I remember setting a goal for myself last year while I was still in Canada: “Travel to a new place while continuing my education.” At that point all my options were still open, but there was one place I was leaning towards, and that was the University of Gloucestershire. At first, moving to England for my final year of university seemed as daunting as getting to Tim Hortons and forgetting my punch card (for those of you that don’t know the iconic Canadian coffee shop, take it from me, you wouldn’t want to forget your Tim’s card) yet I’m the kind of person always up for a challenge, so I decided to apply. Months later when I received my acceptance letter in the mail, I decided to go. September came quickly, and suddenly I was no longer your run of the mill student, I was the international student from Canada who calls a bin “The Garbage Can”.
Now, being in a place where you know absolutely no one could seem a bit scary at first, but it’s one of the most exciting things I could’ve set myself up for. When I arrived in the UK we had an international welcome week where I was able to meet some people like myself, get all my paperwork sorted, and get tours of both the town I was going to be living in, and of course the university. The welcome week gave me the confidence that there are other people out there just as adventurous, spontaneous, and maybe a little bit insane, that would pack up and move continents for a final year of education, as I was.
As an international student blogger of course I am supposed to say that the UK is amazing, things are going well, and school is so easy and fun, but the reality is there are going to be some moments where you wish you could hug your best friend and say “screw the degree we’re going backpacking in Thailand.” Lucky for us though, there are so many resources at the University like the student help-zone, your personal tutor, and your international buddy, that will bring you back down to reality, and maybe help you cite that final source for your paper that got you all worked up in the first place. My point is, not every moment as an international student is going to be easy, but then again when is being a student ever easy? The important thing to remember is, your time studying abroad will be something you remember for the rest of your life. The all-nighters, group projects, essays, work placements, and of course the people you meet along the way, will all be worth it.