My name is Izabela, I am 22 years old, and I am studying my last year of Psychology at Liverpool Hope University. Oh, and I forgot to say, I am an international Student, and I am from Poland!
Why have I forgot to tell you? Because I feel here so like home and so good. Today I would like to tell you how it is to be an International student, studying not in your first language, and be so far from home. To be honest my first impression was bad, and I was terrified. I remember when my parents left me at the airport and suddenly, I felt so lost and sad. I felt that the huge part of my life was over, and I could not believe in this. It was weird somehow, extremely sad and so scary. How will I manage now to live alone, and especially not even in my own country? If you are reading this and you feel similar, I just want to tell you that this is normal, and it will be just better.
Firstly, when I came to England, I understood that literally everyone is really happy to help and friendly. The UK is a multi-cultural country, and they know really well that people are coming form all around a world, and feel pretty lost, especially when that is the first time you left home for so long alone. If you feel ashamed of your accent, or that your English is not as perfect as you would want, so… do not worry! Everyone understands that, and moreover I heard many times from British people that they are admire us internationals for speaking multiple languages, when they use only English. So hey, you should be proud of yourself!
Emigration to another country is hard, but very brave. I truly recommend that you stay in the student accommodation, especially for first year. This is the perfect opportunity to meet people from your university, and maybe even from your course. You can also develop new friendships, and to get to know people. The more, the better! Fortunately, all of our halls have the meet and greet at the beginning, so this is good opportunity to meet with people.
In halls there are both British students, who may want you to make you feel better, show you the way they party, and how everything “works” in the UK, and International students, who might feel the same way as you, and you can share your thoughts and worries. Do not forget that you can meet people in one place from all around the world, and maybe visit them in the future in their country? Who knows? Just remember, do not be shy! Everyone is at the same place staring the university, everyone is looking for friends to feel good and safe!
Liverpool Hope University has the nicest staff in the Main Building who are happy to help you with everything (yes, they helped me a loooot…). Additionally, Hope provides you with hundreds of clubs and societies, starting from sports, through drama, vegetarian, movie and even nerd society. I am sure you will find minimum one society for yourself, where you would be able to meet more friendly faces and develop the topic of your interest. However, if you don’t find anything for you, you can always create your own society!
Now a little bit more about Liverpool. This city, as you might have seen in the airport, is one of the biggest party capacities in Europe. And I cannot disagree! Everything is located in the city centre so even when you do not know the town yet, just ride to Concert Square and you will find a play to party. This also means that Liverpool provides a lot of places for a job, if you need one. I am a part-time waitress and I recommend working to everyone. Additional money, and it’s also another place when you can meet new people to acclimatize here.
Liverpool is also a beautiful city to explore, besides parties you can have a nice trip here by visiting the Cathedrals, Albert Dock, Museums, and if you are a rock fun, the Penny Lane, and Strawberry Field, Cavern Club, home of John Lennon, and more, as Liverpool is a city where the Beatles was born. Every night in the city centre you can hear a lot of people performing on the street and in pubs. This city is just perfect for music fans! We live also so close to the mountains and landscape park if you like to have nice trip out of town.
To summarise, I know it might be hard at the beginning, but do not worry! I am sure that you will find a lot of friend and acclimatize. Maybe you will call Liverpool your second home?
You can also apply for one of the jobs on Campus, like I did, and now I am writing to you as a one of the Student Ambassadors!
Emigration is not always an easy thing, and you may feel lost or scared. Remember that Hope provides you with counselling support whenever and for whatever reason you need!
I hope you will feel here good, and despite the idea of staying in UK forever or going back to your country, I want you to remember that this is a really nice part of your time, and amazing adventure you will remember forever.