My name is Clara, and I am from Halmstad, southern Sweden. I study BA (Hons) Marketing.

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In addition to my interest in studying abroad, my boyfriend, from Southampton, also played a role in my choice to study in England rather than Sweden. Being a Swede, learning a foreign language is an excellent advantage in a career and thrilling experience. 

For the past four years, during the winter months, my boyfriend and I worked as ski instructors in the Austrian Alps, and it was fantastic to live in the spectacular winter landscape. As we were in St. Anton, Austria, when Covid-19 hit, I became tired of seasonal work and decided to start studying marketing. In addition to skiing and sports, I am passionate about marketing, and I believe that studying marketing at an English university will allow me to combine my interests.

From the beginning, I applied for five other universities in southern England. Still, my instinct told me that the University of Winchester would be the best fit. I've been to Winchester several times over the years, and the city is charming, with lots of nature and history, and it feels very similar to my hometown. I was looking for a university located in a town where I could go for walks in the nature, spend time with friends at cafes and just feel safe. And Winchester ticked all the boxes for me. One of the primary reasons I chose the university was that I received a lot of support from the international staff and from current International students. They answered all my questions about my Visa, Brexit, insurance, financing, etc.

When you start studying at a university, and more so in another country, it is very stressful, and there are a lot of questions and uncertainties. During the spring and summer, before I started in September, I had to do an English test and sort out a couple of things with the Swedish government. It was stressful, and there was a lot to do, but when everything was done, I could really enjoy the experience, and I could already notice how much I'd learnt from this experience already.

Also, in England, university degrees have a strong reputation internationally, and there are teams at universities that assist new graduates in finding jobs. It was vital for me to know how I could get a job after my degree. Winchester has already provided me with the information about available positions, such as Marketing jobs in London, that I can apply for now and begin working for in a few months. As an international student, I found it essential to find a university that could provide all my studies because I come from different backgrounds and school systems.

There are many ways to find friends at Winchester, and I've joined a group called "Snowsports", where several people interested in skiing are involved. Most of us get together once a week and have some events planned. As an international student, making friends through different groups is great for me, especially when I don't live on campus.

As the first weeks progressed, I felt increasingly confident in the course, the approach, and the new strategies. My teachers have been helpful, and I have received the support I needed if I did not understand something. We have had plenty of time during lessons to work on the last assignment, which is at the end of the course. It is a good structure for me, and I am happy with it.

If you consider studying in England, I recommend the University of Winchester because the school offers excellent support, and the city is charming. Furthermore, it is only an hour's train ride from London, so it is very easily accessible for friends and family to visit. My friends can't wait to come over here and see how my student life in Winchester is. Winchester is a quiet, safe city, with a lot of nature and culture, so my parents are also happy with my choice. Living in another country for over three years is a huge step and a big part of life. University is for everyone, it doesn't matter of age or background, this is an incredible experience and if you feel like it could be something you could benefit from – do it!

By Clara our BA (Hons) Marketing student from Sweden.