Philippines, BA Economics
I didn't know anybody when I arrived, not a single person in the UK. A lot of students are friendly because of the atmosphere here and Oxford in general. People are very accommodating, it was easy to find friends through societies. You find people here with common interests and that is how you kind of merge into it. I also found a good international community at Brookes.
Lesley Canas - Philippines, BA Economics
Why did you decide to study in the UK?
The culture - I think that is really appealing, and the time you spend in uni is shorter in the UK compared to the US.
Why did you chose Oxford Brookes?
Well I really wanted to be close to London, and because of Oxford as well. It looks really pretty and historic and the academic atmosphere is really good. I did want to be in a nice city but at the same time small enough to feel at home and not feel lost.
How easy did you find it to settle into life at university?
Quite easy. I didn't know anybody when I arrived, not a single person in the UK. A lot of students are friendly because of the atmosphere here and Oxford in general. People are very accommodating, it was easy to find friends through societies. You find people here with common interests and that is how you kind of merge into it. I also found a good international community at Brookes.
What is the best thing about the course that you are doing?
It is quite flexible. I couldn't decide at first which one to do, so I found this one, a combined course. Economics and politics is what I was looking for at first but then also international relations modules provide me with a bigger scope of learning, on a global scale, not just UK politics.
What do you think of the learning facilities at Oxford Brookes?
It is really good. All the campuses have resources, like libraries, and the library itself is open until midnight. The staff are brilliant and they are always there to help you out, even if it is just little things - they really lead you in the right direction. The professors are always easy to talk to. Their doors are always open.
What do you hope to do when you graduate?
I'm looking into going into the banking sector or, if not, an economic analyst, data research type work.
So far, how do you think the course has prepared you for that?
The outcomes, the skills that they provide I think are very relevant to the job that I want to go to. I have done a lot of research looking at data, and even just fundamental maths skills, spreadsheets and Excel. Presentation skills as well, the business school is really good with that.
I had one module in my first year called Skills for Economic Enquiry. We even had a day where an actor would come into the class and he would teach us how to present properly - things like pronunciation and body language - which I think is important if you are giving an important presentation about what you do, your research.
Have you used any of the support services available for international students?
Yeah I got some advice from this lovely lady. She helped me to settle in, pointed me to the right direction, because I didn't know there were a lot of societies going on. I didn't know that they were also having dinners for international students, like for Christmas. They organised trips and dinners so people feel less homesick knowing that there are always people there in the same boat as you.
Why would you recommend Brookes to another international student?
Because Oxford is a lovely city. It's close to London and the academic environment is really great, and there is the added benefit of speakers and research that is going on in Oxford: public talks and events, conferences. You see all of that and I think that as a student it makes me more engaged.