Luke from the USA, BA in Theology
Luke Benjamen Kuhns, 25, from the USA
BA Honours in Theology at the University of Manchester
'Months of preparation and excitement. Wonder and fear of the unknown. A long flight and suddenly you find yourself stepping out into chilly September air in a world that looks vaguely familiar but oddly different. Like stepping into a fairytale. I chose to study in the UK because I adore the cultural and historical significance it has, but also for the privilege of being in the atmosphere of so many outstanding academics, both past and present.
'What I loved about student life here was being able to converse with the wide range of individuals. The mesh of ethnic, religious, political and philosophical backgrounds created a wonderful learning experience. Student life is a diverse and wonderful thing in the UK. But what is it like studying here, you may ask? It is incredible. The world of academia is vast – you have the opportunity to learn from some of the best minds in the world and have access to extravagant resources.
'You will quickly find a time of year, during your studies, that becomes your favourite. My favourite time is Christmas. It’s beautiful. The markets, mulled wine, mince pies, carols reverberating within grand, ancient cathedrals. There is nothing like it. During your time in the UK take advantage of all you can, see as much as you can. Visit the Lake District, grab a pint at The Eagle and Child in Oxford, take in a show at the theatre. Soak up as much as you can.
'Important things to know before you arrive are how invaluable a yearly travel card can be, and how amazing the NUS discount is. To new students coming here, what I would say is know that you are coming into a world that will be different from yours. Come with an open mind, be willing to listen to people, and learn. You will find that you learn just as much from people you respect and agree with as you will from people with different opinions.
'Don’t spend your time wishing you were ‘home’, make this your home while you are here. Studying in the UK will enlighten and refine you. Take advantage of freshers’ week, clubs and social events. Making friends is easy as most people you meet will be incredibly friendly.
'But know that life stops during exam time! Most people will live in the library downing coffee and crisps. I would encourage you to set up a timetable to help you study for exams, but also to help plan out your projects throughout each term. Keep ahead of the game and take advantage of the advice your professors give – it will come in handy, especially when you are planning your next step after graduation.'
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