From Setúbal to Brighton
My name is Carla, I am from Setúbal, Portugal, and I am a final year Biomedical Sciences BSc(Hons) student at the University of Brighton.
I moved to the UK when I was 16 years old, and I’ve been living here for eight years. I did most of my education in Portugal. I studied in Portugal until 10th grade, but when I moved to the UK, I enrolled in college, and I did GCSEs, A-levels, and an access course before I started university in 2018.
I heard about the University of Brighton at a UCAS fair. These are fairs where you can speak with representatives from universities and ask about courses or more information about the universities. I chose the University of Brighton because I wanted to go to medical school after finishing my degree. Brighton has excellent links to the Brighton and Sussex Medical School. As a biomedical sciences student, they offered a guaranteed interview scheme if we met specific requirements, which was why I chose the University of Brighton.
The University of Brighton has excellent student support services. I have used the Writing Advisory Service, they help with essays and essay structure, and it has been one of the most valuable things that I’ve used in the last year. I also contacted the disability and dyslexia team in my first year as a student, and I can say that that was one of the best decisions that I made. I had an excellent adviser who created a learning support plan, which has helped me through exams and coursework in the last four years.
After I graduate, I plan to go to medical school, but I might take a gap year or do a placement for a year before I apply.
I love to live in the UK. It has given me opportunities that I would have never had back home, and we know that Portugal offers as much as other countries do, especially for young people. In addition, living in the UK has allowed me to explore other things that I like other than Science, and it has allowed me to spread my wings not only on an academic level.
I would say that even if your English is excellent, studying in a different language is very challenging. I did part of my education in the UK, and I have spoken English since I was ten years old. Yet I still find it difficult, so if you plan to study here, I suggest you do some essay preparation and prepare as much as possible for university. Also, you never get used to the food; bring all the snacks that you like or find the nearest Portuguese shop because it is a challenge.
Overall, I would say that I had a great experience as a student in the UK, there have been some challenges, but you will have challenges anywhere you go; just make sure you have a sound support system and bring those snacks along because you’re going to need them.