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Reflecting on my college experience

Posted 12 November 2013
International students posing for a photo in the class

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3 years ago, I was asked to fill out an end of year survey about Bellerbys, and I remember being asked to describe my college experience in one sentence. I don’t remember the exact wording of my answer, but it went something like, “So far, I consider the best year of my life to be the year that I have spent in Bellerbys”.

3 years ago, I was asked to fill out an end of year survey about Bellerbys, and I remember being asked to describe my college experience in one sentence. I don’t remember the exact wording of my answer, but it went something like, “So far, I consider the best year of my life to be the year that I have spent in Bellerbys”.

Despite the statement that I’ve given, my initial experience at Bellerbys was quite the opposite. I was shy and uncomfortable. As much as I aspired to study abroad, it was particularly difficult for me to step out of my comfort zone during my first few months in school. Like many international students, it was hard for me to leave the comfort of the familiar in favour of the unknown. But hey if you want something you’ve never had before, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done before right?

students eating 

It wasn’t until the later half of the academic year that I became more comfortable with the whole studying abroad experience. I realised that I’ve only got 3 months left before graduating from the college, and thought it would be best to make the most out of the little time left. Things started to change when I finally let go and loosened up. I started to meet the most amazing people from various places around the world (diversity – one of the things I love about Bellerbys). Together with these friends, we explored all the interesting things London has to offer! That includes theatrical plays (esp. Les Miserables), music festivals, history museums, food markets, and all the culturally rich places ranging from the iconic London Bridge to the more edgy Camden Town.

Apart from exploring London, we also thoroughly enjoyed the international culture within the college itself. I especially loved the International Food Night where we could taste the different local dishes from all around the world! Overall, studying in London didn’t just equip us with the skills we needed for university, it also made the whole university preparation experience a memorable one.

students in lecture 

I am now in my final year of BSc (Hons) Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London, and currently enjoying the whole university experience both academically and socially. I have Bellerbys to thank that for. The foundation year I had in Bellerbys prepared me for the university course really well such that most of the topics I have encountered during 1st year were already covered in the foundation class. 1st year felt relatively relaxing and I had time to get to know my course mates.

More than anything else, I still hang out with the friends I  made in Bellerbys. Even though our time in the college was relatively short, 9 months for most of us and even only 6 months for some! However, in that short period of time, I’m eternally grateful for meeting so many interestingly different and wonderful people that I can consider as life-long friends. As the famous saying goes, Friends are the family we choose for ourselves. After all the most random, hilarious and priceless memories we have, I couldn’t agree more with this statement. All of us stayed in touch despite going to different universities. Sometimes, we even bring our university friends to our gatherings. In fact, we celebrated Halloween together this year. !

Abegail Tan

 

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