Xiao from China, BSc Entertainment Technology
'Every time when I was holding the camera or working with a team of classmates to make a documentary, it felt like the most exciting part of my studies!'
Meet Xiao Ni, who moved to the UK from China to study for a BSc degree in Entertainment Technology at the University of Portsmouth. From struggling with her English to the excitement of team projects, she shares some of her most challenging and rewarding moments...
Why did you choose a UK qualification?
'Mainly, it was because the media technologies in the UK are very outstanding and attractive. The filmmaking and broadcasting technologies are especially famous, so I was sure that I would get valuable new skills during my studies.
'Also, I think the UK’s study requirements are higher than in other countries, and I wanted to do things that would challenge me. Overall, I think the UK is a really good choice for me to gain new knowledge and to give me a completely different study and life experience.'
What did you find most inspiring about your degree and institution?
'Every time when I was holding the camera or working with a team of classmates to make a documentary, it felt like the most exciting part of my studies. Also, when I see my work being shown on the school screen, I feel it was worth it for me to come across the ocean to learn this knowledge.'
One of Xiao's university projects in progress, as she works with video editing software (All images ©Xiao Ni)
Study media, technology or filmmaking in the UK:
What did you like most about the teaching methods and styles you experienced?
'The crew that I have been working with are really brilliant. Some of them come out with good ideas and we really work things out together when we are doing the same project. It was inspiring to me, and I really enjoy when we are working on a good project.
'In addition, the lecturers in class are really friendly and patient. In the beginning, my English was too bad for speaking, so some lecturers really helped me a lot. Always encouraging me and having patience with me. Those are the reasons which push me to try to get a good degree, as much as I possibly can!'
What does being ‘creative’ mean to you?
'For me, I think it means a new idea. Every time when I’m working with a team, the most exciting part is when people come out with different ideas, and the good ideas can always come out after discussions. I was always learning a lot after this teamwork, and being more creative.
'Also, when I can actually realise the project, overcome the difficulties and do some things that I have never done before, that is also a really creative process for me.'
What advice would you give to future students applying to your course?
'They will really have fun by doing this course! They will get a new experience of working with a team and they can learn a lot from it. Also the lectures are really interesting. Some lecturers’ class styles are really good and they will enjoy it.'
Is there a memory of a trip, a workshop, a course or a speech that you attended that really stands out? Why?
'The course of Documentary Filmmaking. Mainly it was because this course combines practice with theory. We can learn the theory and do practical projects at same time.
'Especially when we’re working as a team and holding the camera to run a project like an actual filmmaker, it’s the best part of the course.'
What’s your number one memory of your time as a student in the UK? The one you’d tell your grandchildren about?
'The first time when I got 70 marks for my work in my first year. It really cheered me up and built my confidence. It was an individual project and I was spending a long time doing this work – I put a lot of effort into it. I thought I was just trying to finish the work on time! But I got good feedback from it and even now, I am still a little bit proud of this work. It is my first time to feel so happy learning in the UK.'
What are your ambitions for the future?
'During my studies, I have been talking and working with a lot of talented people, and I know there are even more incredible people in the world. I want to be one of them, which could really create something awesome and brilliant. I want to use my knowledge as best I can, and continue to improve my skills as well.
'I think it would be helpful for me to get in touch with the industry after I graduate. Now, I have more chances to show employers my capabilities and my skills.'