My University of Brighton study exchange
As part of his hospitality studies at IUBH University of Applied Sciences Jakob Rametsteiner spent a year studying at the university’s Eastbourne campus.
He tells us about himself and his experience:
I am 20 years old and from Austria. I grew up in a small village near the Czech Republic and have from early on enjoyed speaking and listening to English. Through summer jobs in restaurants and retailers, I discovered my passion for the hospitality industry. That is why after my A-Levels (or rather the Austrian equivalent – “Matura”) I decided to study Hospitality Management.
I did not start out at a British University as the application system and process seemed a bit daunting to my high-school self. So, I decided to study at IUBH University of Applied Sciences, a nice small, international University near Germany’s old capital Bonn. Part of my programme in Germany is a mandatory year abroad at a partner university where I would receive a second Bachelors degree.
In my first semester of studying in Germany, I attended a presentation by Hasan Gilani, the University of Brighton’s International Academic Partnership Manager. It was very informative and helpful, especially, as a student that had just returned from his year in the UK also participated and gave us his perspective.
After consulting my professors and fellow students, out of my eight university options, I decided to attend the University of Brighton for my year abroad. Their academic focus and the possibility of a British degree were especially attractive. As I want to continue with a Master’s degree after my undergraduate studies I knew the degree from the University of Brighton would help my chances of getting accepted into more competitive programmes.
My official course at Brighton is International Hospitality Management – Top-up. This means, that I joined the final year cohort at the Uni, however, I was not the only new student – there were other top-up students coming from universities around the world, who want to gain a British degree. After the application was settled, I chose my modules and accommodation during my placement. I stayed in regular contact with my German University as well as the University of Brighton.
The lectures are usually very interactive as the lecturers expect everyone to know something about the topic already and will start discussions or small group tasks in the lectures or workshops. They emphasise critical thinking a lot – so very often they are going to present a statement, definition etc and will ask if you agree with it or not. They also try to get students to back up their arguments and statements with factual knowledge.
Of course, the social aspect is another big part of student life. There are a lot of societies on the Eastbourne campus (especially when it comes to sport). They have extremely good sports facilities (2 gyms, football pitches, climbing wall, pool etc). Eastbourne itself has loads of pubs as well. I found friends from the first day on and we formed a little group ever since. However, every time you go out to a pub or club you get to know more and more students.
The Brighton Student Union is very well organised (as it spans across all campuses with 20,000 students in total – around 3,000 in Eastbourne) and will support you with literally everything. Additionally, the University has a lot of well-being and mental support, so should there be any issues, there is always someone students can go to.
When it comes to shopping or other leisure activities, hiking (South Downs National Park, Beachy Head) is always a good option. The town centre of Eastbourne has a pretty big (new) mall – The Beacon, where you can find anything you like (food, cinema, Nando’s!!). Alternatively, one can hop on the train to Brighton or London and spend the weekend (or even your afternoon) there.
I am enjoying my time here in Eastbourne, after spending my placement in a very big and metropolitan city, I like not facing overcrowded streets and noise all the time. My lecturers are all great (literally all of them – even I am surprised…) and the University will support you with almost all issues. The academics (like your course leader, tutor and Hasan) look after you and will always make sure the students – especially those who joined the top-up program – know what is going on and are alright.
I think it is a great opportunity to join the University of Brighton and it helps to grow academically, personally and professionally.