Posts Tagged ‘international student’

UCAS Adjustment – Changing your plans at the last minute

I had an offer to study at another university, but after doing better than I expected in my exams, I changed my mind and decided to join QMUL through Adjustment.


Choosing to study at Queen Mary

I had in mind that I wanted to follow a medicine-related career. Queen Mary University of London has a very good reputation in this field, ranking 2nd in the UK for medicine, so I knew that studying at this university would best prepare me for my future career. The Mile End campus, where the majority of teaching takes place, has great facilities, is very beautiful and green, and is located alongside the Regent’s Canal and the Mile End Park. Also, QMUL is located in central London, which makes it very convenient to explore London.


The Adjustment process

I found out about Adjustment through my Diploma coordinator back in Greece after I received my IB results in July, which exceeded my offer’s requirements. I feel fortunate and thankful that my school was so helpful and did everything humanly possible to support my Adjustment application. After discussing my options, I researched various universities on UCAS and on their websites. After selecting a couple of universities, I started contacting them via phone or email. QMUL was the first university to offer me a place on their Biomedical Sciences course. After getting a provisional acceptance, I had to wait until A-level results day (mid August) to apply via UCAS Adjustment. It took only a few days to receive my QMUL final acceptance.


Changing plans at the last minute

Changing plans at the last minute is never easy and always stressful. Take a step back so that you can clearly see your options and the benefits and drawbacks that come with each. It is very important to use every single available resource (eg teachers, university counsellors, university websites, etc). Trust your gut feeling, believe that you are on the right track and everything will be alright!


Moving to a different country

Moving to London from Greece was a huge step in my life. The first months were a culture shock, but eventually I became part of London. Making friends was initially one of my biggest concerns, but when I came to London, and especially to QMUL, I realised how easy it was to find great friends from all around the world.


Living in London

The best thing about living in London is that you can never get bored. There are so many things to do and so many places to explore that make London a very unique place to live. After living in London for nine months, I can honestly say that I have seen only a small part of London’s beauty and culture. It feels like I’m living the dream, but it has not fully sunken in yet.


Making the most of student life

London is full of extra-curricular opportunities for students. I am a volunteer with St. John Ambulance, something that I discovered through QMUL’s LINKS society. I am currently planning to undertake a summer placement in one of London’s biggest hospitals. Being a competitive swimmer for many years before coming to QMUL, I now also enjoy staying fit and going to the gym regularly.


The best thing about studying at QMUL

The best thing about studying at QMUL has been the people I have met and the friendships I have developed which made the whole journey enjoyable and exciting.



First time visiting QMUL (29th July 2016)



Last lecture of 2016 (16th December 2016)

More and more volunteering!!!!

So, who went to the QM International Week?
If you missed it, you missed all the fooooooooddddd and the performanceeeee! And a chance to win £200 voucher! xD

I was there from start to end and I can tell you, it was brilliant! A must-go next year if you don’t know what I’m talking about! 🙂
It was also my opportunity to have a mini reunion with some (not all) crew members from Fresher Week last year. We “flew” to Sydney and back to “Paris” during the event! Here’s my proof.

The crew and the organisers

The crew and the organisers

It’s currently on my wall now!

Anyways, this week is the last of the 1st half of the 2nd semester 😛

We celebrated our Lunar New Year (or CNY some people say) this week as well. I had some friends over and we were preparing the food since like 8am on wednesday, since 5pm was midnight in our home country! I don’t think I will inset any demonstration now ’cause I’m actually quite hungry…

Thinking about celebrating New Year, it has now my 4th year doing it away from home. Everyone I talked to so far usually asked me if I missed home ever. I guess from time to time I do get a little blue but not that homesick. Once in a while, I do think of my grandma, and my cat, and all the street food that I can’t replicate no matter how hard I try 🙂 But it’s a good thing that my parents call me/video call me so often as well as taking turn to pay me a visit. Perhaps I should thank technology achievement? x)
Here’s a picture of my cat 🙂 He’s 11 years old now (time flies too fast!) but only like 4 months ago that I finally know his breed!

Nia's cat - Smooth

Nia’s cat – Smooth

I swear, you can never fine a more obedient cat that will stay that still for dress up! :3
Can you guess the breed? I didnt even think there’s a name since he looks like British short hair but all white… I would say he’s a white cat… but honestly, his breed is rare! Khao manee. Look it up, search to buy one, you would be surprise I got my Smooth for free!

Anyways, enough cat fever!
This week I also submitted my nomination form to run for the Mile End Volunteering Officer!
Ahead will be a long but fun route. My campaign gonna start soon! Wait for it! 🙂

Studying in the UK as a Colombian student

De Pais en Pais (from country to country) is an annual conference hosted by the Universidad de Antioquia. Each year they invite a single or group of countries and put together a series of talks open to both students and academics, but very importantly, the community at large.

This year the guest nation was Great Britain. In 2014, I had the privilege of attending the conference on behalf of Queen Mary University of London, where I presented on the subject of what it’s like to study in the UK as an international Colombian student.

This is important because of the growing links between the two countries: there is more funding available for academics to carry out joint research projects and more funding for Colombian students to carry out postgraduate studies abroad and study English.

But, how does this affect students at QMUL?

The movement of academics and students adds to our education and builds on our global perspective. But what has struck me, and something that I suspect many students don’t know, is the eagerness of Colombians to welcome British students, researchers and teachers to become a part of their already growing academic culture.

Whilst I was talking to an audience of Colombian students about my experience of studying in the UK as a Colombian student I realised that what made my experience extraordinary was the chance to interact with different cultures and points of view and the challenge of moving to a new country. In other words, learning to adapt and learning to value a new place.

Thus, I have to echo the invitation of the Universidad de Antioquia and Colombia and call on more British students to consider a period of study abroad, and particularly in Colombia, where some of their skills (particularly around languages) will be integrated into the local and academic community (ICETEX the national scholarship and student loan company, is offering full scholarships for foreigners who wish to undertake periods of study in Colombia).

This is why it is so important that QMUL students take advantage of the language opportunities and other services such as the study abroad office, the careers service and enterprise centre. There are many opportunities abroad that offer the possibility of personal and academic growth, and as students it’s easy to forget that many of the services that we need to make this happen are right here, on our doorstep.

For me, as an international student, the conference was an inspiration and a celebration of all that is diverse about QMUL. It was a pleasure to be a part of it, and to see the amazing international links that the university has built and developed over the years.

Gabriela holds an Honours Degree in History and Politics from Queen Mary University of London. She also served as Vice President for Education with QMUL Students’ Union.

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