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I am learning as much about myself as I am about architecture

Away from his Egyptian home, Youssef has flourished academically, personally and socially here at the University of Central Lancashire. In his third year studying Architecture, he says his course will directly help his career and peer standards mean he’s motivated to do well. Friendly tutors helped Youssef with personal issues that were impacting on his studies. Here’s Youssef’s story.

Youssef Kaldasis BSc (Hons) in Architecture student
Youssef Kaldasis BSc (Hons) in Architecture student

Away from home, Youssef’s had the support of caring tutors to face challenges, he’s pushed himself to do well and he’s now reaping the rewards.

"I chose to study here because the cost of living is a lot lower than other bigger city universities and I was attracted to Preston. It’s well connected, its very student focused, with highly visible University of Central Lancashire branding, and it’s easy for me to visit friends in Manchester.

“On my BSc (hons) Architecture, there are no unnecessary modules, it will all benefit my working career. It’s been rewarding and a highlight to deal with different types of projects, but the biggest challenge has been catching up with my peers. I’ve pushed myself to match the level of some of the students at the top of the class. When I look back and see how far I’ve come, I know there’ll be a happy ending.

“I’ve met different tutors with different styles, but the one thing they all have in common is how understanding and thoughtful they are. It’s not what I expected. I’ve had a few academic and personal problems and my tutors have always been supportive. When I had a personal problem back home, I was stressed and I couldn’t focus. My tutor realised I wasn’t myself and he helped me with one-on-one sessions. He gave his time, organised meetings for me and pushed me; without his help I wouldn’t have been able to submit my work.

"We have a field trip every year. Last year it was Copenhagen and this year it’s the Netherlands. It’s an opportunity to enjoy, learn, engage with tutors and see some of the world’s best architecture."

“There’s also a placement for every student in their final year. I spent three months with a Lancaster firm which will help my CV. Other benefits include the Careers Department and the sports centre where I spend a lot of time in the gym or playing badminton.

“I live on campus in Whitendale Hall. It’s near the library, it’s a great place to meet other students and there are events at Christmas and Halloween, as well as pizza nights. It’s so easy to make friends here. I have made lots of memories here.

“If you are thinking of enrolling, do. It’s an amazing experience. It’s developed me as a person and the friends and connections I’ve made, I will always remember.”