Andrés David Bermúdez Jiménez - Colombia
“I completed my foundation year in Bogotá. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite make the grades so I had to seek another entrance into University. The UK education system has options for students to enter through a clearing system. I took advantage of this and eventually gained my place at Liverpool John Moores University last year.
Upon my arrival, I was met in Manchester airport by another student. He was there to help me get not only into the city of Liverpool, but directly to my accommodation. I feel safe in Liverpool...I really like the freedom you have here to walk around the streets at all hours of the day and night. The bus and travel systems are really good too. You have two-tier [double deck] buses here. They are new to me but I find it easy to navigate the city with them when needed.
The support and assistance I received in the UK was surprising. Here, if you have a question about something, there is always someone who will be on hand to offer the right solution – there aren’t just teachers here to take classes, there are entire support teams employed with the sole purpose of helping you.
I joined the LJMU International Society which has been really fun, full of events and trips. It has been a great opportunity to meet new people from all different places and backgrounds.
My advice to new students travelling to the UK would be, be prepared to learn new accents. There are so many different accents and they may not be what you are expecting. Just take your time. The people here are really friendly and won’t mind slowing down or repeating things you don’t quite understand.
When packing your bags for the UK weather, try to pack a thermal layer for underneath your clothes. The materials we use in Colombia aren’t thick enough to keep the cold out.
Finally, don’t worry. The University is great and the staff here are so helpful. If you ever have a question, don’t struggle to find the answer yourself, just ask. The help you get might surprise you.”
I feel safe in Liverpool...I really like the freedom you have here to walk around the streets at all hours of the day and night.
Samar Thiab - Jordan
“I was awarded my MSc degree from the University of Jordan and then got sponsored to do my PhD from Applied Science University-Jordan. I explored different research groups at different universities in the UK. In the end, the interesting research subject and fast response from the administration team lead to me joining LJMU in 2015.
The first few weeks after arriving were really busy. I had to complete my enrolment first to get my student card and all the papers from the student admin centre necessary to open a bank account, apply for a rail card and settle in a student accommodation. I got help from the accommodation office team to find a suitable studio in the city centre.
As a PhD student, I’m in the process of writing-up my thesis now, and I can confidently say that engaging in research, lab work, conferences, etc. is time consuming. However, I did take part in the first International Day held in the James Parsons building and also tried HOST UK, as LJMU is one of the participants, and it was a very nice experience.
I have met many other PhD students and went sightseeing with them around the UK. I went to see the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra several times since I get discounts as an LJMU student. I also went to the Empire theatre to watch the Swan Lake Ballet as well as trips to the cinema and all these events were cheerful.
The Liverpool waterfront is amazing and relaxing, worth a visit after a stressful day. Shopping is easy in the city centre and everything is available.
To other students making the journey, you don’t need to bring loads of stuff from home, because everything is available here. Don’t bring tons of clothes and shoes, you’ll definitely buy a lot in Liverpool, especially during the sale seasons.
Get ready to hear a different accent than the British London accent that you’re exposed to from the IELTS exam! People in Liverpool speak differently, but you’ll get used to it, it is still English.
Lastly, don’t hesitate to ask questions, you’ll always find someone willing to help."
Aseel Alkathiri – Saudi Arabia
My name is Aseel Alkathiri. I am a student from Saudi Arabia and I am happily studying Biomedical science at Liverpool John Moores University.
I consider myself to be a very energetic person. I am enthusiastic and social when in groups but back when I was starting out as a student, I was too afraid to show it. As an international student from Saudi Arabia, I was afraid that I would struggle because the UK is such a different environment; however, being in this university has given me the confidence to show all of these traits. As a result of my time here, I now have a higher self-esteem, I have a bigger social circle and I have a strong belief in my abilities.
For me personally, a lot of this inner strength comes from my family. They are a constant source of support for me. In my studies, my tutors also offer the guidance to help me through each semester. They make sure that my course mates and I get all the support we need to achieve our goals.
My personal tutor saw my confidence increase as I progressed with my studies and recommended that I volunteer as a student representative at the University Open Day.
This was a great opportunity for me to speak with other prospective students about my course and help them to decide if LJMU was the right path for them. I found this to be very personally rewarding.
Over the last couple of academic years, my course has helped improve a lot of my skills such as research, essay and report writing, and my approach to laboratory work.
Right now, as a second year student, I am spending most of my time at the university library. In my spare time, I like to play piano, read books and cook.
My family comes to visit as often as they can. If they are not here with me, my day cannot start or finish without a phone call home to Saudi Arabia. Keeping connections open to them at all times is a great way to relieve any sadness from travelling so far away and to keep up with all the latest news from loved ones.