this country and ended up moving there three years ago for my Bachelors degree. Here’s a short synopsis of my journey as an international student in the UK and the reasons why I loved it.
The multitude of opportunities
Arguably it is quite hard for international students to fit in and find a comfortable niche within British society. When it comes to finding work experience, a lot of employers are reluctant to employ student visa holders, for various reasons. However, it could be argued that there are multiple groups of people that may feel disadvantaged when searching for a job.
This is why I decided to look at it from a different perspective and realised that London is a city full of opportunities. I began by asking for advice from my university and the employability services were able to guide me in the right direction. Their knowledge of the market enabled me to find a job that suited my interests and was genuinely motivating. The invaluable knowledge that I have gained there has allowed me to prosper and grow professionally.
Obviously everyone has different experiences in university, but I can safely say that all of the international students that I have encountered in London have confirmed that their universities have been really supportive throughout their degree. I can also assure you that during my time at college I was a part of a very stimulating environment that encouraged students to perform to their utmost potential.
There were also plenty of ways in which my university has enabled me to interact with the local community and learn more about the country that I was studying in. As a result, I have become much better acquainted with the UK as an international student and have decided to remain here to continue my studies.
London as a cultural centre
For a humanities student like myself, culture and history play an important part in both my education and everyday life. As someone who is interested in learning about the arts, I have been able to pursue these interests due to London’s incredible variety of cultural activities.
To begin with, the city itself is a giant cluster of people from different ethnical and cultural backgrounds. This fact alone has given me the opportunity to meet extraordinary people who have taught me about their home countries. On top of that, there are multiple exhibitions and other culture-related activities to participate in across the city. More often than not they are also free for students (or at the very least, discounted).
Very academically driven environment
The majority of the universities in the UK are deeply committed to promoting academic achievement, which ends up forming a very special relationship between students and their lecturers. As a student, you are not only given access to world-class education, but also invited to partake in wider debates and become a significant part of the university.
Your input is highly valued, which makes the entire university experience feel more exciting. It’s not just about attending class and ploughing through the difficult coursework – a lot of your time will be spent partaking in various activities organised by the staff themselves, whether in your own department or elsewhere around the university.
As mentioned above, people’s experiences differ, but I can affirm that my decision to study in the UK has definitely been the right choice. It has opened up many opportunities for my future growth and career, the majority of which have been achieved through actively participating in the life of my university.
Have you ever been an international student? What was your experience as an international student? Tell us in the comments!
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A young media enthusiast with an interest in learning.