What does it mean for an Italian to kick off a new student experience in the UK?

Ciao a tutti e buon San Valentino! 😊

Today’s I would like to cover a topic I think many of you might be interested in, i.e., what it means for an Italian student to embark on a University journey in the UK.

First of all, let me say that studying in the UK is way different from Italy. I pursued my undergraduate degree in Milan, and I must say the two University experiences do not have a lot in common.

Back in Milan, I used to commute to Uni, which means I didn’t have the chance to live university life to the fullest. Indeed, I usually attended lectures and then headed back home straight afterward. On the other hand, here in the UK, I live in the accommodation provided by the University, which means I am 15 minutes away from the main campus where I attend most of my lectures. The main advantage of living on campus is the possibility of taking part in many extra-curricular experiences the university offers. These include clubs and societies, which are very diverse in nature. I’d say Surrey offers a club for each and every student. Also, if you don’t find a society that meets your interests, you are more than welcome to found one! How great is that? Furthermore, Surrey believes in the importance of conducting a healthy lifestyle, one which combines studying with physical and mental well-being. Therefore, you have a wide range of sports clubs you could join, from football (good news for us Italians, so that we won’t miss home!), to rugby and baseball. Surrey Sports Park, the University’s sports centre, is a modern and well-equipped facility, where most of the training takes place.

The Surrey Sports Park.

University life plays a significant role in the broader higher education experience here in the UK. Indeed, from the moment you start your experience, you are urged to engage in as many activities as possible. Besides joining clubs and societies, one could embark on volunteering opportunities or become a student ambassador. Being a student ambassador means you feel Surrey truly can be a life-changing experience and want other people to know how great it is to study here. That’s why I applied for the role, and I am now writing this blog for you guys! Moreover, everyone could run for a position as course rep, which in Italy would be the so-called “rappresentante di corso.” Taking on this role is a much-suggested experience since it would enrich your CV, providing you with transferable skills such as persuasion and leadership.

A beautiful winter sunset on campus.

Lastly, moving abroad is the best chance to grow professionally and personally. The UK is a country full of opportunities, multi-ethnic, and plays a pivotal role in the world’s economy and political environments. Therefore, pursuing a degree in such a stimulating scenario will give you the motivation to work hard and achieve your career and personal goals.

I hope you are enjoying your path towards University life. Invest time in understanding what you really want to achieve in your future and the country you want to build up your professional skills. It will be a time-consuming but also an exciting and rewarding experience.

All the best to you all,

Jack 😊