By Neha Gazula, BEng Biomedical Engineering, Department of Biomedical Engineering
Studying in London has always been a dream of mine from a young age. I was eager to go out and experience living in a big city where there are endless opportunities and things to do.
Having been brought up in the Middle East, the weather was definitely a big difference that I noticed. I was not used to having different seasons and dealing with the cold during the winter, but it was change that I embraced – it was nice having some kind of variety instead of the same heat every single day. I was also taken aback by how freely people discussed certain topics while also sharing their opinions, and the different kind of lifestyle that people led. There was more freedom which I was ready to integrate into my own life.
There was also more diversity not only in the city, but in the student body at King’s itself. Hence, I never felt like I was the odd one out. It was nice knowing that there were others in a similar situation to yours, or who had been in one and so were there to help you. This also made it exciting to meet new people as you end up learning something new about a different culture or place each time, and you always had something to talk about.
Of course, being in a large city such as London meant that you would be able to find every kind of food that you could think of as well as some quirky ones that you didn’t know you needed in your life until you discover it! Being a foodie, this was certainly a huge perk for me. Food is definitely not an issue to worry majorly about. If you find yourself missing a certain food item from back home, you can definitely find something similar.
One tip I would give other international students is to do thorough research before you move to study at King’s. Ensure you create a checklist of all the things you require, as most of you would be moving away from living with your parents to being on your own; items such as medicines, stationery, and clothing to cover all British seasons. Create a separate checklist for the things that need to be done after moving into the city as well. For example, I would recommend getting a student Oyster card to travel on the buses and tube and a learner’s UK driving license which can be used as an ID instead of you carrying your passport around.
Settling into King’s as an international student was not a difficult task for me due to all the support I got. It’s been an exciting journey and I’m sure future international students would find it to be the same.