Choosing to study in the UK, while already intimidating, becomes more intense when you have to decide where to study. Choosing a UK university for me was, however, a pretty easy decision.
UK universities – what’s the appeal?
For starters, UK universities are globally upheld and recognised. Known for their vast range of courses, they constantly update them to reflect new developments. In fact, Russell Group universities like the University of York are credited for their intensive, world-class research and teaching.
When choosing a UK university, I looked for one that wasn’t just top in my course but also interested in broadening the subject. My main reason for choosing English at York was because of its diverse range of literature and forms of media. It was something I knew I could only learn here.
By choosing a UK university you’re also improving your job prospects. A degree from the UK is a definite mark of excellence for your future career.
Besides the high-quality education, the reason why I chose the UK was because of its diversity. Scholarships and bursaries like the ones York offer help make studying abroad a reality. Universities also enjoy celebrating the different cultures making you feel comfortable in a new environment. York has celebrated various festivals like Chinese New Year and Holi along with British events. This not only allows you to be a part of the culture here but also to celebrate your own.
One thing that really excited me about UK universities (especially York) are their range of extracurriculars, like societies and sport. They make sure that you aren’t stressed with work and encourage you to have fun discovering new hobbies and talents. The societies can also contribute to things you may want to pursue after university, like creative writing, dance, art, law, international relations etc.
Adapting to living in a new country can be difficult. However, most universities provide campus accommodation which allows you connect with other first years. One of my best memories was when a flat mate took me around the campus and city in the first week. I was so intrigued by various stores and brands that I had never seen before; it was an exciting experience to learn which places were good for whatever you need.
However, there were some difficulties. Being from a place with generally hot weather, the weather here was one of my unexpected difficulties. I wasn’t used to wearing jackets all the time or making sure that I was ready for rain.
Culture shock and being away from family was also something that took time to adjust to. You can feel pressured to try everything just because of the fear of missing out.
Find what makes you comfortable
Don’t worry, these challenges don’t last for your whole university journey. Getting comfortable in a new place is tough, but support is always available. This is not just through the university but also the people around you. I found that instead of rushing into finding your rhythm simply take your time to find what makes you comfortable.
What seemed initially like a daunting decision has led to confidence and independence in myself. Being away from the familiarity of home is never easy, but the challenges can be rewarding in the end, not just in career prospects but in building yourself up.