The magic of studying abroad is based on the feeling you have of being a citizen of the world.
I have learnt this by starting my studies at Richmond, the American university in the UK. And this is not all I have learned…
If you are a fan of discovering the unknown, of exploring different places, then put aside the idea that you have to fly to Thailand or Hawaii. All you need to do is to plunge into the lively, amazing city which is London — and I’m sure lots of you have dreamed of coming here, am I right?
It was my dream and now it has come true – I’m a student at Richmond, the awesome American International University in the UK, and it feels as if I have immersed myself in a microcosm of the whole world. Everyone is so different from me, and yet we have found a common language, and suddenly here I am, a girl from Poland, working towards a double degree — a British and an American one.
During my first week, Introduction Week, the older students took the newbies around and showed us the whole campus, so I managed to meet lots of people who had just arrived as well as those in their second and third years. I also think I met The One!
I was worried at first about coping, and thought I might not manage using English and that I might not understand what everyone was saying to me but, honestly, they don’t care about that. The only thing Richmond expects is to see that students are determined and committed to their studies, In addition, Richmond offers international students a Language Workshop, where they can brush up their English and gain self-confidence. Looking back at my fears now, I can only laugh at myself.
Entertainment wise, many events take place on campus, but one night we all went in to central London, to the Cafe de Paris, and enjoyed ourselves immensely, only leaving the following day!
I am studying macroeconomics, a subject I was not sure about until I met my lecturers and realised that they offered me outstanding teaching and were giants in the field. I love attending lectures at Richmond, why? Because I am learning about the market economies of various countries, about their GDP and GNI. It’s fascinating stuff. The lecturers know how to teach, how to share information and I have never been tempted to play with my phone or jump on Facebook during lessons — which says a lot.
I attend classes on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9am to 17.50pm, and I appreciate having these intense days, rather than teaching hours which are scattered thinly across the whole week. The classes focus on project work, problem-solving and the analysis of diagrams etc. I have also found a job and manage to support myself financially.
Are you frightened? Big mistake. Come to the UK to study and find out for yourself.
I think that I am at the best university on the planet, and I am really happy and proud of myself since, just three years ago, I hadn’t even considered the UK — and now I am at an American university. We have to aim high, not pay attention to the opinions of other people when they say it won’t work, or you won’t cope. Just believe in yourself and you will succeed.