by Alexandra Piha
Regional Manager Europe
De Montfort University
Oslovili sme zástupcov našich partnerských škol Scandinavian study, aby pre študentov napísali pár viet, ktoré by vám dodali odvahu do vašeho rozhodnutia študovať v zahraničí. Snáď sa to podarilo 🙂
I can still remember my very first flight, 10 years ago, as if it was yesterday. June 2009, destination: The United States of America. Despite the normal fear of the unknown, I enjoyed every second of it. I had been a very well performing student in Romania, studying two majors at the same time, in two different universities in my home city, Bucharest: International Business and Law. But I was hungry for international experiences.
To be able to get to the USA, I had to apply to the Work & Travel program for students, which required some financial efforts. These have paid off though. It was an experience that made me understand how interacting with people from all over the world is helping me grow and become a well-rounded individual. I learned many things and I felt the first step toward independence.
The next summer, I wanted to continue this road and I decided to enroll in a summer program in Canada: International Business English, also completely independent of my universities who lacked the diversity of international extra-curricular programs. One month full of amazing people, spectacular places and intriguing cultures to discover! It became crystal clear to me that I had to take this further and have the full experience of a student abroad, in a system which will give me a competitive advantage and will open the gates of the world for me: the UK education system.
As the admission system was quite different, I used the valuable help of educational consultants in my country to choose the right program and university for me. I became a master’s student in the UK studying International Management MSc at King’s College London. It was unbelievable how different the system was from my country – the communication with my lecturers, the way the online platforms we had helped us learn throughout the year (not in the last minute before the exams), the career workshops and career guidance and the wonderful network of colleagues and friends that I’ll keep for life. I remember how after the first exams (4 exams in 4 consecutive days),
I felt so good that I had been so well prepared by this amazing education system. After an intense semester and exams, we’d go and have a cocktail with our tutor. Such a balance between thorough education, respect, fun, networking and becoming a well-rounded individual sensible to other cultures – which is invaluable in today’s globalized world!
Here I am a couple of years later, working within the education management industry. I felt it is only right to keep spreading the word to other students around Europe that studying abroad can be the best way to achieve their dreams too. I started working for De Montfort University in Leicester and even though I thought I knew everything about the educational system in the UK, this university has managed to surprise me in so many good ways since day one. They have this unique program, #DMUglobal that students can benefit from in many ways – for example, going on academic-led trip on their specific subject and visit companies or do live projects around the world from New York to Hong Kong. I’ve been talking to students who can’t believe what tablets and new technologies they use and how practical is everything. Let alone the modern environment and the wonderful facilities, all in a multi-cultural city with affordable rent and the chance to enroll in hundreds of student societies and activities!
So, my advice for you, reader, is go out there, follow your passion fiercely and find what is right for YOU! A bigger city or a smaller one, a Russell group university or one that welcomes students from different levels and brings added value so they can reach their full potential, and the list can go on. However, one thing is certain. Studying abroad and especially in a system such as the UK means being connected to the real, international world, with endless opportunities.
You will thank yourself for building such a strong foundation towards a successful career and a happy life!