Returning to Derby for my second year: My experience as an international student

Hi, I am Claudia, an international student from Spain. It is my second year at the University of Derby studying Analytics and Business Management. I decided to return to Derby this year because I wanted to have a student life as normal as possible. My biggest concern before I returned to the UK was ‘how will it feel this year?’

A new perspective

I knew that this year would consist of a lot of new things like my course content, internships, meeting new people, new activities and experiences – there was sure to be a lot going on. I was excited and nervous at the same time because I wanted to do everything, particularly taking part in societies and sports and I wanted to meet new people, but I was a little bit worried about not getting the opportunity to do these things due to the pandemic.

This year I am also applying for an industrial placement, an opportunity I want to experience for my career and life. I envisaged that I would do this placement abroad, to learn a new language and a different culture. I kept hold of this goal to encourage me to be proactive and to look at the opportunities I encounter from a different perspective.

An outdoor welcome

This September 2020 on my return, I attended the Freshers Fair event, and I was happy seeing how the University had organised it. They prepared an outdoor event where you could enjoy the sun and societies while catching up with other new students. It has been almost a month since I came to Derby and I felt at home from the first second I arrived.

Preparation

Since then, I have been preparing mentally for this year and my classes. I was a little worried about how I was going to organise myself this year because it is a blended learning approach. However, although I do still prefer on-campus classes, virtual lectures feel very organised and I feel very supported.

This experience has made me more resilient. I have learned how to manage my time wisely by setting priorities. My second university year is different than expected but this means for me there will be opportunities where there were not before.

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