8 November 2022
My name is Charles Nwachukwu, an MSc student of Public Health and Community Wellbeing at ARU on the Chelmsford campus. Coming from Nigeria, I had no idea what to expect studying in UK would feel like but so far, the experience has been amazing. I will be sharing some of the differences between being a student in Nigeria and being a student in the UK.
Catching a train to school can be quite refreshing, especially the Greater Anglia line from London to Chelmsford, you can easily cool off by the window seat and enjoy the view or make use of the WiFi and power source to complete any pending project on your personal computer. In Nigeria, you have to either take a bus, a taxi/cab, a tricycle or a motorcycle in some places to get to school.
The environment and lecture rooms are student friendly with easy and wide access to learning resources such as 24 hours E-library, Internet, and study skill aids services. The Chelmsford environment especially has a natural appearance that soothes the mind and eyes (smiles) with several spots where you can sit and enjoy the cool breeze and serene surroundings. Throughout your course, you can easily get help from your tutor or someone who can walk you through a fitting study skill technique.
Student union elections can be done both physically and electronically; you must campaign to people across other nations which makes it more interesting. Nomination forms are free, you get a stipend to fund your campaign.
As for the culture shocks, the difference is huge. During the Halloween holiday, people really go for it over here in the UK with fancy dress and Halloween parties, so it was a bit awkward when you are among the 5% of people without a costume.
You will also notice people walking so fast to catch the train and loads of people walking their pets around the neighbourhood; you do not see a lot of people walking their pets in Nigeria.
The right-hand drives for cars and the need to get familiar with the traffic orientation is still a bit confusing. Also, due to the accent, you might have to repeat your sentences before you are heard.
Overall, my experience has been great studying in the UK so far, and I’m looking forward to the rest of my study journey.
Charles studies MSc Public Health and Community Wellbeing at ARU. Find out more about this and other degree courses at one of our Open Days.