International Office Blog

News and information from the International Office at the University of Brighton

The west pier at sunset

Why I chose the University of Brighton

As an international student, English is not my first language, however, I did go to an American school in my last three years of high school. Before that, I was in a Tunisian school, where Arabic and French were mainly taught. I studied several subjects in my last school where they were taught in English. Despite it being challenging, I was determined to put more work into those subjects, ever since I decided to study in the UK.

I decided to study Psychology BSc(Hons) at the University of Brighton. The course lasts for 3 years, in which you get to choose your modules at some point in your second and third years. The reason I decided to go to the University of Brighton was due to the support system that they offer as well as the array of courses and opportunities they provide for university students. The opportunities the university gives vary from improving your academic skills to helping you create your career path. The university helped me take part in so many volunteering and job opportunities, which are really important as a student. From an international student perspective, this was even more helpful because these opportunities were not available in my home country. Additionally, as an international student, it can be difficult to adjust to a whole new country and culture. On top of that, university life is not like anything else I have experienced. Thus, mental health and wellbeing are important aspects for university students. 

My experiences were mainly positive because despite being away from my home country, Brighton feels like a second home in some ways. I did not realise how diverse the city is, from food to stores and such. What I love about Brighton is how welcoming the people are, and even if you need any sort of aid, there are always people that you can ask for help. So, despite the culture differences as an international student, Brighton is a place for people from all over the world. However, my advice for other international students is to make sure that you take care of your mental health and wellbeing. This is because, being away from your country, your family, and friends might impact you negatively. I was fortunate enough to have the university support and my friends who are also Arabs to help me through those challenging moments. This is why I highly suggest you get involved and join societies in which you can meet other people that whom you share the same cultural or religious background. 

I would also advise other international students to explore Brighton. When I first came here, I was not aware of the fact that there are some stores that sell the same food products in my home country. A very known store in Brighton called Taj the Grocer, which is near Churchill Sqaure. There are many Middle Eastern, North African restaurants as well such as AlMoosh and a Taste of Sahara. This made me feel less homesick and enabled me to stay connected to my home country. That is one of the few things I love about Brighton and the fact that there is everything for everyone when it comes to food places. To me, that is a big part of being able to adjust and feeling like you belong here. 

Overall, my experiences as an international university student were mainly positive, and this was due to the support system that the University of Brighton offers. I hope my blog was of luck. 


Meriem Gharbi • April 11, 2022

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