My entry into university life

Friday, 28 June 2019

Riyadh Asad

Riyadh on the move for Brookes.

It has been exactly one month since I moved to Oxford from Springfield, Massachusetts. I decided to enroll at Oxford Brookes University to pursue a masters degree in psychology and play basketball for the university team. Due to some visa complications I arrived at University two weeks late, so initially, I thought I would have a hard time fitting in and making new friends. But to my surprise that’s wasn’t the case, my peers welcomed me with open arms. Whether it was inviting me to hang out or help me with any of the work I’ve missed in class, they were more than willing to lend a helping hand.

Coming from America, I didn’t know what to expect here in the UK. I’ve gone to several schools in the US, but studying abroad was an opportunity unlike any I have had before. Choosing OBU is a decision I’m happy I made. I’ve made friends from all around the world in my short time here, that’s something that I feel like I wouldn’t have experienced anywhere else. The diversity here at the university is what makes fitting in seamless no matter the race, religion or cultural background. I’m a Muslim and I’ve noticed how the Muslim community in this area has a strong presence here in Oxford. Having others around that share the same faith has helped me with my transition to a new country, it makes me feel like I’m at home.

I’ve made friends from all around the world in my short time here, that’s something that I feel like I wouldn’t have experienced anywhere else. The diversity here at the university is what makes fitting in seamless no matter the race, religion or cultural background.

Besides the minor cultural shock that I’ve had, I learned that the education system has its differences to what I’m used to in America. With those differences I’ve learned there are some advantages as well. Unlike in the states, the support you receive from your classmates and professors is more personal, which allows me to produce better results for my assignments. My peers are more than willing to help me when I’m in need or offer feedback with my work as well.

Aside from my studies I play for the university’s basketball team. One of my favorite aspects of the team is our cultural diversity. We have players from all around the world including France, Spain and Canada to name just a few. This brings a plethora of different skills and styles of play, which allows our team to be effective is several ways. As a postgrad I can provide the team with experience and a competitive nature that is needed to be successful. In a short time I feel that we have made significant strides and I’m really excited to see how much we can grow as a team this season. I think that this group has players that have a real chance to be special. We have a developed a noticeable amount of chemistry in such a short time and it continues to grow as we practice. Even though basketball isn’t as big of a sport in the UK compared to America we have had a solid number of students come to our home games and support us, which is another clear example of how genuine people are here in Oxford.


This piece was written by Riyadh Asad, Brookes University Masters Student in Psychology and Brookes Sport Ambassador. You can find Riyadh on Instagram

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