Twitter Facebook Vimeo

Overcoming the challenges of being a foreign student in London

1 min, 51 sec read
9:30 AM | 31 October 2014
by Csilla Kulcsar
   •       •    Read later
Want your writing featured?

Winston Churchill said: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty", and that's the quote that represents my student life. In November 2011 I took the decision to move from Romania to the UK and study in London and, for now, I have no regrets at all. 

The first weeks at university were quite hard, I have to admit it, because English was my second language and accents were very confusing! I thought people were not friendly, but it was later I realised they were raised in a different way than me, therefore, they were more reserved. I found it hard to get attached to people. On the other hand, the Middlesex staff were always ready to help. Slowly, I adjusted to the way life works in London. 

I have to confess, things weren't easy. In 2012, I still needed a work permit in order to be able to work so that was another process to undergo. The wait was longer than I expected and the money started to run low. I couldn't work without a permit, so I had to count every penny and I had to limit my expenses to food and travel. 

In May 2013, when all hope was lost and I wanted to return home, my work permit arrived making me feel that I could actually make it work! So, there I was, happy for being able to work legally and starting my job hunt. I've since had a few part-time jobs and I'm currently a customer service assistant on campus.

While employed in campus, it's been much easier to take all the chances that university offers. I was part of the National Student Blogging Team for the WOW Festival in March this year, got a few stories published at the RAF Museum, met a lot of professionals, and now, I run a personal blog and am a contributor at FutureRising. 

So, after all, it wasn't so bad. It is true, I was challenged by everything around me: university, financial issues, language, environment, but I managed to get passed all that and stay strong by always aiming for better. I think that keeping a journal and staying positive were my best friends. 

Please log in or sign up before participating in the conversation.

More stories

  1. Book Review: What's So Great About The Eiffel Tower?

    We take a look at Jonathan Glancy's verdict on some of architecture's best known landmarks and masterpieces.

  2. Job hunting tactics you need to know

    We all know that job hunting can be daunting and a tad tedious, so I've gathered a couple of tips you can apply when on the hunt.

  3. Awkward things clients say that drive you crazy

    We've gathered some of the worst/hilarious/awkward things clients say to get it all out of your system in one fail swoop.

  4. Distractions and focus

    In this two-part piece, I'll help you focus on identifying the industry, company and role that will enable you to realise your potential.

  5. Must-have skills for every graduate

    Before you leave university, make sure you have developed these skills to show future employers.

  6. Portfolio Porn

    Take a look at the these irresistibly creative portfolio designs for some serious inspiration.

×