International Student Experience in the UK

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Picture with my mother at the Muritala Muhammad International Airport, Lagos, Nigeria when I was departing for UK

Embarking on a journey as an international student in the United Kingdom is both exhilarating and challenging.

Picture at Doha, Qatar during layover

From navigating immigration processes to settling into a new academic environment, each step presents its own set of hurdles and triumphs.

As I share my own experience, I hope to provide valuable insights and tips for fellow students considering studying in Hull City or elsewhere in the UK.

Landing in the United Kingdom: Finding Solid Ground

At my uncle’s house the day I landed in UK

Touching down at Heathrow Airport, London United Kingdom via Qatar Airways on August 24, 2023, was a moment filled with anticipation and optimism.

With dreams in my heart and prayers on my lips, I embarked on this new chapter of my life.

I landed into the hands of my uncle who stays in Kent for just a day before I moved to stay with a former university roommate from Nigeria, who had been in the UK for about a year where I spent 6weeks, my friend stays in Goole which is just about 30miles (40minutes) to Hull.

This soft landing provided invaluable support as I began my journey.

The Job Search Saga: Navigating Recruitment Agencies and Visa Restrictions

At one of the recruitment agencies in search of job

One of the immediate challenges I faced was finding employment. Armed with advice to visit recruitment agencies in person, I embarked on a quest to secure a part time job.

However, the reality of visa restrictions soon became apparent. As a student visa holder limited to 20 hours of work per week during term time (term time is when the University is on section), finding suitable employment posed a significant challenge as most organisations wants someone who can work Full time.

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At Hull City Centre in search of job

Despite facing numerous rejections due to my part-time constraints, perseverance eventually paid off with an opportunity as a Parcel Sorter in a logistics company which I got through a recruitment agency close to the house of the friend I was staying in Goole.

Safety book given to me at work

Embracing the UK Working Environment: From Monthly Pay to Hourly Wages
Transitioning into the UK working environment was an eye-opening experience. Unlike the monthly pay structure prevalent in Nigeria, hourly wages became the norm.

First day at work as a Parcel Sorter

On my first day at work, I navigated induction sessions and safety briefings before diving into the fast-paced world of parcel sorting.

The physical demands of the job, coupled with night shifts, presented new challenges, but also opportunities for growth and adaptation. The work was really an hard work has I broke down very tired when I got back home and I have to sleep for the whole day.

As an international student coming to the UK, it’s also good to come early as possible so that you can secure a job because part time jobs are very scarce so it’s always a game of the fastest coupled with luck and information.

Academic Pursuits: The Excitement of Starting Lectures
The eagerly awaited start of lectures marked the beginning of academic pursuits. With a diverse mix of students from Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Ghana, and beyond, the classroom became a melting pot of cultures and perspectives.

Picture during one of our classes

Engaging with peers face-to-face after online interactions added depth to the learning experience and fostered a sense of community. The classrooms were also very beautiful and unique which brings a uniqueness to my Nigeria learning environment.

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Picture with classmates

Life in Hull: Embracing Diversity and Affordability

Hull Paragon Interchange (Train Station)

Hull emerged as a vibrant and welcoming city, boasting affordability and multiculturalism. From the diverse culinary offerings to the inclusive community spirit, Hull provided a nurturing environment for international students.

Hull taxi park at the city centre

Affordable student accommodation, ranging from £380 to £500 for a shared apartment (a shared apartment consists of 3-5 rooms with a shared kitchen, shared sitting room and one or two toilets and bathrooms), catered to varying needs and budgets, ensuring a comfortable living experience.

Outside of the Hull interchange with a picture of a East Yorkshire bus (The public transport to move within Hull and Neigbouring towns )

When you get to Hull don’t worry about your local foods they are readily available at a budget friendly rate.

Nigeria beans I bought in Hull
Nigeria Ewedu I bought in Hull
Nigeria Bread and milk I bought in Hull

So far I have been able to adapt the life in UK and engage in volunteering activity as a Class Representative for the department of Marketing Management and also at the Student Union level as the Representative in charge of Accommodation and Housing.

My picture while campaigning for a student union position which I later won

You are free to ask me how you can join the students union society of your society of your choice

A Journey of Growth and Discovery
In retrospect, my journey as an international student in the UK has been a rollercoaster of experiences, challenges, and growth.

From navigating employment hurdles to embracing academic pursuits and cultural diversity, each moment has contributed to my personal and professional development. As I continue my master’s degree journey in this new environment, I look forward to the adventures and opportunities that lie ahead.

Are you an international student considering studying in the UK? Feel free to reach out with any questions or share your own experiences in the comments below!


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