Hi there! I’m Edeline, a Biomedical Science final year, also hailing from Dubai, UAE. I’ve been at Surrey since 2014 which means I have a lot of insight to share with you (or so one should hope!).
Let’s talk about how I got here:
I looked at rankings, forums, pros and cons, pictures, virtual tours of accommodation, looked at student satisfaction surveys, and finally, applied through UCAS just like everyone of you will be doing (or have done already) at around about this time of the year. What I, and may other international students like me, didn’t get to do however is visit the universities and their open days. There was no touring of campuses and ‘feeling the vibes’ of the place that was going to my second home for the next 4 years of my life. This made the decision infinitely harder and the process increasingly more confusing. Research on the internet comes with its caveats and drawbacks; you get a host of unfair reports and wild stories or grossly exaggerated recommendations and reviews, and so you see, it is a tad bit inconvenient. That being said, it’s totally worth it.
You expect, nay, demand a quality education at university, it is after all what they exist for, however through the years what most don’t account for is the personal education you get. The non-academic side of it is equally, if not an even more important result of taking on this challenge. Learning to be an adult, to make new friends, to know when to allow others to make their own mistakes, and when to intervene, to manage your time and make your own mistakes, to notice the small moments between the chaos of deadlines and panic that may surprise and define you, to know who to cut out of your life and who is important to your happines. It is what forges the person that we ultimately come out on the other side as. It happens gradually. You won’t notice it, until you do.
I’ve made new friends, travelled to new places and went on an international placement to Texas, USA. Over the next few months, I will post about day to day challenges, as well as the larger aspects of doing my degree at the University of Surrey. I hope you remember some of these things so, if not follow my advice, maybe you can learn from my choices.