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Amarjeet from India, MBA in Project Management

Amarjeet's journey: Left: Graduation day at Cardiff Metropolitan University, with Welfare Officer Natalie Buckland; Centre: Representing Aberystwyth University at an Education UK event in Delhi, India; Right: Celebrating Diwali with Raj Aggarwal, the Honorary Consul for India in Wales.

Amarjeet Singh Mutneja, 28, studied Information Technology at Mumbai University in India before moving to the UK to study for an MBA in Project Management. He is now working as an International Officer at Aberystwyth University, giving advice to other students who are looking to study in the UK.

New experiences

'Gazing out of the airplane window, I was thinking of the endless questions that almost every international student has. Have I made the right decision? What is the place like?  Will I make friends? What will the food be like?

'After 13 long hours, my flight landed at Heathrow airport. I was overwhelmed, but full of hope and excitement. I walked through the immigration gates, picked up my heavy luggage, and found the University staff were holding a ‘Welcome sign’ to greet me at arrivals. That was a moment, quite frankly – a special one.

'Let me take you through my personal experiences as an international student in the UK. A new culture, new friends, new responsibilities, and most worryingly – different weather! UK student life has brought a whole new dimension to my learning experience. It has put me outside my comfort zone, but in a very enjoyable way.

Amarjeet with international students during Welcome Week in Cardiff © A. Mutneja

'I did my Master’s at Cardiff Metropolitan University in Wales. Beautiful and vibrant, Cardiff has a lot to offer. More than anything, it brings you closer to discovering yourself and making friends with so many people from all over the world!

'The UK is full of surprising experiences. The more you explore, the more you learn, and the more you discover things you weren’t aware of. In my opinion, studying in the UK is far beyond just getting a degree. From personality development and communication skills to international exposure, studying here is a great learning curve.

Working while studying

'While doing my Master’s, I grabbed the opportunity to become a Student Ambassador. This job was all about helping new students coming to the UK to study. It was now my turn to welcome them at the airport, take them to their accommodation and assure them that they will have a lot of fun in the coming years!

'The UK offers a great platform to enjoy being who you are, and allows you to work on your strengths. I worked here as a graduate intern and carried out part of my Master’s dissertation. This gave me a real taste of being in a workplace, and also helped me in understanding academic theories better.

'While pursuing my Master’s, I also worked in local restaurants, which gave me the opportunity to understand more about UK culture – and most interestingly, the food! It was incredibly weird and amazing to see how obsessed people are with fish and chips, curry, jacket potatoes and cheese. People here love it – I don’t know why, but I do know that if you can cook a nice chicken curry, then you will make a lot of friends in the UK!

A multicultural welcome

'My student life was quite rocking! I enjoyed my course, and never felt like I was away from my home. I made a lot of friends through social trips organised by the University, and also got involved in sports to meet new people. My friends and I were also invited to celebrate Diwali in Cardiff at the Welsh Assembly Government, where we showed everyone how Bollywood dancing is really done!

Celebrating Diwali at the Welsh Assembly Government © A. Mutneja

'People in the UK are very warm and welcoming, and coming here taught me the importance of understanding and appreciating people from different cultures and backgrounds.

'A few days after Diwali, we also got involved with the Food and Culture Festival. These multicultural food festivals are very popular in the UK throughout the summer. They feature all sorts of different foods, some cool music and of course, the opportunity to make new friends.  

The UK is also a popular destination because of the great student support. During my graduation day, I had full support from our International Office, and the staff came to see me and my friends walk the prestigious stage to receive our degrees. It was a very special moment for me, and I needed someone to be there supporting me, as my family couldn’t make it on the day.

New opportunities

'Opportunities I grabbed as a student created new opportunities, and today, here I am – working at Aberystwyth University as an International Officer for South Asia. I work closely with the University to welcome our students. I tell them, ‘You will be fine here, and the UK is a great place to study.’

'I wish I could actually show them, beyond words, how great the experience of UK student life is! It is something to be explored; it has something new, something challenging, something exciting, something great for every individual.'

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