(FPJ's My Space column gives a platform to Indian and international students abroad to relay their experience which can prove to be helpful to many other students. Stay tuned for more!)
After doing my bachelor's from Amity University, Kolkata and master's from iLEAD, Kolkata, I gained experience in the advertising industry for two years, following which I have now chosen to pursue my second master's degree in advanced marketing management at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom.
Now coming to one big issue that needs to be cleared right at the beginning is the gap between students' prior expectations and the realities of university life abroad. Let me clear that up for you:
Addressing concerns about transitioning to UK’s higher education
Studying abroad in the UK can be very special and rewarding as it has been for me, but being a student abroad can be both an exhilarating and difficult experience.
The difference between the Indian and the UK education system is the first thing you will notice. The emphasis on independent learning and critical thinking may vary from the teaching methods that we are accustomed to in India. However, this might also give you a chance to discover fresh methods for studying and fixing issues.
Life in Lanchester
The UK's culture is rich and varied, with its own distinct traditions, customs, and values. Although you may experience a few culture shocks just as I did, you’ll eventually get used to it.
Eventually, I have come to appreciate many aspects of British culture and their way of living, which may vary from person to person. But one thing you must keep in mind is that being an international student in the UK can be expensive, and it entirely depends on how we handle our expenses.
Approaches to adapt to UK’s education system
Firstly, if you want to study in the United Kingdom, learn “Academic Writing”. Get your head around references and citations and learn how to incorporate them in an essay. It will be difficult at the beginning but the more you write the better you will get at it.
You’ve got into the university but what about socialising skills, you might ask? Start with connecting with students at your current university through LinkedIn and have a conversation with them later. The more you communicate, the better you will understand about the country and opportunities it has to offer. Your contacts should not be limited to people at your university; reach out to different people from other universities as well.
Lastly, be absolutely certain about your course and its structure before enrolling in it. You don't want to find yourself in a situation where you are not attending lectures because the course is not enjoyable.
My journey so far
Despite the challenges, studying abroad has been incredibly rewarding for my personal development and self-discovery. I’ve made friends from around the world, had unforgettable experiences, and acquired priceless knowledge and skills that will help me in the future.
On the question of finding good Indian food in the UK, the answer is “Yes” - students can find good Indian food in the UK. The British fascination with Indian food has led to the advent of multiple curry houses and Indian restaurants in every corner of the country.
The author is an Advanced Marketing student at Lancaster University, UK
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