Something NEW I tried in Cheltenham

They say, ‘Time flies so fast’ and it is true…

I am currently doing my final year and I have only just noticed that 6 months have already passed and I am very close to finishing my degree. This means that in another 6 months’ time, I will be going home and it means less time to add new things to my bank of UK experience.

While I am trying to seek new things, a friend of mine has invited me to try a salsa dance class. I said, ‘No’ for two months, with excuses like ‘I know nothing about it’, ‘I won’t be able to do it well’, ‘People already know how to dance, so they will laugh at me’ and many others. However, after two months of constant pressure from my salsa-dancing peers, I decided to try it.  And you know what? I enjoyed it a lot. I am in love with salsa now! I still cannot do it well but that does not matter to me because I am enjoying it. I have done three classes now and I can’t wait to go to more classes.

They have Beginner classes every Friday at Copa, which is in Cheltenham and making it easy to access for Park/ FCH/ Hardwick students, Monday’s class is at Bishop’s Cleeve and Tuesday’s at Gloucester. Instructors and other learners are very friendly and supportive and they start teaching everything slowly like ABC, so it is very easy and enjoyable to learn. Attending these classes give, you the opportunity to make new friends and it allows you to escape the atmosphere of just study and work. I love it because I am learning a new thing and at the same time, I am enjoying it and making new friends, it’s like killing three birds with one stone, not even two birds. I would recommend it if you are looking for something new and cool!

Htet Htet

Advertisements

Racecourse Week – Such a busy week!

Many of you might know about the horse racing festival at the racecourse if you have browsed about Cheltenham before making the decision to choose the University of Gloucestershire. It is such a popular and prestigious event where everyone visits Cheltenham and enjoys the races, and the festive vibe. You will see the High Street packed with well dressed ‘Ladies’ and ‘Gentlemen’ from all over the United Kingdom excited for the races, which is quite an experience for someone who has seen the ordinary days of Cheltenham for a long time.

For international students who want to take part, there are many chances to be in the racecourse. Since it is a huge festival, the Cheltenham Racecourse need many people to work for them in many aspects of the business such as the catering, security, and entertainment and so on. Many recruitment agencies will both come to the university and recruit students at fairs, or they will announce vacancies online.

I worked at the racecourse last year as a waitress with my friends and had lots of fun. The great thing is that you not only earn money but also get to see the races, watch the people enjoying the races, and make many new friends as many university students from nearby cities such as Bristol, Coventry, Birmingham, and Oxford come to work. It might be a bit tiring to work for four consecutive days (you can work 2 or 3 days as well, optional) but it is totally worth it. It was such a great experience to add to my bank of UK experiences since I cannot have this anywhere else.

Htet Htet

Not TOO MUCH!!

Being away from home means no one to tell you what time you should be home by or how you should be studying instead of partying. So, studying abroad gives you a lot of freedom and it is all about being independently making decisions and growing to be an independent person. However, as a student, you might face so many temptations around you, your friends’ undeniable invitations for parties and drinking, or procrastinating to study until deadlines because your mom is not there to push you. As much as it is very free, you also have the duty to take responsibility for the consequences of your choices. Surely you don’t want to fail at the end of the academic year, and pay one more thousand pounds and study one more year.

It is normal that students are to not only study, but also have fun with friends and enjoy life. At this age, we all want to try new things and take risks for everything we do. However, we should always be aware of taking control and stop ourselves not to have TOO MUCH in everything. Too much study can limit you to have a good social life and at the same time, too many social events cannot be good for your results and goals. So, why not having a good balance between study and fun so that we can enjoy our student life and still achieve our goals?

Work Hard and Play Hard because you are being a responsible person and at the same time, enjoying the life to the maximum!!!

 

1-htet

Photo: Google

 

Always, Always Say YES to chances for authentic Christmas meals!

So it is almost Christmas time already and I am so happy for all my friends and myself who completed another term of our course, this means one more step closer to our goals! But now is the time to enjoy our holiday break and refresh ourselves to face next term with full energy. Many international students go back to their mother countries at this time of the year to see their families and friends and celebrate Christmas holiday. However, there are also many other students who plan to stay in the UK for many reasons.

For those who have planned to stay for whatever reasons, I would like to share a tip what my other friends recommend me all the time. It is to always say Yes to invitations from your English friends or teachers to join their Christmas meals. It is always good to experience a traditional Christmas meal (roast turkey, vegetables, stuffing and gravy) with an English family which you cannot have outside of the England or after you finish your degree here. So while you are here, it is the best to join their special day and see how they celebrate this most beautiful time of the year.

I have already received an invitation from one of my teachers who also lives in Cheltenham and this year I am going to join his family Christmas meal with some of my classmates. I am so happy and excited about this and I also would like all my international friends to have this wonderful experience as well.

Wish you all Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Have an awesome holiday!!!

Christmas Market Trips

Christmas market trips are one of the most popular events at this time of the year. With exciting Christmas decoration and lights, many cities have Christmas markets which are very fun to walk around, take photos and shop. From Cheltenham to Gloucester, Bath, Bristol and nearby cities, Christmas market events offer a range of local food and snack, multi-sized handmade Christmas gifts, winter clothes and accessories and many other beautiful and lovely things.

Unlike your normal shopping, what they offer is a sense of tradition, culture, and community spirit which cannot be experienced in high street brands and outlets. Products of local people, traditional structure of market display and Christmas spirit make Christmas markets very different and enjoyable not only for local people but also for international students and tourists.  For students, it is such a good experience to walk around with your friends to see the decoration, lights, people, and local-made souvenirs and buy some if you are going back home for Christmas holiday. Since they are displayed for a limited period of time and just before Christmas, it is always good to wander around to taste this remarkable pre-Christmas symbol of the UK.

3-htet

Depending on your preference, you can just visit Cheltenham Christmas market or if you want a new taste and go away from town, you have a range of options to visit any nearby cities which are very easy to reach by either train or coach. The best option is to join the Christmas market trip which is normally arranged by the university so that you can go with a large group of your friends and it is much cheaper than going on your own. Also there will be staff that will guide you and help you along the way. I joined Bath Christmas market last year and had so much fun with my friends seeing around the market. I would recommend other students to go for a try and enjoy this beautiful culture of the country.

Cooking as a skill, a quality and a friendship symbol!

When you are studying in a foreign country, you will miss traditional or homemade meals as much as you miss your family and friends. Even though many readymade meals, restaurants and takeaway chains offer your food or similar, you will definitely miss your homemade food very much. However, the good thing is that you can prepare for this very easily.

Many of us know how to cook basically, but it can be very useful if you learn how to make a few traditional dishes or meals before coming to study in the UK. You can simply ask or watch what your family is cooking or learn from many online cooking channels. I can’t mention the benefits of this simple and easy preparation. Being able to cook some of my traditional meals helped me to get through my homesickness a lot and it can be very cheap compared to eating out all the time.

The most important and fun part of cooking is that you can exchange your cooked meals with other international friends who are always happy to taste your home food. I have experienced many dinner celebrations with my international friends and we always cooked our own food together and offered to taste them. I would say these dinners helped our friendship to become stronger and better. This was one of the best parts of my study experience in the UK since I got to learn many different and delicious kinds of food from different countries. You won’t regret it if you give some time to learn some basic cooking before you come since it will be so fun and beneficial for you. Just three or four kinds of meals will be of great help for you.