Reflecting on my college experience
The international college experience
Two Bellerbys graduates, Abegail and Almus, talk about how doing a Foundation year at Bellerbys smoothed their transition to university, helped them make to friends-for-life and develop valuable life-skills.
“I consider the best year of my life to be the year I spent in Bellerbys”
After her Foundation year at Bellerbys College London, Abegail went on to study a BSc (Hons) Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London. She told us how the Bellerbys experience helped make the transition to university life much easier.
"When I was asked to fill out an end of year survey about Bellerbys, 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'.
When I first arrived at Bellerbys 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?
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 only had three 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 included 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 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.
I thoroughly enjoyed the whole university experience, both academically and socially, and have Bellerbys to thank that for. The foundation year I did at Bellerbys prepared me for the university course really well. Most of the topics I encountered during the first year were already covered in the foundation class, so my first months at university were relaxed 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, nine months for most of us and even only six 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 !"
"The atmosphere in Bellerbys College is very friendly"
Before he went on to study Games Development at Brighton University, Almus did an IT Foundation year at Bellerbys Brighton. He told us what he enjoyed most about his time at Bellerbys.
"One of the things I liked most about my time at Bellerbys was the college atmosphere, which was very friendly and the teachers and the staff were helpful and inspiring. I enjoyed studying subjects that really interested me. Furthermore, the time I spent here gave me an invaluable insight into how British students live.
The Bellerbys Computing Foundation Course helped prepare me for my further studies by providing me with all the information I need to know to do well at university. Apart from the academic side, we were taught how to anticipate and solve problems before they occur. We were shown how to build our self confidence, and given guidelines on how to find a suitable accommodation in a foreign country.
I wouldn't be where I am today without Bellerbys because in order to go to a British university you have to possess, not only qualifications, but also sufficient knowledge about how to study and solve problems. Bellerbys College provides international students with both skills. Completing the Bellerbys certificate opens the door to many opportunities."