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Overcoming the challenges of being a foreign student in London

1 min, 51 sec read
9:30 AM | 31 October 2014
by Csilla Kulcsar
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Become an FR Writer

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. 

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