I realised where my passion lies
Josmi Puthettu Jose is from India and is studying MSc Criminology.
Finding the right course
My undergraduate course was in Mathematics, and my first Master’s was in Social Work. After spending time volunteering for charity organisations and domestic abuse victims, particularly anything criminal, I was encouraged to take the plunge and sculpt a career I was passionate about.
My first thought of doing a postgraduate course in Criminology intimidated me a lot. I was sceptical all through my admission procedures. But my whole ideology and thinking changed a lot after coming here. The cultural shock, the shift in weather and my first experiences as an international student were overwhelming. Still, I must say I feel extremely privileged to be a student at University of Gloucestershire.
Coming from an Asian country, the expectations my family had were quite different from what I had for myself. For the first time in my life, I started to open myself up, which brought a change in my life. I became more independent than ever because I had to do everything myself. This helped me in exploring who I am and what I want to be in my life.
The wonderful thing that happened to me is that I realised where my passion lies. I have been sceptical all through my life. Where should I go? Is this the right path I’m taking? Is this the right place where I should be? But coming here made a lot of sense. This was a total shift in my personal as well as my academic growth. It is my desire to stay in academia and do research in my area of interest to gain expertise in domestic abuse.
Classes and lecturers
I must say, my classmates are one of a kind. They were extremely helpful in assisting me with the hurdles I came across. I feel that I am lucky to meet some amazing professors with expertise in their research areas.
My course leader, personal tutor and dissertation supervisor have guided and helped me, along with all other lecturers, in analysing my strength and weakness and helping me gain academic and research skills. All of my lectures have a magical touch, which gave life to the topics discussed in the class. It helped me bridge the gaps and answer many questions that haunted me for much of my life.
Words fail to describe how beautiful Cheltenham is. It is a pretty town; I fell in love with it. It’s not too crowded or too busy but brimming with people who have lovely smiles and kind hearts. If there is a day when I feel blue, a walk around the town always helps to lift my mood.
I have been to other parts of England as the chaplaincy team has organised some trips for international students to visit Oxford and Birmingham. But there is no place like home, which I would say Cheltenham is.
The Accommodation Team at University of Gloucestershire do an amazing job and they provide international students with an opportunity to have Halls accommodation for a 14-week contract, which is extremely useful as Cheltenham is a small town and it can be quite difficult to find suitable accommodation straightaway.
I lived in the Pittville Student Village accommodation, and I recommend international students live here as it is close to town and you can get the bus easily as there is a bus stop just in front of the accommodation. You have everything nearby, and I made my friends here and had the best of everything. The kitchen is shared, but everyone is very friendly. Nicole and John from the Accommodation Team were constantly checking in on us, asking how we were settling in, and they provided us with support and guidance 24/7.
The Students Union organises different events in Pittville, such as movie night and games night. The Chaplaincy team also hold International Cafes, craft sessions, doggy-drop-ins along with many other events, which helped me mingle with people and come out of my comfort zone.
My advice to everyone who plans to study here is to keep an open mind; people around you are extremely kind and friendly and will provide you with the help and guidance you need. I applied to two to three different universities; one thing I will never forget about University of Gloucestershire, is that whatever one needs to find out, it is explicitly and clearly mentioned on the university website.
In addition, whenever I emailed the Immigration Team, they were quick in their reply and guided me in every step of my admission procedure. If you are from an international country, the assessments and guidelines are probably different from your home county. However, there is an excellent Academic Achievement and Support team which helps students by providing constructive feedback on how to develop their opinion and ideas.