UCR - University Centre Reaseheath
University Centre Reaseheath

Sydney shares experience as an international student at UCR

by Sydney Smith 

Are you thinking about studying at University Centre Reaseheath as an international student? To help you with your decision, UCR undergraduate Sydney Smith, who is originally from America and moved to England recently to study Zoo Management with us, shares her experience as an international student at University Centre Reaseheath. 

female student holding lamb

Hello! My name is Sydney Smith and I am originally from the USA. I chose to go to university in England because I liked the idea of having a specialised education without any of the filler classes like in the American schooling system.

I chose the Zoo Management course at University Centre Reaseheath because, as someone who is hoping to go into the zoo education field, the idea of having a zoo on campus to gain skills sounded like the perfect option.

I am going to be completely honest – the application and visa process as an international student can be a lot to take on. However, the UCR admissions team was there every step of the way to make sure I had all the correct documents and visa information before I made my big move to the UK. I was able to send a question via email (or ten) and have a reply usually within a couple of hours.

Fast forward a couple of months – I have landed at Manchester Airport! I cannot even begin to describe how accommodating UCR has been for the small international group of students here from the moment we each arrived in the country. We were even spared from having to immediately figure out the public transport system because Claire from the UCR admissions team was kind enough to pick us up at the airport. On campus, everyone is so friendly! I would say that the Safeguarding team at UCR needs a special shout-out here. They have helped us with everything we have thrown at them, from driving us to the post office multiple times to retrieve our Biometric Residency Permits, to helping us stay on campus during breaks and helping us find a place to store our belongings over the summer so that we are able to go home stress-free.

I have loved every class I have taken so far at University Centre Reaseheath. The lecturers are passionate about what they are teaching, and it shows. The assignments have challenged everything I thought I already knew, which is exactly what I was looking for in a course. The one thing I was a little nervous about was their academic standards because I know that it is a very different system to the USA’s. Luckily, UCR had already taken this into account and set up meetings for each of us with the Inclusive Learning team who were there to help us with anything we needed, even with things you may not even realise you need help with, such as the differences between British and American spelling.

Outside of class, it is almost impossible to be bored around campus. There are social events almost every night split between the Student Bar and Courtyard Cafe, ranging from themed dances to group trivia nights. There is also a large range of societies you can join, including things such as event planning, equine, BSL, LGBTQ+, and so many more that I cannot even list off the top of my head. Something I also like is that if there is not a society for something you enjoy, it is possible to chair a society! I ended up being chair of the Film & Photography society this year and have had so much fun with it.

Reaseheath is also located in a beautiful area. It is only a twenty-minute walk to Nantwich’s town centre where you can buy any essentials you may need. There is an Aldi and Morrisons to do your grocery shopping and loads of charity shops and boutiques to do any clothes shopping. There is also a train station in Nantwich that is only a stop away from Crewe and a few stops away from the city of Chester. Also within a twenty-minute walk is a Sainsbury’s and B&M Home Store, which have a larger variety of foods and home goods.

If you are even just thinking about moving abroad, do it. It can be different, even scary at first, but how many people are able to say that they moved to another country just for school? Not many. Living abroad is life-changing, but it gives you the chance to explore cultures outside of your own and leaves you going home with so many unique stories to tell. If I had the chance to reapply, I would choose Reaseheath all over again.

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