"Being an international student allowed me to share my traditions with people from around the world."
- Ilaria from Italy
Why did you decide to study abroad in the UK?
I chose to come to England when I was 19 years old, just after I finished high school. I knew I wanted to study a subject related to art, but I was not exactly sure which course. So, I started searching for an option which could offer me the opportunity to experiment with several disciplines and found a Foundation Year course in Art and Design in Oxford. I thought this could be a great chance to improve my English while experiencing different types of arts. After days of thinking, I decided to apply for it and started this new adventure.
What were the best parts of being an international student in the UK?
Being an international student allowed me to share my traditions with people from around the world. Coming across people who are interested and curious about your culture and different way of living (from cooking and eating to education and politics system) is the most beautiful thing!
How has studying abroad impacted your career?
It definitely made me grow up a lot. It ‘opened’ my mind. It allowed me to see and experience things with ‘different eyes’, and therefore impacting the way I deal with my daily life.
What was the student life like in the UK?
Despite the very hard course I was attending (and still do), the student life was absolutely brilliant. I loved every second of it. And, what made it as such was mainly the people I have met, and am still friends with. Amazing friends with whom I have shared unforgettable moments: moments of joy, happiness, sadness, loneliness and stress. They gave me the strength to keep going without ever giving up!
Do you have any tips for international students to get involved in UK university student life?
It might sound an obvious answer, but I would say one of the most important things I have learnt is to be able to accept the culture you are in. Being open-minded is key to happily establishing yourself in a new country. You might come across difficult moments caused by a culture barrier, but instead of judging it and constantly compare it to how things are done in your country, just try to embrace the best of it.