Life as an International Student
The experiences of an International Student who made Canterbury Christ Church her home:
For many, regardless of gender, age or nationality, starting University means moving to a brand new stage in life. However, doing it abroad is an even greater challenge to one’s self-confidence and beliefs. Surprisingly though, looking back in time, for me it was exactly this that made my time as a fresher even sweeter.
Although coming to CCCU straight in year 3 after transferring from my previous University in Bulgaria, as a fresher, I went through the same uncertainties as my international friends in year 1. And maybe even greater, as moving here meant not only adapting to the new academic standards, but also meeting the already set high expectations for students in the most requiring year at Uni. So, going to University in a foreign country from its very beginning is not that bad after all as it gives you an equal start with the others.
Thankfully, CCCU do take good care of their 1st year students. The Freshers’ week is all dedicated to those coming to Uni, regardless of their nationality and including a series from introductory support sessions to group nights out around the most sociable locations of Canterbury – the Pubs. Unfortunately, at that time, I personally was feeling too distressed from being away from home. For everyone, moving abroad means leaving far behind the most reliable sources of stability – family and friends! Doubts arise and the most dreadful question starts messing with your confidence – are your dreams and ambitions worth your time away from your dearest? Space and time gain other dimensions and you realise how fragile everything is. Including you! Just like a tourist, when everything around is foreign, you get above all vanity and learn to prioritise. However, isn’t it then that you feel most alive? Every new food that you try, every new person that you meet somehow make you live every single second up. And you start enjoying the journey. It becomes tempting to go this way alone, stuck in between the new reality and your previous life, but that is definitely the worse thing to do since it is those precious first days when everyone share their “first steps” in life at Uni and make their first, and strongest, bonds. As it is not only the fun, but also the shared difficulties what brings people truly together. Fortunately, CCCU provides plenty of tempting opportunities to meet new people (from the festive Freshers’ week, the events at the Students’ Union and its society and sports clubs to the Christian’s Union) and academic support by the brilliant Students’ support team.
So, to all international freshers at CCCU, including my sister, I would say – have faith in yourself and the place where you are at right now! Being a foreigner is not a disadvantage, but rather a challenge to prove your qualities and confidence.
So make most of your time here by simply enjoying and sharing it!
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