Faris Bin Mohd Rafie

Malaysia, BSc Psychology

I felt welcomed, to be honest, and I really liked that. I have felt welcomed, with friends, with staff and academic advisors. I have this cool academic advisor, who was just so friendly to me. And I think that that feeling of welcoming is great.

Faris Bin Mohd Rafie - Malaysia, BSc Psychology

Why did you decide to study in the UK?


Why did I decide to stay in UK? Because both of my brothers have English degrees and they both studied here and both have Master’s degrees. 
Yeah, it was also my dad’s particular goal as well, his children to have English degrees. And I do believe that English degrees are one of the top known degrees internationally.


Why did you decide to come to Oxford Brookes? 


Out of all the other universities, I prefer Oxford Brookes because I really like the modern theme but in the University as well. When I see Oxford Brookes from the brochure, the modern theme comes out to me and I like that. It looks advanced, it looks knowledgeable, it looks great.


Why choose this course at Oxford Brookes?


I really like the science subjects and I particularly took biology, chemistry and psychology. I took all three of them at a Higher Level and it was tough but I had passion in them. Yeah, there were ups and downs but ultimately, I enjoyed my studies with them. And I think psychology-wise, it’s really interesting because back then, when I was in Malaysia or in high school, I’ve never encountered psychology. It was kind of new to me and it was interesting because humans are all around us, I think we should know it more and study it. That’s why I picked it.


What’s the best thing about your course?


Discovering more theories and new things in psychology, just generally. And there’s just so many things in it – there’s theories in social, biological, cognitive, how we think, how we apply, how we behave in general. On the outside, it’s just behaviour but we know that psychologically that there’s a lot of processes behind that small act.


How do you find the university’s teaching style compared to that of your previous experience? 


Well, I never had any lectures, like proper uni lectures in Malaysia so I can’t really tell. But because Oxford’s in England, we have lots of English here and in Malaysia, I’m pretty sure they have a bit of English and a bit of Malaysian language as well. But I think I can say that probably, because I follow the rankings and I think Oxford Brookes has more of a higher ranking in academic terms than some universities in Malaysia. And so lecturers here and teaching styles here are more academically profound.


How did you find teaching and admin staff here, did they support you when you first came? 


I felt welcomed, to be honest, and I really liked that. I have felt welcomed, with friends, with staff and academic advisors. I have this cool academic advisor, was just so friendly to me. And I think that that feeling of welcoming is great.


What do you like most about living in Oxford?


Friends, meeting new friends, discovering in Oxford. I haven’t lived in Oxford so living in Oxford will make me want to discover more about it. There’s a bit of suburban areas, there’s the green parts of Oxford, there’s also the city as well. And I think that’s pretty cool to me, to go from Oxford Brookes and here, it’s this modern theme and then you go to High Street to do whatever and then you look at the Oxford University buildings. 

How you notice how historic it is so there’s a bit of different environment. And it’s nice to have this kind of balancing act, to switch to a bit of modern and a bit of the city and then go back to a bit of natural classic and just keep on having that balance and I like that.

What’s your favourite place in Oxford, where do you like to go to relax?


Yeah, there’s clubs and everything, social things. That’s pretty mainstream now, I guess .Besides clubs, besides the social networking places, I do like the Brookes gym here, I’m a member of Brookes gym and I think it’s pretty relaxed. You can just work out there from time to time or frequently or whatsoever. 
My favourite place is the entrance of Oxford Brookes University because it’s so nice, it’s just amazing and you can stay there. There’s the architecture work as well so it shows a bit of character behind this university and that’s what makes me just motivated to stay here.

Do you find it useful, joining societies to make friends?

For Psychology Society, yes, it was because in my first year, that first month, we had a picnic around South Park. I think that’s another cool place to relax in as well, South Park. And that gathering of the Psychology Society was great. You meet new friends as well, and make new friends in the course so you can talk more about the course. You can get to know what the second years are like, the first years are like, third years are like, the Master’s or PhDs. 


Would you recommend Oxford Brookes to other international students?


Yes, yes I do recommend it because I think it’s one of the great modern themed universities. And because, for me, in my point of view, because it has a nice entrance, it has this cool-looking universities that can give an interesting point of view and motivation to actually come to universities every day.


How does it make you feel, the university?


Just amazed every time, to be honest. Outside’s amazing, get inside and there’s the Forum and there’s an art installation and stuff like that. I think that’s one of the biggest reasons. And, of course, studies, that’s a major important reason because Oxford Brookes is also known for Psychology here. It is a big university, after all, and there’s a lot of departments within those different faculties of education, like Health and Life Sciences or Business. And you can use those resources that they’ve given, they have amazing library as well. And with those kind of facilities and resources, that plays a big role for a learner or a student, any international student. Because of the size, also the societies and everything, that will probably make you feel more welcome. Don’t think that you are alone; for all international students, don’t think as if you are alone because other people out there feel sometimes the same way and you can share together. 


Think back to before you started, what did you need to know?


Oh, gosh. Just more societies, just get in touch with more people, be friendly.
Take advantage of Freshers’ Week, that’s the moment where you do everything. You can get free stuff, free food, more friends, new friends, make new buddies. Also, be yourself, I think that’s an important thing ‘cause your identity is special.