“City has opened up new opportunities and introduced me to people with industry knowledge.”
In the end, picking the right university for me was an easy choice.
The first thing I looked at was the rankings, because if you’re going abroad to study, it should probably be at a good university. I wanted to go to a smaller university, where I could enjoy the social side of London. I also needed a place that was well known to employers back in Pakistan.
Of course, I was looking for a particular degree. My aim is to go back to Pakistan eventually and open up a hospital. I want to get to the point where I could affiliate it with a university or college and make it into a teaching hospital. I talked to a careers counsellor about this, and she recommended that I study health management.
City met all of my requirements. Studying at City helps me to learn more about healthcare facilities and the problems that healthcare professionals face.
I was a little concerned about whether I’d settle in quickly. The degree is only for one year, so if you take four to five months to settle in, you can fall behind. Plus, it was my first time in London. But on my first day, I met someone who was doing the same degree as me, and I knew a lot of people by the end of the first week.
The support I got from City in the first two weeks was amazing. The Students’ Union was really interactive and they’re always working on things that actually benefit the students. They organised all sorts of functions and entertainment for us, and I met both bachelor’s and master’s students through events. I’d say that one of the most important things you can do is to interact with as many different people as you can. Talk to random people. If you introduce yourself to at least five new people a day, it can really help build your confidence.
When I arrived, I joined every sports club I could. Basketball. Football. Rugby. Mountain climbing. I love sports. And I love to travel too. I wanted to see as much as I could, and I’ve been all over the UK and to some places in Europe too.
One challenging thing was finding accommodation in London. My friends helped me a lot, but it can be difficult and there’s a lot of competition. If anyone asked, I would advise that they find a place to live before they arrive in the UK.
As soon as I got my visa, they said I could work 20 hours per week. I looked for something specific to my course and went to job fairs to find internships and placements. I have also been able to go to different hospitals and companies as part of my degree. We also have guest lecturers in, who can put you in touch with people you can work with in future.
I’m making a lot of contacts, and meeting people who can help me achieve my goals. I’m also opening my mind to new entrepreneurial ideas. The campus I have classes in is below City Launch Lab, where they help you work on an idea and find funding and investors. I’ve been to lectures with entrepreneurs who have made a business out of an idea, and that’s really inspired me.
I’m still planning to work back home after the course, and City has opened up new opportunities and introduced me to people with knowledge and advice. I’ve learned to get out there and meet people, to always follow up and to say yes to everything. If you do all that, you’ll end up somewhere good.
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