Hello, my name is Diana, and I am a 19 years old international student at Falmouth University. In this document, I write a little bit about my university experience in hopes of answering some of the question the majority of us have faced at this stage, like for example, “Which university do I choose?”, “What is it really like to study at university?”, “Is this course really for me?”. Furthermore, providing personal insight into different topics related to this subject, which university websites cannot.
I have dreamed of studying abroad for as long as I can remember. I am originally from Portugal and have lived there all my life. However, the opportunities of studying my dream course, Acting, are slim where I come from. So, I decided to apply to study in England, a country with far more possibilities in that regard. Also, where I was already fluent in the language. I hope to travel the world throughout my life, and this is hopefully just the beginning of that adventure.
Falmouth University was my top choice form the very first moment. From the description of the course on their website to the facilities to the location it seemed like the ideal choice. So, once I got accepted, I could not wait to begin my studies here.
I am absolutely overjoyed and grateful to be doing what I love every day. Being able to study what I aspire to most is a blessing I don’t take lightly. The course is exactly what I expected it to be, even if it proves a bit challenging at times. I am currently in my second year, and things are only getting better. Bothe the modules and timetable are well-structured. I have so much free time some weeks that I don’t know what to do with myself. Other are so busy that I barely have time for myself. But, in the end, it’s all worth it because it reflects what can happen in real life. Sometimes you get back-to-back jobs, in others instances, you spend an unknown amount of time searching for them.
The AMATA building, where the majority of my classes are held, is also a very cosy and welcoming establishment with incredible facilities and equipment that you can constantly book and use as you see fit. Prepare yourself to be surrounded by students from all disciplines of the performing arts running around and practising in every available corner. When you walk through those doors, it’s as if you are transported to a completely different and new environment from the rest of the university.
One of my life’s greatest ambitions is to pursue a professional acting career. And this course has only reinforced that notion in me more and more. Not only by the lecturers’ dedication and professionalism but also by the practices taught every lesson. They have broadened my knowledge of new subjects and improved my skills in so many areas of my life so far, I can only imagine what I will achieve by the completion of my degree.
In addition, this establishment where I have spent most of my time for the past couple of years provides amazing facilities and a huge number of resources at our disposal. It is even finer than what I read bout online. The number of resources, in all different areas, provided to us students is massive. One of my favourites is the library. Both online and in person they supply us with hundreds of books, research documents, and help services. These have aided me so much in the past essay projects, especially since English is my second language. They deliver one on one sessions to help you figure out the structure, content and grammar of the text.
But that is not all. I have to say its proximity to the water also influenced my final decision immensely. I’ve always lived near the beach, so it's like a second home to me. I was hooked after discovering that Gilly Beach was only a few minutes away from campus. This was extremely beneficial during the initial transition of this new chapter in my life away from home. The similarities to my home environment made me feel more secure and at ease in the first few weeks.
Falmouth is a small coastal city that thrives during the summer months when the weather is ideal for strolling down to the beach and sunbathing. However, that is not the only advantage of living in this town. It is home to the most stunning views of the hills, sunsets, and sunrises. The cute little shops are also a plus, as are the scattered bars and pubs. Even though it doesn’t have the most exciting nightlife, you can always find something to do, whether you’re alone or in a group. Many of the establishments have weekly activities and quizzes in which you can participate, giving you a wide range of options.
I have to admit that having to speak English everywhere I went with everyone I interacted with was quite frightening for me in the first few days, if not weeks. I had good fluency in the language, but I had never needed to use it constantly, so the first few moments were a little intimidating. But as I began to form friendships and attend classes on a daily basis, it became easier and easier to incorporate it into my daily life. After a little more than a year, I'm speaking it as if it were my first language. I even mix up both languages on occasion. Developing the habit of reading books in English was also an important part of my language development. Mostly because it prepared me for all of the plays, scripts, and research I’d have to read throughout my course.
This concludes my statement. Thank you for taking the time to read it, and I hope it offered answers to some of the questions you may or may not have had.
A couple of years ago I decided that I wanted to study abroad. Finally, I began the process of deciding where to go and what to study, this process led me to Falmouth, UK, a beautiful town in the south of England. Five months after arriving I can confidently say that this has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life, I have met people from all over the world, visited incredible places, and learned a lot, not only in the master's degree that I am studying at Falmouth University, but also about myself.
Looking back, I would not have been able to get here if I hadn't had the support of Across the Pond, they not only helped me find the university and the master's degree that I wanted but also guided me through the entire application process (a process that was more complicated than I expected), thanks to the infinite patience with which my advisor answered all my questions, I was able to gather my papers, apply and fulfil my dream of studying abroad.
- María José
Having visited Falmouth a few times before coming to Falmouth University, I knew that I loved the town. There is such a friendly, creative and welcoming community at both the University and in Falmouth, it was an easy choice.
Because I lived in England before coming to Falmouth, I haven’t missed home any more than usual. I’m just really excited to be here!
In just the first 2 months of my course, I have learned so much - not just about textiles but about how I work and develop ideas. Even though it has been a lot of information and work in a short space of time, I’ve felt excited about the new opportunities to create. The tutors and technicians have been so helpful, supportive and motivating right from the beginning.
The library has been the most lovely resource. It is all too easy to get lost exploring the journal collections!
My friends and I have started a Sunday night dinner club. The discussion is usually focused on everyone’s course work, and it’s nice to hear about other courses. In the end, we are all influenced by each other.
Being next to the sea. I love being able to walk to the beach whenever I please, it’s such a treat!
The friendly and welcoming atmosphere - of the town and the university.
Yes. The international office has been so helpful and lovely. When I was sorting out my visa from Canada, they helped me fill out forms and were there to answer any questions that I had (there were quite a few).
Now that I’m here, I don’t want to leave! I’d love to go onto an MA after this.
Not many places offer something as specific as Performance Sportswear Design. I spoke to two alumni who share the same passion as me in football kits. They have great things to say about the course. I also exchanged emails with Patrick Gottelier and it was great to see that he was personally interested in my story. The International Team was very helpful in answering all my questions and made it a much easier decision.
The cost of the course as well as the living cost. I wish there were more scholarships and bursaries available for international students.
I love it. They are doing a great job in convincing us to be brave and to try new things in our 90 weeks here. I like the fact that in the first year, we are working with Fashion Design students as we can learn a lot from each other.
Everyone is so friendly here. Both campuses are great. Falmouth/Woodlane is very charming. I only wished it was opened till later like Tremough/Penryn. Tremough/Penryn has very modern facilities. The library and IT suite are pretty good too!
I play on two FXU teams, badminton and tennis. I am also an avid participant in many of the International Society Events.
I enjoy conversations over dinner or quiet drinks. Playing sports is a big deal for me too. On top of the FXU societies, I also play volleyball for the Cornish Saracens in a local league.
Falmouth is a great little town. Even though I don’t do any water sports, I enjoy being close to the water. I think being far away from a big city allows students to really focus on learning.
I will miss the daily uphill walks everywhere. I am not joking!
I haven’t really needed the support from any of the support groups available. Though the tutors/staff have been extremely supportive, the same goes for the staff in the academic office and the International office.
I’d tell them to come! But if they are in doubt, join one of the Facebook groups of the courses they want to get into and speak to students who are currently doing the course. Reach out to alumni via various forms of social media. And if it’s possible, come visit the campus. I didn’t see the school before I came, but via the website and other channels, I was already able to make my decision to come down here. Also, I’d advise students to find out which campus they will be studying at.
I want to design football kits and all types of sportswear. I would like to work in the UK or Europe. I am confident my Falmouth education and experience will take me places!
While on my hunt in finding the most suitable foundation course for me, I carried a mental checklist of must-haves for the university I would end up attending. The student work had to be really good, as it’s a reflection of not only the students but of the teachers educating them. The location had to be nowhere close to home! My wanderlust forbade that so my search led me to solely attend schools overseas. Most importantly, I had to be able to imagine myself taking away the experience I desired in my first year, academically, socially, environmentally, and Falmouth was it.
I would probably have to say the currency exchange! I’m used to it now, but it is a bit annoying every now and then. Also, not being able to just hop on a train home for the weekend like some of my friends who actually live in this country. It's not as if I can just take a day's worth of travel to go back home for less than three days anytime I wanted!
It’s VERY challenging. At first, like any other student, you are like, "I can handle whatever they throw at me?" But once procrastination kicks in and your first assessment is right around the corner, you realize how much work and time you have left before then! For me, though, I like a good challenge.
I absolutely love the library! The resources are very useful. I’m not entirely into books, but I’ve gotten into the habit of going to the library and not leaving without one or several! Also, the lectures are informative when it comes to the many layers of art history and how it has influenced modern and past artists.
When it comes to clubs and societies, I’m very indecisive because there are so many interesting ones that I want to join, but it’s difficult to pick.
I’ve been exploring the many nooks and crannies of Falmouth and other nearby areas with my friends. That's not enough for me though. I plan on hopping on the train soon to see as much as I can before the year is over. At the same time, I have to balance out my work schedule so I can go as I please.
It would definitely have to be the fact that I live right by the ocean and just the array of people you find here.
I will definitely miss the people I’ve met, from seeing them every day to not at all will be very unusual for me because I’m already so adjusted to life here. The scene as a whole I will miss dearly because I’m in a mindset at the moment where I feel that Falmouth is my home from home.
Very supportive, especially as an international student coming into a new country and trying my best to adjust to the culture. Any problems or concerns I’ve had have been resolved and figured out with help from the international office, tutors and the list goes on!
Make sure this is what you want! When you start your journey into higher education, you're investing so much time and money into it, so don’t let such an experience go to waste. Especially when it comes to actually being on the course, don’t procrastinate too much because it will come back to haunt you in the end if you don’t obtain the results you want.
At the moment, I’m doing massive research into what I want to do with my life for the next year or so. There are so many things I’m interested in and would love to do, but I need to discover what really suits me and my passion. I do plan on continuing my travels either into other parts of Europe or just seeing more of England as a whole.
As a kid, my dad took me traveling with him a lot. At the age of nine, he took me to visit England, France, Germany, and Switzerland. I loved Europe and knew someday I wanted to experience living here. As an undergraduate, I did a summer abroad in Florence, Italy, with the Fashion Department, although I was an Illustration major, I took the course as an elective. Now as a postgraduate student, instead of a study abroad again, I decided to immerse myself in a different culture.
I grew up next to Washington D.C. and am used to the big city. Living in Falmouth has been a completely different change but the views are absolutely breath taking. I enjoy having a class of 28 students where we are all getting to know each other very well. At first coming to England, I was a bit shy to speak freely to people because I knew I sounded different and would get asked a lot of questions. Now, I think I like it. No, I definitely love being different!
I had been working through my undergraduate studies for five years. It took me five because in the US a bachelor's is normally four years, but I got two – Communication Arts BA and Psychology BA. I saved probably 90% of my pay every week to be able to come overseas for graduate school. I have had no help from any other source and must say I am pretty proud of myself to be funding all my own expenses out of my own pocket.
Being an international student does come with many difficulties. Our tuition is much higher, and you end up paying more for things just because you don’t realize what might be easier and more affordable. For example, I decided to stay in a student residence because I don’t know the area at all and thought it was a better way to meet people, have help getting around, and familiarize myself. I found out when I got here, that there are so many nice places in Falmouth to live renting with other students. Not only are they a bit more affordable, but they also come with incredible views overlooking the sea!
The course is pretty interesting. I have been surprised by the amount of time I have to myself. As a master's course, this time is meant for meeting with my partners and working on our projects. Since I was so busy in my undergraduate studies, I guess busier than most, as a master's student I feel like I have more time. This course has only solidified for me that Creative Advertising is exactly what I want to do. Only three months in and I already can’t wait to be done next year and start a job in this field!
I love all the cool societies here at Falmouth that my undergraduate university didn’t offer. I am only here one year but have joined The Postgraduate Society, High Tea Society, Horse Back Society, and International Society. I also like to sign up on FLEXSI for cheap trips. For example, I’m going to Eden this weekend for only five pounds to do ice-skating and holiday activities with some friends on my course through FLEXSI. Also, I have become a Student Ambassador. As a master's student, we get to skip the training and interview process since we’re only here one year and supposedly we are more mature. Which of course I am! But it’s a nice way to work on campus and have a little income.
Something that the international students on my course have done on our own is organize international dinners. Someone will host a dinner and we all bring some item of food native to us. In the last one we did, we had food from Pakistan, Greece, Italy, Romania, Britain, Thailand, and Iran. It was delicious.
I love the views here. It’s spacious and lush and feels authentic.
I will definitely miss the peacefulness of the sea and the slow unrushed pace of life in this town.
As soon as I got here, I was just overwhelmed with the support I had – in a good way. On my very first night here, I was a bit disorientated and one of the Chaplin staff members, Jan, was so helpful and kind in showing me and a couple of other students our way to our residence. She even helped us get to the grocery store to have at least our essentials for the first night. The Student Support Services were very helpful to me too. I had to buy a calling card to contact my US bank in order to pay my tuition. Long story short they were very generous in letting me use a private room with a landline for over two hours to get it sorted out.
My advice would be to look into all your possibilities before you settle on one. Look at the housing options, look into what your course offers, and come to an open house. Also, it’s ok to come here and not know anyone! There are so many organizations and societies to help you meet new people. Don’t let the fear of the unknown get in the way of a great experience.
For my future, I want to move back home to the US and work in an international creative advertising agency as an Art Director. I’d like to still be able to travel in my job and have many more experiences in other countries.
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