“Definitely come to Brookes! It’s exciting and fun. You make a lot of friends. There’s a good balance and other international students here, I like that. I would call it a melting pot of different cultures so you definitely get to learn from other people as well. You also get to explore the UK and Europe, it’s close to the airport so there’s that accessibility”
When you were considering universities, what made you choose the UK and Oxford Brookes specifically?
I chose the UK because I’ve always wanted to go to school abroad, especially in Europe, and I’ve been to the UK multiple times so I felt like the UK felt closer to home, home away from home if that makes sense! I wanted to experience the culture. I chose Brookes because when I was looking at universities to go to, I wanted somewhere that was closer to London and in the middle of England I guess. I felt Brookes was for me and I noticed they had my course, I applied and got accepted!
What attracted you to your course, or what reasons do you have for following that path?
I have a science background for my undergrad, so I’ve always wanted to be in that science and public health background as well so I decided to pursue it. Even though it is offered in Canada I felt the UK would give me a more international exposure. I felt the UK has more exposure when it comes to education compared to schooling in North America. I decided to go with that path. My course does require you to have some kind of knowledge with international exposure as well.
When you first arrived, was there anything in particular that helped you to settle in?
Student Union at Brookes and conversing with other people on my course and I guess, asking random people. I used to just pull up to a random person and just ask them, that really helped. I felt like students at Brookes were very, very accommodating - a lot friendlier than I was expecting. So that really helped me with settling in and making new friends.
What are your favourite things about Brookes?
I like the fact they have different campuses because we don’t really have that [in Canada]. I like how much of a community it is, and I like how it offers different opportunities in your future career. In my course I like the fact that recently one of the lecturers had a careers meeting where you can discuss where you want to go after your course, so there is the option to go onto Oxford Brookes portal to apply for jobs, and there’s job fairs. It’s a good opportunity because if you want to settle in the UK they’re trying to help you with that as well. They’re trying to make you see the options.
How would you compare the teaching style in Canada to the UK?
There is a huge difference. You guys call them lecturers and we call them professors, and you call them by their first name! The teaching style is different in that we have more assessments throughout the semester. We would have mid-terms and finals, with one or two assignments in between. Whereas you guys have one huge assignment, and that’s your whole grade. We have a dissertation and modules as well so we have assignments due for each module.
How have you found Oxford as a place to live?
I like Oxford compared to London. It’s busy but not too busy. I like the fact it’s more accessible - if you want to go to London you’re there in 45 minutes and if you want to go to Manchester you’re there in less than two hours. It’s the city that’s in the middle and I like the accessibility that Oxford gives me. Even going around the city is really nice and the student lifestyle is really, really nice. It’s a student town.
Are you in university accommodation or private accommodation?
I live in Headington, so I just walk down to school. I like the fact I can actually walk to campus. It’s a 10 minute walk so I love that. I found it separately, it’s a rental.
How did you find the admission process?
It was actually quite straightforward. I went through an agency. They were helpful. If I had any issues I liked the fact I could email the school as well. During my admission process I had to push it from January to September. They were really accommodating with that, and during the visa process it was really straightforward as well.
Do you have any advice for future international students?
Definitely come to Brookes! It’s exciting and fun. You make a lot of friends. There’s a good balance and other international students here, I like that. I would call it a melting pot of different cultures so you definitely get to learn from other people as well. You also get to explore the UK and Europe, it’s close to the airport so there’s that accessibility.
Do you have any ideas what you may go on to do after your course?
I want to work in public health, definitely in the UK first and try and see if I can work on an international level at different NGOs, like Unicef, WHO. I will definitely want to have that UK experience because it’s different from what I’m used to in Canada. I really do want to broaden my horizons in my career. See where it takes me and maybe settle in the future.