Ioannis-Thomas Dimakopoulos, who is studying at the University of Derby Business Administration, describes his first year at the University and the adaptation to his new student life. >
As an international student, I was worried about leaving my home in Greece to study abroad. Although I’m not afraid of challenges, I’m a little worried about what I’ll face in the UK, but in the end it ‘s not scary at all and it’ s really worth taking this step and studying abroad.
On the day of arrival, everything went very smoothly and I soon adapted to the new environment. The good thing about UK universities, and especially Derby University, is that there are already a lot of international students here from all over the world. So my first thought was to find new friends. From day one I met students who were like me and so making friends was very easy.
Student communities are important to me. There is a large selection of communities you can join, such as those related to sports, the arts, or students from the same country. Personally, I have joined the Greek and Cypriot community, where we meet on weekends for activities – fun, trips to new places, clubbing or organizing parties with a lot of Greek music and dance.
The teachers are very supportive and this helped me a lot to adapt to my studies more smoothly. . I expected to have difficulty communicating with them, but in the end it was not a problem at all.
The whole experience, leaving my country and coming to Derby University, was decisive for my life. Many aspects of my life changed for the better. First, I have learned to be more responsible and organized, not only with my studies but also with my life.
My way of thinking has changed because of the challenges I have faced and the new things I have experienced and learned. I think it is difficult to remain the same person and not become more confident and independent when studying at a university in a new country. Making new friends, group programs, bigger responsibilities, joining communities and living on your own are all challenges. It’s not easy, but you get so much experience out of it.
Finally, I would like to thank the University for the Welcome Week organized by the International Student Center, where they made us feel comfortable, meet other students and get a taste of our curriculum.
During my host week, there were events like barbecue, Union bar party which was really fun, and introductory sessions with some interesting activities.
There was a special activity held for the students of Business Administration. In this session, we had to form a team and complete a presentation on why a student should choose Derby University. It was a good opportunity to meet other students and learn more about the University. The presentations took place at Derby Cathedral and were attended by many local and large companies. It was a competition and the team with the best presentation would win an award. I really enjoyed this activity because I made some friends, learned more about the city of Derby and had the opportunity to network with people from the business industry.
The reception week helped me a lot to meet new young people and made me feel comfortable before the start of the semester. The teachers who spoke to us in the sessions gave us tips and a taste of what to expect in the coming years. I think this week is necessary and no international student should miss it. Food, drinks, new friends and learning about your schedule – there is no better way to get started.
For more information on Derby University, you can contact the university’s exclusive representative, Global Education Services, at 22 780250 or 22 772244.