Family ties attracted Iyalla from Port Harcourt in Nigeria to the University of Central Lancashire, with both his brother and sister studying at UCLan in the past, he says the decision to come to Preston was easy. Initially embarking on a Masters in Cancer Biology and Therapy, Iyalla has now opted to study MSc Project Management and says that life at UCLan has “been amazing”.
It was my first time in the UK when I initially came to study at UCLan and for an African everything is so different, but amazing. It’s like heaven to me, better in every way. I have access to all the things I don’t have in Nigeria, like the library, the gym and other facilities – what more could you want?
I use the free student gym at the Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre every day, but the most important thing for me is the library. It literally has everything that you need and there is not one material missing whether it’s online or a physical book, it’s there.
Here the classes are more practical, which I prefer, and you get the opportunity to express yourself through essays or practicals. At home it’s more theoretical with only exams – it’s just pen and paper! I do have to complete a lot of coursework on my Project Management course and the deadlines can be challenging, but I do still prefer this style of assessment. I’ve also benefitted from some field trips on the course; we went to the Lake District for experiential learning and this was really enjoyable. The tutors are very supportive too and you get feedback all the time which helps because at home in Nigeria when you’re studying you sometimes feel like you’re on your own.
UCLan is always improving and they are very particular about progressing the University. I’d advise you to come here because it is always evolving. I have friends in London, Coventry and Manchester and when I visit it is not as friendly as Preston. Some say small towns are boring but it’s so student friendly here and I couldn’t see myself studying in these bigger, more expensive cities – they’re too rowdy!
UCLan is great when it comes to studying, but I have also enjoyed times away from my studies when I’ve played football at the Sports Arena or attended Afrobeat parties. I’ve managed to find a nice African supermarket called JB Supplies where I can find a taste of home! The one thing that isn’t like at home is the weather, recently I saw online that there were records temperatures at home in Port Harcourt and I looked at my computer and just thought ‘I want some of that!’. Although I am used to it now.
11 June 2019