I saw my first snowfall, and that was amazing
Roshni Varna is from India and is studying a Master’s in Communications, PR and Media.
After completing my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in English literature, I started working in a market research firm. It was a good job in the sense that it was something that I liked doing – mainly language editing and grammar. I did that for 4 years until I realised that I might not want to do it for the rest of my life; I wanted to do something new.
That’s when I started looking at universities and courses for someone with my background. I had shortlisted three universities with similar courses. I went through the course descriptions and the course by the University of Gloucestershire seemed to suit me. My course is communications, PR, and the media – a bit of everything. It sounded very exciting to me. I also went through all of the student reviews, and they all said the university provided a great level of support for international students, even regarding career opportunities after they had graduated.
My previous educational background was focused on language and literature. I wanted to learn additional skills which are industry specific and do something related to media, communications and entertainment. During my course, I learned various software, how to use camera equipment, creating podcasts, blogs, using Photoshop and Premiere Pro, etc. Those were things that I would never have learned if I had not chosen this course. They give us introductory training on all of these things in addition to PR-related topics, like campaigns and communication strategies.
The best part of my course is how practical it is – you learn something and then immediately put that to practical use. You have to figure out how to apply your new knowledge to a real-life campaign. Our assessments also allow us to put into practice what we’ve learned in the class. You have to use your own ideas, which is a very fresh approach. I realised the joy of learning after coming here.
When I first got my assessment brief, I cried! I thought I could not do this – it was out of my comfort zone. But on the last day of the module, when I finished my assessment and looked back, it was unbelievable that I had come through all that, learned all that, and then used all that knowledge to produce something. I realised that if you’re open to learning you can do so much more than you think you can. That was very, very eye-opening for me.
I did not know anyone before coming to the UK, which is one reason I chose university accommodation. My halls are on campus, so I can wake up five minutes before the class, which is very convenient!
It is also safe and well guarded with onsite security staff. Everyone knows each other on campus and there are lots of activities that helped me meet a lot of people.
I am a student ambassador and an international buddy. The Buddy Scheme is a new system that was introduced last year. In addition, I spend a lot of time in the sanctuary space. It’s one of the calmest places you can go to and meet many people. There’s a big community of Indian students as well. The University took us to Birmingham and Oxford on a free trip.
Back in India, I used to live in a very crowded city. To come here and to see so much greenery is so good for me. When you are at the Park campus, you can go to the lake. You can have a walk into the town. It’s very peaceful and not too crowded, but there is still everything you need.
I saw my first snowfall, and that was amazing. Everybody was complaining about how cold it was, but for me, the winter was just perfect. I spent the whole week just enjoying the snow while it lasted. For me, that has been the best experience so far. I also took some amazing pictures!
My dream plan is to work for Disney – that’s where I want to see myself in 5 or 6 years. Immediately after my course, my priority will be to find some sort of work experience related to PR, content creation or content management.
My lecturer found that a previous alumnus of this University works in Disney for the content creation team. Wow! If she succeeded, then there is no reason why I can’t dream big.
The education system is different in the UK, and it can be overwhelming, but once you open your mind to it and you’re ready to take on whatever’s coming your way, it will be great. Get out of your comfort zone and never limit yourself.
I was someone who never thought of getting out of my shell or even travelling to a different country and studying a whole new field. But once you do it, you get to meet many like-minded people and do things you wouldn’t have done otherwise. It is worth all the work and effort you put into it – it’s something that has made so much difference to my outlook on life.