Law student Machi Taifour tells us about her experience of studying and living in Preston
Law – LLB (Hons)
Machi joined UCLan in 2016 at our campus in her native Cyprus to study Law. After living in Cyprus her whole life and studying for two enjoyable years at UCLan Cyprus she chose to do her study abroad year in Preston and loved it so much that she has transferred to complete her studies at the University’s Main Campus to experience more of life in the UK. Having benefitted from studying at two different UCLan campuses, Machi is well positioned to tell you all about life at our University.
"My experience at UCLan has been so varied, from beginning my studies at the Cyprus Campus to coming to Preston on my study abroad year and deciding to stay. I have also managed to complete a 4-week placement as part of my course at a law firm in Cyprus and have experience in the University’s on-campus moot court too. Unfortunately, I missed the Law School trip to Mauritius that was available to me through my course. The 4-week work placement was so enjoyable because it allowed me to put my studies into practice, see the other side of law (not just the theory) and experience what life will be like after I graduate.
"It can be challenging to balance university work with socialising, whilst also holding a job as a student ambassador, but the academic staff here at UCLan are so supportive. I honestly don’t feel like they are my tutors and professors – they’re so friendly and you can talk to them about anything, not just uni.
To be honest, I chose UCLan because living in Cyprus it was convenient for me and I will graduate with two degrees – one from UCLan Cyprus and a UK one also. When I first came to Preston I was really surprised by the facilities and the campus is massive! I recently took a tour of the new EIC (Engineering Innovation Centre) and I couldn’t believe how impressive the facilities are, it is so enticing for students. I saw the Formula 1 car and the Redbird flight simulator machine – it’s amazing that there’s only two of these in the country and one is at my university!
I have become a Student Ambassador since coming to Preston and it’s such a rewarding job for me. I get the opportunity to influence students to study at university and I can talk to and meet new people all the time. It’s great for networking! I utilise the student services available to us, such as The <i>, CareerEdge, the free gym/ sports centre and the medical centre (the fact this is here on campus is very useful for students!).
At first I lived in UCLan accommodation, but I have moved to a studio apartment now where I can benefit from a bit more privacy as I concentrate on a critical point in my Law studies. The University accommodation is very good though and inexpensive – it was refurbished recently too. Preston is a small city but has so much to offer! The campus is nearby and only a 10-minute walk from the city centre and the shops (there are shops and supermarkets on campus too).
Living in Preston is great and if you do want the bigger city experience then you can get the train to Manchester in 30 minutes and it only costs less than £10. I have friends living in Manchester and the rent here in Preston is a third of theirs! I love walking around Avenham Park, it’s my favourite thing to do because we have nothing like this back home in Cyprus. It is so green and tranquil – I can walk aimlessly for hours around here. Transport is so easy if you want to explore, you can jump on the train to anywhere. I have visited Blackpool, Liverpool, Manchester, London and more.
I always feel safe here and have never had a single issue or felt in danger in any way. There’s 24/7 university security and just knowing that they are there is a bonus. The weather in the UK is definitely different to what I’m familiar with back home, but if I am being honest, I thought it would be worse than it actually is! Everyone is really friendly at UCLan (students and staff) and I have never felt unwelcome. There are over 150 different societies, so there’s always something going on – I am a member of the MUN (Model United Nations), the Law Society and the Debating Society.
My advice to you would be – just do it! Go for it! I was nervous coming here and I made my decision only one week before arriving, but it’s the best impulse decision I have ever made."