Studying abroad - lectures, the process, everything you need to know

Tuesday, 6 April 2021 London, UK

One of the reasons why I decided to move to London and to study here is because of the people. I visited London two times before deciding to apply to study there and I knew that I am definitely, one day, going to live there. If  I'm being honest, I didn't believe it would come true this soon. 

People in London and in Croatia are very different. I can't stop comparing London and Croatia. Almost every single day I find myself comparing those two. In so many ways Croatia is better than living in London, but the same is for London being better than Croatia.  


Let's get onto this post!




Why London?

As I mentioned above, ever since I visited London I knew that I wanted to live there, at least for a while. I was once told that the best years in life are when you are going to university, so I just had a vision that going to uni in London is even better than being in my home country and studying there. Besides that, my brother lives in Manchester which isn't that far and even though I did look for colleges there, courses here in London were so much better and interesting. 




The whole process of applying

I don't know if anyone will find this helpful but if you're considering applying to the UK to study then have a read. I applied through a website UCAS. It is really easy to apply there - the website has everything that you wish to know more about and it has every university and its courses. You can apply to maximum of five universities and you need to pay a fee (if I remember correctly it was 25 GBP). You need to write your own kind of a cover letter and you need to find someone to write about your skills and why you deserve to study there - my reference was my English teacher from high school, she wrote a short essay about me and my personality, skills, etc. After you apply through that website, you wait for universities to contact you. 



After applying

So after I applied I waited for universities to respond. Some of them responded after a few days and some responded about a month after I sent out my application. Two universities wanted me to write an essay on given topics and other colleges gave me a conditional offer. If you're wondering what conditional offer is, it is literally what is says it is. It means that you are accepted to university if you get your overall grade above the one that they wish for. I got accepted to 4 out of 5 colleges but ever since I applied I knew which one I want to get in.

After I wrote the essays for the two universities, one of them rejected me, which was totally fine because it wasn't my first choice and the other asked me for an interview. I had an interview a few weeks later via Skype (it was for my first choice). The lady that interviewed me was so nice, she could see that I was really nervous and excited at the same time and we just talked about general topics. After the interview she told me that I would be a great fit to the course and that I am accepted if I meet the conditions. 

Besides passing my state exam, I needed to pass IELTS test. It is a test designed by British Council I think and you need to have that exam in order to study in the United Kingdom. Some universities don't need that test but mine did. The test consists of four parts: listening, reading, writing and speaking. I actually studied for this test more than the state exam because I heard from so many people that passing the IELTS is really hard. I got the exact same grade that I needed to get into university.




Finances

Now, as for the finances part. I applied for a tuition fee scholarship. I don't exactly remember how it's called but I know that 2020 was the last year that I could apply for a scholarship because I am not a UK citizen and the UK was exiting European Union at that time - so if I didn't get accepted, I would now be studying in Croatia. Universities are so expensive in the UK, that is something that no one tells you and they aren't even private. Thankfully, I passed everything exactly how I needed to so I don't have to worry to pay for my university until I finish it and get a full-time job. 



My first day at uni

I was sooo scared of starting university, mostly because of my English skills. I know how to speak English but I am so scared to speak in front of people so I was really nervous. I remember waking up really fucking early and I got ready in 30 minutes and ate and rushed to the station. I got there first. Yes, I was really early, I got there 30 minutes before I needed to. The day before, some of my colleagues and me went out for drinks so we can get to know each other better so I wasn't that scared of meeting people cause I already met most of them. I was so overwhelmed with the information we got on our first day and I was sure that there is no chance that I can survive this. Here I am now, I passed to subjects and I'm totally fine. 




Let's talk about the way of teaching

I can't stop comparing the way of teaching here in London and in Croatia. In Croatia, you need to know everything that is in the book and the theory is the most important thing you need to know. Here it couldn't be more far away. Of course there are some theory you need to know, but here everything is about reading, researching and practice. If you don't research enough you won't have enough evidence to support the arguments and here learning is actually fun. It is more creative here and you can express yourself without worrying someone will judge you. I just love London because no one here gives a damn about what you are doing, what are you wearing and with who are you with. That is something that I think will never change in some parts of Croatia - yes, I am talking about my home town. 






I am in no way bragging about studying abroad. I am just here to share my experience and help someone if they want to study abroad as me. This is just a friendly reminder that you can do absolutely everything you wish for if you work hard enough. 

If you have any more questions about studying in the UK and moving, I'd love to help you. I am always available on my Instagram so you can just send me a DM. 

Thank you for reading todays post! Hope to see you very soon!


Follow me on Instagram @bruna.haller



Stay safe!

Love, Bruna 

2 comments

  1. Great post on studying abroad. That was one of my goals way back when to do so either in London or Spain. But congrats on studying abroad.

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