Studying in the UK as an international student

29 May 2019 | Advice for International Students | Guest Author

My name is Titus Kuhora, from Nairobi, Kenya. I am currently in my third year studying BA Business Management at the University of Sheffield.

Why I love my course

My day typically starts with 9am lectures at the Management School. The practical nature of the course has been amazing as the programme has not only given me greater theoretical knowledge, but I have developed other skills too. A good example is a second-year module where I had to make a social responsibility marketing video with a small group of students, giving me the opportunity to improve my technical skills, learn how to use studio technologies and also gain teamwork experience.

Food

In-between lectures, I either walk to the city centre and have lunch with my friends, or eat at home. The amazing thing about UK universities is that they are often situated within the heart of the city. This makes it easy not only to eat out, but also to walk back quickly and cook something at home.

Sheffield is a diverse city. Restaurants range from Portuguese eateries to Lebanese and Chinese and there is a wide range of restaurants to choose from. Most of the restaurants are in close proximity from the University and are also pocket friendly – especially with the extra incentive of student discounts that are available in the UK. If you like street food markets, then Peddler Market in Kelham Island is the place to go, while for fine dining cuisine, OISOI is the best. All the major food brands such as KFC and Mcdonald’s are also wide-spread, so it’s very student-friendly.

If you’re pulling a late-one in the library but don’t want to walk to the nearest fast food outlet, restaurants in the libraries and the Students’ Unions sell food at a reasonable price, while aiming to be environmentally sustainable with their packaging.

Eating at home is often a healthier choice for the student bank balance though. Personally, on average, I spend £35-40 on grocery shopping per week. This includes filling my fridge to the brim and having surplus breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s a shame my cooking is not too good though!

The Students Union

With the Students’ Union at Sheffield being home to over 300 societies, there is always something going on and I’ve been involved in lots of activities during my time here in the UK.

The Students’ Union runs ‘Give it a go’ schemes through which I’ve learnt a new language and participated in sports such as glow in the dark badminton. Learning Spanish through the scheme via an 8-week course has been a valuable attribute, which has also helped in my job

applications. Furthermore, I have been able to meet students from all around the world. The global café in the Students’ Union every Thursday has also been a great way to connect with fellow international students over a cup of coffee!

Additionally, I have been able to continue activities from my high school. Being a running enthusiast since kindergarten, I joined the University’s athletics team, which has enabled me to compete at a higher level. Having access to indoor and outdoor tracks used by the best athletes in the world like Sheffield alumna Jessica Ennis-Hill, is an amazing opportunity to have.

Super Sheffield!

Over the weekend, the city is a buzz! Whether it’s taking a stroll with your friends or going for social events, the city has an amazing atmosphere. The people here are friendly and amazing, not just at the University, but across the whole city.

Coming from Kenya on my own, my parents wanted me to be more independent. I thought that settling in would take months, if not years but that hasn’t been the case at all. I remember on my first night, I decided to take a walk around the University but after five minutes, I got lost. Without mobile data or WiFi I was really stuck, but strangers literally got their phones out and walked me to my destination. That’s when I knew I’d made the right choice.

Settling in after coming to study in the UK from another country is not easy, so the environment you choose is very important. For me, what’s helped is the fact Sheffield has a real feeling of community both around the campus and city, which is hard to explain but has made it feel like home. Despite being in my third year, I still feel the excitement of a new day of university because of this.

 

This article was written by Titus Kuhora from Nairobi, Kenya. He is in his third year studying BA Business Management at the University of Sheffield.

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