City is a very welcoming and a diverse institution. People are open-minded and respectful, and I felt like I could be my true self.
Tell us about the decision to leave your home behind and study in London.
Before I came to City, I was working in Brazil and I felt I needed a career change. I could easily have done a postgraduate course or a master’s degree in my own country but living abroad and studying at an internationally renowned institution is much more flattering on my résumé and will provide me with great life experiences. Living abroad is an experience that makes you grow up and see the world from a whole new perspective. London is a global and cosmopolitan city and I couldn’t have chosen better.
Why did you decide to apply to City, University of London?
City is very central so it allows me to study and also enjoy the city to the fullest. Also, during the research process, I was in touch with the International Student Advice team at City (among other staff members) who were exceptional, kind and attentive. My interactions with them was very important to determine the sort of environment I would be study at.
What was the most challenging aspect of moving away?
Coming to live in London was full of firsts: my first time living abroad, first time living alone and first time studying in another language. The most challenging part at the beginning was prioritising lectures while setting myself up in my new home, cooking in the evenings, finding the time to phone my parents and boyfriend. Until you juggle all these activities successfully it’s very tiring, but as time passes by you start to really enjoy your new life.
What were your first impressions of London?
London is a city that has a bit of everything that everyone can enjoy. There is every kind of cuisine available, amazing places to visit within walking distance, a vibrant night life, from visiting pubs with my circle of friends to dancing away at Shoreditch’s trendy nightclubs. My favourite thing is the coffee shops – there is one on every corner and I always study in a different one.
How did you adapt to a new city and culture?
Adapting to London life was easy, there is so much diversity I felt like I belonged straight away. It’s such a cosmopolitan city with so many different cultures and people that I felt a little intimidated at the beginning but as I started to attend University events, I got to know people who eventually became my friends – this was crucial to help me adapt.
What has been your student experience at City so far?
It has been challenging and fun at the same time. Exams and coursework were tough but during the break period I found time to relax and travel. I have met some amazing people who have supported me along my journey and I’m sure will remain friends for a long time.
What has been your favourite thing about studying at City?
City is a very welcoming diverse institution where people are open-minded and respectful and when I like that I can be my true self. The Mental Health and Learning Success support team has helped me throughout my course and all the way through my dissertation process – being accepted and supported is my favourite thing about City.
What do you do when you’re not studying?
I like to meet friends at pubs or bars, or visit one of London’s game bars to play board games – that’s always fun. The parks during summer are gorgeous and I very much enjoy having an ice-cream or biking while I visit.
What opportunities and experiences City has offered you at the wider university?
I am part of the Professional Mentoring Scheme and my mentor, who works for Capital Enterprise, has helped me improve with regards to job hunting, preparing for interviews and networking. I am much more confident when looking for jobs in the Fintech industry and I have a much better understanding of my own requirements when looking for jobs.
What would you say to other students out there who are thinking of leaving their home to study in London?
I could not have been happier choosing City and London for my studies. At the beginning it’s going to be challenging but challenges are what make us grow and this is what studying abroad is all about – growing yourself personally and professionally.
Date of interview: