Bhakti’s relationship with Preston began on vacation in 2011 when she was visiting family in the area. After being impressed with the size of the campus she told herself that UCLan was where she wanted to study one day. Fast-forward 8 years and she is currently completing a Master’s degree at UCLan after already gaining a Foundation and Bachelor’s qualification in Preston.
I started my education in the UK with ONCAMPUS North based here at the University of Central Lancashire. Not only did this course prepare me for my studies at UCLan but it also allowed me to meet many students from all over the world. We were all new to the UK, so we helped each other to settle.
When the time came to begin studying at UCLan I found some of the student services very useful, such as The <i>. Where the staff have recently helped me gather the correct documents for my parents’ visa so they can attend my graduation!
I also spend a lot of time in the library doing my assignments. Sometimes I leave the library late at night, but it’s very safe here and there is a free university shuttle to take you home after midnight.
I have found it really easy to make friends here, obviously the foundation course with ONCAMPUS helped because we were all international students and had nobody else. However, during my undergraduate course I was the only Indian studying Web Design and Development and my classmates were very helpful and friendly. During my spare time in Preston I volunteer at a nearby temple, a 10 minute walk from the university, which has also helped me to meet new people.
In India the education system is a lot more focussed on exams, but here there are more assignments which I prefer because it means you can be creative. Adapting to this different style was easy because my tutors are really helpful whenever I’m stuck; you can email at any time and the replies are always quick. When I first arrived I was so confused by all the different buildings, but people are always ready to help and staff even offered guidance on personal matters, like finances.
Due to the nature of my courses I have had to learn many programming languages, which has been enjoyable. My course is solely assessed by assignments, with no exams, so completing some of the bigger 6,000 word ones has been challenging! But it is rewarding when you finally hand them in.
When you first come to Preston be aware that the weather is not what you’re used to! When I visited Preston in 2011 it was “summer” but not as I know it! Summer at home is 40 degrees, but I do enjoy it here now. The great thing about Preston is that you can get anything from so many different cultures – my favourite Indian restaurant is on Fylde Road near the university and it is nice to have that feeling of home. Whilst in the UK it is good to see other places and that’s easy to do from Preston, I have visited: London, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and Blackpool!
My advice to future university students is come to UCLan if you want to see progress - academic and personal. I have seen so much progress in myself across the 5 years I have been here. It really is perfect in every way.
05 June 2019