An Insight into Studying in the UK as an International Student
Many young people around the world want to study at a university abroad to further their education and improve their career prospects. But how easy is it? And what’s it like to move thousands of miles from your country to study in the UK? We spoke to Abena, a former NCUK student now at university in Keele, England studying for a BA (Hons in Social Work. She told us about her time with NCUK and her experience in studying abroad.
Abena, why did you decide on the NCUK International Foundation Year?
I always wanted to study my tertiary education outside my country (Ghana) and of the options that were available, NCUK seemed to be the best and easiest way to get what I wanted.
You took your International Foundation Year at Accra International Study Centre. What was that like and what support did you get?
My time at Accra was a fun learning experience because I came with WASSCE knowledge and a theoretical way of studying and learning, but with NCUK I found a new way of learning. The staff were so helpful with my studies and care. NCUK has been a huge help, especially in properly creating and presenting PowerPoint slides, as well as with my academic writing for essays.
I also had a series of interviews to prepare for my selected degree course, which I had never done before. The people at Accra International Study Centre guided me throughout the entire process; the lectures were also really useful and the teachers were always friendly and ready to help.
While you were in Ghana, you looked at several universities but Keele University was your top choice. What made you choose there?
I liked the structure of the social work course and I love sports and nature. I saw that Keele had a beautiful large campus surrounded by countryside and hosted a variety of sports I could engage in. I also discovered that graduates had a high job acceptance rate which influenced my decision.
What’s the Experience been Like Since Starting at Keele?
At first, I had a hard time adjusting to everything because I did come in late but my lecturers were really helpful in guiding me. Talking to the undergraduate recruitment officer was very reassuring as I was able to just talk openly and get everything I was feeling out there so he could help me. Making friends has been tough, but by joining sports teams I’ve been able to meet more people and now feel a real sense of belonging!
Tell us about your plans after university
I’m aiming to get a job in social work for a couple of years and obviously get a driver’s license and then probably further my education in the area of psychology, especially with children. I’m still deciding on exactly what I’ll do after my degree.
What are your favourite things about living in Keele?
I think being in a small town, especially as an international student, helps you feel really comfortable exploring the area and the other towns and cities around it. It makes you feel very peaceful. The shops are not too far away from each other, and just a short bus ride and the train station isn’t busy so it’s easy to get to other cities.
(pictured left: Newcastle-under-Lyme, a nearby market town which is a 30-minute bus journey away)
What advice would you give current NCUK students who want to study abroad?
The coursework might seem a bit time-consuming but, in the end, it’s worth it to reach the next step – which for me was to study in a different country. Be patient, take everything seriously and be focused on your goal to study abroad – and most of all, have fun!
Finally, how would you sum up your experience with NCUK?
Unforgettable! It’s a real family experience, and you get all the support you need.
Want to find out more? Speak to our Ambassadors
If you’re interested in a study abroad program, it’s easy to find out what it’s like just by talking to our Student Ambassadors. They’ve already completed their NCUK journey and are now studying at world-ranked Universities abroad. To speak to them directly, simply click here.