Błażej, from Jelenia Góra in Poland, came to Preston in September 2019 with his girlfriend after they both decided to study at UCLan. Although he spends his summers with his father in Devon, Błażej has adapted well to life in Preston and is enjoying balancing his Web Design and Development course with meeting new friends from around the world and socialising.
When I first arrived at UCLan I was surprised how many buildings there are and how big it is! Everybody was so helpful in the library at The <i> and they helped me with everything. I chose to study at UCLan because my girlfriend and I wanted to go to the same university and UCLan was one of only three in the UK that offered the courses that we both wanted to study – Web Design and Development for me and Japanese for International Business for her.
On my course we do many practical things and the assignments can be included in our own personal portfolio for future job applications, which is great! I find writing the reports and essays quite challenging, but that’s mainly because I prefer the practical (computer) side of the course.
My Tutors and Professors are always ready to help and offer their support all of the time. They treat international students just like UK students, but if we make a slight mistake with the English language, they give us some freedom and respect that we are bilingual. Often the Professors will look at our work with us, so they can provide us with feedback and direction, before we finally submit it – this is especially helpful.
Before studying at UCLan I went to a high school in Poland with a specific IT focus, alongside studying other subjects. At home there is more emphasis on exams and classes can be 40 hours per week; whereas here in the UK I have more practical assignments involving websites and coding with less exams. I much prefer the style in the UK and I only have classes for 12 hours per week, which means I have time for self-study which I like to do in the UCLan library where there are no distractions.
In my spare time away from studying, I like to use the free university gym for fitness and I play futsal there too. I go out with my friends either to their houses or to pubs like Ships and Giggles. Where I live is near Preston Train Station which is only 10 minutes’ walk from the University and close to Aldi where I buy my food! There are two Polish shops too, where I like to buy Polish sweets to get a taste of home.
Preston is a nice city; it is not big but that’s good because everything is close and it’s convenient. It is worth coming here because you get the chance to meet people from all over the world, improve your English and it’s a very good experience to study abroad. The weather here is almost similar to back home in Jelenia Góra, which is not bad but I expected it, so it wasn’t a surprise. You will find it easy to make friends at UCLan, it’s not a problem at all – just go to any activity or join any society because that’s the easiest way.
Błażej came to the University of Central Lancashire with the help of Global Education. He said: “They helped me a lot to find a university, to complete the UCAS application and the personal statement. Without them it would be very hard because in Poland it is not common to do anything like this.”