Evelien Pigeaud

Netherlands, International Foundation followed by BSc (Hons) Hospitality Management

“I felt that when I came here even though I didn’t know the city, I had such a warm feeling. The welcome at Oxford Brookes really helped me settle down easily.”

Why did you decide to study at Oxford Brookes?

Because of the reputation for Hospitality Management Brookes has. That’s why I applied for Brookes initially, but then they told me my grades were not sufficient to go straight into the course, so then I started a foundation course which I’m really happy with. I’m now a step ahead of the others, especially because I know how to use the library for example and how to write my assignments. This will help me progress onto my course.

Do you find the university’s teaching style different to what you are used to?

I didn’t go to university in the Netherlands, but I know there’s more large scale education, so most of my friends are in lecture theatres with 200 other people unlike here where it’s really personal. We have the small classes and there is a lot of personal attention which helps you to develop. You can ask as many questions as you want and they’re always ready to help. I really like that.

When you first arrived, how did the teaching and admin staff help you settle in?

I had some trouble when I arrived getting used to this whole environment, because I wasn’t really used to the UK, but everyone was so friendly and you could always go to the International Centre if you had any trouble.

What do you like most about living in Oxford?

The diversity I think. There are more international students than I thought there would be and there’s always something to do. In the beginning I missed being in a big city, because I had just come from Sydney to Amsterdam and then to Oxford and it was overwhelming.  It’s small, but I soon found out that there were so many people and that there was always something to do and now it feels like a big city because of the atmosphere. I really like the historical buildings as they are so beautiful. I like Photography, so I often go into the city and take pictures. Or I grab my bike and my hammock and then I pick a nice spot. Last semester I got my hammock and put it in South Park and had a perfect view of the city. I like Cowley as well, because up there there’s a lot of cute little places to have lunch and at night there are so many places to go with your friends.  

What recommendations would you give to any international students coming here?

For anyone who comes here, they should know that they don’t have to worry.  It’s all going to be fine. It’s going to be fun and they will enjoy it. There are so many students around and there is always someone you’re going to like.