Study Counselling abroad

A wonderful UK experience

Study Counselling in the UK

Hello everyone! My name is Pamela, I am from Colombia, and I am a postgraduate counselling student at Bangor University in Wales. I’m here to tell you a bit about my experience studying abroad.


I chose this university and course because it has an integrative approach to psychotherapy and counselling. I am learning about psychoanalytic, humanistic, cognitive, and behavioural approaches and how to integrate them. A training that, as far as I know, doesn’t exist in my home country, is incredibly valuable to me and aligns perfectly with my views on psychotherapy. One of the benefits of studying abroad is that it opens your mind and world to programmes and perspectives you never even knew existed! I was so excited when I read about the course, when everything I had always thought and wanted to know about psychotherapy in this stage of my training was right there- exactly how I had always wanted it to be (and more!).

The course is incredibly complete and holistic. It is very organised, well-structured, and academically demanding. The tutors are warm, welcoming, compassionate, and very kind. Everything we do is focused on its real-world applications, which is very beneficial as there is a reason for everything we learn and assignment we complete. We also have the opportunity to complete several placements throughout the course and gain work experience while we train. One of my current placements is in the NHS – UK’s national health service- and the experience has been enriching personally and professionally. The programme relies heavily on independent study, but they provide a lot of support while you learn how to find your own answers to questions and research. The university also emphasises care for student mental health. It provides a lot of assistance, is constantly checking in on your well-being, provides opportunities to reflect and reach out to relevant organisations, and signposts often. International students also receive a lot of support from the university. There is always someone to help you with logistics, procedures, and demands of daily life (opening a bank account, signing up to a GP, any visa or BRP difficulties…).


Bangor University is located in beautiful North Wales. I am surrounded by mountains, islands, and the sea. Bangor is a small city, so I can walk almost everywhere and rarely pay for transportation. There are low-cost supermarkets and supply stores from which many students benefit. The train and bus networks are also very useful to travel around the UK and I have been able to explore many towns and cities in Wales and England. If it applies to you, make sure you get a railcard! It is incredibly useful, and the discounts make a huge difference.


The people I’ve met here have been amazing. My classmates are incredibly kind, open minded, and welcoming. Furthermore, many also come from abroad, so we have been able to bond and support each other throughout our adaptation to the UK and settling in. I am currently in postgraduate student dorms and have met many wonderful people here as well. I have joined clubs and done different activities which have allowed me to feel connected to others and part of a community. Living in dorms also allows you to take part in many free events and trips, which are a great way to explore, meet new people, and do activities you probably wouldn’t be doing (such as painting, hiking, playing new board games, and watching movies in a university auditorium with free nachos!).


I wish I would have thought about bringing more food and traditional objects from home. There are many foods from Colombia that I miss dearly and are not easy to get here. However, I was able to find some online and in certain markets, so I am very happy about that. I also hadn’t thought that much about the changes in seasons. For me, the most difficult thing about winter was the sun setting at around 4pm! I got used to it eventually, and the social support of other international students being fazed by this was very helpful, as we were all living through this together.


I am very grateful for this experience, for all the support I have received from the university and from Across the Pond throughout the daunting and lengthy process of applying for the university and visa.

Living abroad has been a very big change from my life back home and the adaptation took time, but I am happy living here and I am trying to make the most out of my experiences and of the opportunities that arise.

Even though there are many positive aspects to the experience, I would also recommend future students to be very compassionate with themselves throughout the process. There will be obstacles, frustrations, unexpected circumstances, and moments of homesickness which are a normal part of the process but can be distressing. Uprooting your life to go somewhere else can be challenging and scary. But if this is something you want to do, I highly recommend reflecting on if it is right for you, and if you think it is, take a deep breath, muster all your courage, and give it a go.

I wish you the best of luck on your study abroad adventure and hope that it is enriching and full of growth, meaning, and joy.

- Pamela

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