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Najood  : Winchester, University of. Film Production

As an international student, I found it important to attend a university that was safe, social, and welcoming. I wanted to smoothly transition into student living abroad. I was particularly interested in studying in England, and The University of Winchester fit my criteria the best as it has a reputation for high student satisfaction, a practical film course, and a location in one of England’s prettiest cities close to London.

From the moment I arrived on campus, I immediately felt at home. The friendly staff and students helped make my transition as an international student as easy as possible. I personally felt very well taken care of. The university staff is accommodating and incredibly informative. At any given time, I was always able to find someone to answer a question, help me move into my student halls, or get study help and general advice about student life. 

Accommodation
I lived in Queens Road Student Village for two years, and I loved it. It was clean and the layout was pleasant. The rooms are spacious, and I found the overall atmosphere very enjoyable. It was social and fun, but it was also quiet and peaceful.  

Social life
One of the things I love most of the University of Winchester is the diversity of the student body. While I was studying in Winchester, I met and befriended people from all over the world, including the United States, Norway, China, France, as well as students from different parts of England.

The university hosts a lot of events and activities which makes it easy for students to meet and interact with one another. I had a great experience meeting British students in my accommodation, at my job in town, on my course or around campus. 

There is something for everyone here. There are plenty of fun student events and parties if that is your scene. For someone who enjoys a more relaxed night out, there are a variety of nice cafes and restaurants in town that are all within walking distance from the campus. 

I had many wonderful experiences at Winchester. A couple of my favorite memories are attending my first Student Union event (BOP) with my flatmates, climbing Saint Catherine’s Hill, and of course, ultimately earning my degree after years of hard work.

My course
I studied Film Production (Single Honours). My tutors were enjoyable to listen to, very informative, and genuine. I always felt supported and encouraged by them. They were all very patient and willing to answer questions thoroughly and to advise on individual projects. On many occasions, the tutor stayed behind after class, taking time to sit down with me to evaluate and improve my work.

I thoroughly enjoyed my course because it was a great balance of practical and theory that I was looking for to set me up for my film career.  

I can genuinely say that my time in Winchester was exciting and very enjoyable. I learned a lot about my career, but I also learned a lot about myself and grew as an individual. Winchester gave me a place to call home, a place to study, and a place to make friends.

My job
My time at Winchester was important to my career because it taught me the necessary skills to work in the film industry from challenging me to take creative risks in my assignments to gaining hands on experience. The faculty and staff at Winchester were knowledgeable and supportive.  By the end of my degree, I felt prepared to embark on the next chapter of my life.  

I am currently a freelance Production Assistant in New York City. I work on various TV shows and movies. 

When I first moved to New York City, I did not have connections in the film industry, so I had to work extra hard to break into the competitive field. I obtained my first film job by proactively approaching crew members I came across throughout the city and communicating my background and interest to them. Some of my first film jobs were as an additional Production Assistant on the film “The Greatest Showman”, as a Camera Assistant for “Humans of New York”, and as a Production Assistant for the CBS show Blue Bloods. From there, I had the opportunity to demonstrate my capabilities and network for new opportunities.  

As a Production Assistant, I am responsible for supporting the Director or the Assistant Directors which consists of running errands for them, keeping pedestrians safe while filming on location, working directly with the actors, helping to maintain order on set, and anything else required to help the production run smoothly. 

What advice would you give to a Winchester student who is studying Film Production? 
I would give the same advice someone shared with me when I was a student:  Watch lots of movies and take note of what kind of genres and styles you admire. You would be surprised how much you gain by turning a fun activity into a learning experience. 

Also, take risks in your films and be proactive in building your film network.