Leisure and adventure
‘I have personally had the chance to live in America, Australia and Spain, but none of them have generated so many things like London does. Undoubtedly, it is one of the most hectic places in Europe, with an amazing and wide art scene. There is something going on all the time: an interesting talk, an impressive art exhibition, a memorable gig or a cosy restaurant to have a nice meal.
I love walking during the night by the Southbank, and enjoy that beautiful composition: Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and the River Thames. It’s just stunning… I always think that the day this stops surprising me, is when I should just get on a plane and go back home.
On Saturdays, I love going to Portobello Market and buying either an old book or an antique. I also like going to Borough Market; eat something delicious and finish my day at the Tate Modern gallery, an incredible building that holds contemporary art. Finally, I always look forward to going to East London during the weekends, and have a pint while I listen to a gig. That is absolutely epic!’
Maria Guiñazu, 24, from Argentina and Italy, Psychology at London Southbank University
‘Explore the country; the United Kingdom is a beautiful country. When I got here I immediately realised that all I had found quintessentially British – whether reading Agatha Christie novels, watching Jeeves and Wooster, listening to the Beatles or getting red postboxes and Big Ben souvenirs – was absolutely, genuinely, unreservedly true. Whatever you choose – well-known sights or hidden gems – you’ll no doubt enjoy it.’
Victoria Matey, 34, from Russia, MSc in International Events Management at the University of Surrey
‘One of the advantages in studying here, besides going travelling around the country, is the concerts and festivals that I’ve been fortunate enough to experience. The obvious benefits of living in the UK are the frequent music events, whether it’s a big concert or intimate gigs! Regardless of your music taste, you could taste every bit of everything here. I have attended everything from a three-day electronic dance music festival – complete with a fun camping experience – called Creamfields, to an acoustic folk gig in a small club in London.
Remember to always balance your work and social life. Get to know your studying habits, have fun, be committed, challenged, open-minded, and I guarantee you will have the most unforgettable time here in Britain.’
Seruni Putri Soewondo, 20, from Indonesia, BA International Relations at the University of Birmingham
‘It's best to experience Edinburgh by walking – explore the clubs and the little corner pubs, the garden markets, the meadows, Arthur's Seat and the famous Edinburgh Castle. As a student I am enjoying every bit of my life here, from enjoying English cuisine to cooking for myself in the university kitchen; celebrating Christmas and Diwali with the same gusto; from spending Sundays studying and making presentations to spending a whole week in London after exams.
Some festivals I attended recently were the Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve) street festival, Beltane fire festival, Christmas market at Princes Street and St Andrew’s Day. Edinburgh is a beautiful city – it has been declared a UNESCO world heritage city and is known for its music, fashion, sport and literature.
Then, go around and visit other places in the UK: London, Cambridge, Oxford, Bath, Manchester and Birmingham are some must-visits in your free time.’
Pragya Gupta, 22, from India, Master’s in Carbon Finance from the University of Edinburgh Business School
With thanks to Education UK’s 2012 Student Journalist competition winners.
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