Looking out of the airplane window, I was thinking of the boundless and endless questions that practically every non-UK student has. Is my English good enough? Have I made the right decision? What if people don’t like me? Will I make friends? What about food… I can’t cook.
After 3 long hours, my flight landed at Stansted airport. I was astounded and scared, but full of optimism and excitement.
Let me take you through my personal experiences as a non-UK student. Different people, new language, new and different culture and most definitely shocking weather. UK student life has brought a completely new element to my learning experience and life in general.
So when I arrived in the UK I knew that many Portuguese universities have partnerships with UK universities especially in subjects like Science and Art. However, I was a business student, it was a hard step to take; there were times when I felt lonely as I was the only Portuguese student in my class. Getting to know the language and how to interact with people was a challenge. But my course director and course mates helped me a lot and my English improved really quickly.
My student life was amazing; I really adored my course, made a lot of friends through joining different societies and university events.
People in the UK are very sincere and friendly, and studying in the UK educated me of the importance of appreciating people from all different cultures and backgrounds. Diversity is a beautiful thing - diversity of people, ways of thinking, language and food. Being in the UK means being exposed to an endless variety of experiences and for me that had an irreplaceable and unique value. Commonly my lectures would have students from more than 15 different countries with 15 different cultures. Group work or group discussions would normally take on a different dimension thanks to the diversity of ideas and perspectives of everyone.
Words can’t describe it, I just wish I could show every non-UK student how great experience it is. It’s full of new challenges, exciting, entertaining; it’s a new world.