A Day in the Life of an Exchange Student in Hong Kong

Living in Kennedy Town makes commuting to the University of Hong Kong a 15-minute stroll that I thoroughly enjoy doing every morning. Dropping by one of the local bakeries and grabbing some warm bread for breakfast on my way has become a routine now. I love watching people start off their day, the view from the harbour and just the generally warm weather makes me want to be outdoors all the time.

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The Brexit Talk – an Erasmus student perspective

Brexit – the event on the tip of everyones tongue. It must be tiring for some to see such talk all over the place, with newspapers, social networks and television news programmes obsessively covering the argument until the 23rd June. We have seen the referendum splitting not only parties from one another, but also causing fragmentation within parties. This is particularly true of our current leading party, the Conservatives, with Boris Johnson calling for an end to the union believing at a time when Brussels should be devolving their power, they instead are ‘hauling more and more towards the centre, and there is no way that Britain can be unaffected’. PM David Cameron thinks otherwise.Erasmus_logo.svg Continue reading

Is this for me? – Questioning your degree choice

Choosing a degree type at such a young age is difficult, especially when we are so vulnerable to social media influence, peer and parental pressure. The continuous comparison to others sometimes leads to choosing a career that will make others proud or even jealous, rather than making us happy.

I would like to share some thoughts with people who were not lucky enough and realised throughout the university that their chosen degree is not for them. How to deal with these doubts and confusion? How to get closer to finding out the career that will make you truly happy?

First of all, don’t give up. Most of the degrees teach you skills that you will apply in any job. Organisational skills, punctuality, working to deadlines, writing skills, communication and team working are just few common skills that you will develop at university. There is a high chance that you won’t even remember the topic of the group project you worked on, but you will probably remember how your team dealt with the difficult team member. Do you remember when you had 4 deadlines, evening job and friend’s birthday, all during the same week? And do you remember how you organised yourself and finished all essays on time, and earned some money to go out to celebrate your friend’s birthday? Through situations like these, you will acquire skills that will be essential at any job. So if you don’t enjoy the topic that you study, don’t worry, there are far more important skills you gain from it that simply just a knowledge!Determination_(4585252362)

Another piece of advice is search and try. Join different societies and stay in the one that interests you the most. Try to find some volunteering. Sussex offers a wide variety of volunteering positions across Brighton that are usually no more than few hours a week. Maybe by working with a local charity you will find your passion for fundraising that you have never thought you would enjoy doing. Internships, placements or an exchange year are a great opportunity to find out what you are good at and what interests you the most. By searching, trying and meeting new people, you may be inspired to work in fields you didn’t even think about before.1375275_520690044681949_1277453437_n

If you have not already done it, ask your friends and family. They will know the best what you are good at. Sometimes, simple natural skills and personality traits that you are not aware of, will make you an ideal person for some jobs. Remember, as long as you have a talent in something and a lot of motivation, you will succeed. You can make money and be happy because working hard on something you love, does not feel like working.

Lastly, don’t be discouraged by others. Degrees like marketing, business or art get a lot of criticism. Have you ever received a comment on your studies similar to ‘‘oooh that’s easy’’ or ‘’sorry, but your degree is nothing compared to mine’’. Well, I did. Judgments like these can be discouraging at times and make you question your studies even more. But these people usually ignore the fact that in the above type of studies the competition is enormous and you really need to work hard both at university and in your spare time, to stand out and get your dream job. So, change discouragement into motivation and prove yourself (and maybe some of these stuck up commentators..) that if you really love what you study, you can succeed, and the subject doesn’t matter, as long as it’s yours. Once someone told me ‘You’re studying marketing? That’s so cool! I’m jealous, because I could never do this type of job!’. At the beginning, I thought it might be a sarcasm.. (especially, coming from an Englishman!), but no. This person respects the fact that people have different skills and capabilities. Do you?

PS: Don’t be afraid to change your field! Try not to think about it as a wasted time, try to find the positives. You have probably gained skills you are not even aware of. I keep telling myself and my friends: become educated and execute. Without trying the knowledge in a real work practice, you will never know if this is for you.

So question for you; do you sometimes doubt your degree choice?

Kasia Migas is currently studying at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore as part of the Study Abroad programme through the University of Sussex.

Reasons why the University of Colorado is the best place to study

Considering the fact that I am now into the final stretch of my time at CU (which saddens me greatly), I thought it would be fitting to write this month’s blog on why this place is so great. I could honestly tell you over 100 things that make it amazing, but I’m limited by a word count (and I don’t want to bore you) so I will select just a few things that I find to be particularly appealing!pic3 Continue reading

A Day in the Life of a Sussex Media Student

When I was a prospective student looking into universities, I found it quite hard to imagine what my day-to-day schedule would be like. Coming from the American High School system where I went to school for 7 hours a day and then had 5+ hours of homework each night, I had hoped for a more relaxed schedule than I was used to! I was pleasantly surprised when I started Uni to learn that students generally have fewer contact hours, but they must manage their time wisely since they are expected to self-study and prepare for their classes themselves. While schedules vary widely between students, depending on their university, course, and how they structure their free time, I will aim to show what a day in the life of a University of Sussex media student looks like.blogimage1

My Average Tuesday:

Tuesday is the only day of the week where I have more than one class. There are two types of classes: seminars and lectures. Seminars are interactive classes led by tutors who stimulate conversation within the group, while lectures are less interactive and are more like presentations. The length of each class varies from module to module: I have had lectures that last between 1-2 hours and seminars that last from 1-3 hours. Modules will usually consist of one lecture and one seminar, but can differ, especially for practical media courses such as animation or graphic design.blogimage4

I start every Tuesday at 12:00 with a lecture for my American Popular Music module. This is a fairly small lecture, and includes everyone who is taking the module.

After my lecture, I popped down to the farmer’s market-which is held just outside Falmer House every Tuesday morning to mid-afternoon-where I picked up a delicious (vegetarian and gluten-free!) burrito bowl for lunch.blogimage3

The School of Media, Film, and Music, located in the Silverstone building on campus, has a lovely little social area on the top floor with tables, chairs, sofas, and vending machines. After I stopped by the market and picked up a few veggies, I took my lunch to the social space to do a bit of reading before my seminar.

I have quite a big break between my two classes, so sometimes I will grab some lunch and study, other times I will catch a bus home and come back to campus later on. After I had some quality study time, I headed to my Sound, Culture, and Society seminar from 16:00-18:00 before heading home for the day, where I did my reading and seminar preparations for the next day’s class.blogimage2

As I mentioned before, Tuesdays are my longest days, and I only have 3 hours of contact time. In fact, each week, I only have about 8 hours of actual contact time but I spend at least 2-3 hours a day studying independently. Every day tends to be different, but once you develop a schedule you will find that it is quite easy to organise your time.

Natalie Maryam Nouri is a 2nd year Media and Communications student and International Student Ambassador from the USA.