Ezequiel Varela Vazquez

Spain, MA History

“I developed my English skills, and my writing a lot... in general, I like the professors, they were very supportive”

Why did you choose the UK and Oxford Brookes for study?

I wanted to see a new country. In Spain I was comfortable to be honest, but I thought ‘why not go outside to see new things and new experiences?’. I checked online that Oxford Brookes has some modules related to history, of which I was interested. So I was like ‘why not?’. So I came here!

What is the reason you chose your course?

The Eugenics module. For me, I was very interested in eugenics, and that's something in Spain, at least in my university in Spain, we don’t have a lot of people that know about that. Here, I saw that there was a professor who knew about that. 

What do you enjoy in the course, or is there a highlight?

I developed my English skills, and my writing a lot. It was quite different, the way of making history and writing was very different. In general, I like the professors, they were very supportive. 

Is there anything you really enjoy about Oxford Brookes?

The buildings, the main building, it’s very nice. It’s my idea of how a British university will be, so for that I am happy. The library is huge.

What has helped you the most when improving your English language skills?

I am doing the English language module this semester. The way of writing in Spain is different when we are reading articles or a dissertation. We focus on different stuff. Here, the way of writing is different, and also of course there is vocabulary and everything related with that, that you’re going to learn because you need to learn it. In Spain I also learned English but nothing to compare [to Brookes].

How would you compare the teaching style in Spain to England?

It’s very different. In Spain we have a lot of hours, I had 15 hours per week, sometimes more.  Here, I arrive and have 6 hours. I thought it was weird. Now I understand it’s more like - you have to study more on your own and you have a tutor.

What do you like most about living in Oxford?

The centre is very nice. Going to the centre and going to a coffee shop or seeing the Bodleian Library. I like the centre, during the day it’s full of people but then at night it’s very calm. So that, for me, is my favourite part of Oxford.

How have you found making friends in Oxford?

It was not very difficult, because there are quite a lot of societies. I was going to three at the same time. For me, the societies were something new for me. I met people from other Spanish speaking countries. For me that was also easier, even though my English was good, it’s good to have someone that also speaks Spanish. I met those people thanks to the Latino society.

Which other societies are you a part of?

I went to the History society to learn more, and the LGBT society.

Do you have any advice for international students who may come to Oxford Brookes in the future?

They should join a society for sure. For me, it was the first days, it was a different country and language, even though I knew the language. But when the first week started, there were a lot of activities. You have a chance to meet new people. 

Do you have any plans for when you graduate?

I want to do a PhD for sure. I’m not sure if it will be here in the UK or in Spain. There are still a lot of possibilities. I would like to be a researcher or a professor at a university.

Have you visited anywhere else outside of Oxford?

I went to London, it’s very close. Also a small village like Banbury just to see what is around.