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Study UK: 'It opens your heart and mind'
Mayank Singh
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July 26, 2007

With departure dates rapidly approaching, Indian students are booking tickets and preparing to leave for international universities.

To ease their concerns and answer their questions, we've asked students who are already studying abroad to share their experiences.

Today, we share the story of Mayank Singh, who studied in the UK and now works for Koito Europe, ltd.

I went to study at University of Warwick, Coventry, UK for my M Sc in 2005-2006. These are some of my experiences as a student. I hope others find them beneficial.

There are quite a few things that one learns when one studies abroad. It broadens your mind and allows you to become more open and accepting. Living in an alien culture can be amazing or terrible, depending on how open and accepting you are. That would be my first tip to new students -- open your heart and mind.

Try and learn the new culture; try to imbibe the new way of life. Another important tip is to plan everything in advance. I never had much money and I did not want my parents to spend anything so I decided to stay off-campus -- it was a much cheaper option.

But I made sure that the landlord was charging the right rent and the house was in good condition. I used the internet to go on all major student accommodation sites to find inexpensive and safe location. I wanted the perfect combination.

I did use my university's services to a large extent which was very useful as they gave really great tips and information. I finally settled for a house that was accredited by the local county council so I had no doubt about its condition.

I lived for a year in the UK. I was studying with 3 people -- one was from Pakistan, one from India and one from China. There were good time and there were bad times (bad usually when we had to settle our monthly bills), but it turned out fine in the end.

Studying was my primary goal, which I did well. But I also managed my time really well, juggling assignments, projects, part-time work and leisure. These were amazingly tough times as I had difficulty to even pay the rent sometimes -- but as I said, it worked out in the end.

Working part-time was really good for me as it taught me so many things, made me independent and even helped me getting a job. As far as cooking goes, I went from a pathetic cook to a brilliant one with time and patience.

My housemates did suffer quite a lot, with the smoke alarm going off everyday because I kept burning food. From the burnt food and terrible taste, to now hosting dinner parties for my colleagues, I have come quite a long way.

Finally, the biggest lesson I learnt was to relate to people as individuals and to not generalise them. All my pre-conceived notions of Muslims, white people and black people were quashed. I have been able to open my mind to new experiences and I have gained a very broad world view.

I'd definitely recommend studying abroad.


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