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It was my dream to come to the UK

Malaysia /International Scholarship / MSc Financial Technology

Anissa Sivabalan is a student from Malaysia and an International scholarship holder. She is studying MSc Financial Technology and enjoys being a student again, learning new things and taking part in different activities and societies.

Coming to Uni of Glos

I did my bachelor’s degree in Finance & Investment, then I worked for three years as a Finance Executive in a trading company. My parents encouraged me to do my masters degree in the UK so, I was saving money for that. The University of Gloucestershire has a January intake, while most of the universities mainly target September. They also have the FinTech course which not every university offers. I read the description of the University and I was quite impressed. It was my dream to come to the UK. Once I applied here, and I received a scholarship, I was like… I’m going!

Shifting from employment to being a student again is such a joy! Once I started working, I wished to be a student again as working life can be stressful.


The tutors here are very experienced and they provide an excellent teaching experience, for instance, learning Python is incredibly challenging and beneficial for me. They were helpful and always concerned about us which I was utterly amazed about. However, the UK education system is more into independent learning compared to previous study in my home country.

Facilities and activities

I utilise the sports facilities close to Oxstalls campus by playing badminton and tennis, practicing yoga, and playing basketball with my friends. By joining the clubs and society, I have got to know more people and we participate in sports activities together. I am also a member of the Nintendo game club as I love playing games and spending time on a different campus. I have also joined the Global Cafe every Wednesday evening organised by the Chaplaincy Team. The Sanctuary space is available for everyone, and I usually go there to play the keyboard, join in board games and have a coffee during my break.


I am quite amazed at how every individual is treated equally, as they address each other by their first names regardless of their position.


I would like to give some advice to younger self – Just be brave! Ignore how others are looking at you or are being judgemental, and just go with the flow by being positive. Be brave and do what you love the most.

The advice I would give to the potential students in Malaysia is to buy winter clothing when you arrive as it is much cheaper, and you can save some luggage space. I find it easy to get a few Asian foods in Asda and Tesco, as well as in Burton Street!


Mention everything, your academic success: your work experience, volunteering, and any additional skills that you have, like music. Explain why you chose the course at University of Gloucestershire and how it will help you with your future. Writing an essay was quite challenging for me and I did a lot of research on how to write a successful application. Keep the resume up to date with every important detail of the work experience, awards, etc. Give it a go, you might be the next scholarship holder!


Agent SI-UK was helpful in terms of providing me with information about Covid and the list of universities that would suit my requirements.


It is a historical place here, and I would suggest going out and exploring new places during the weekend or semester break. There are a few places like Birmingham, Bristol and Swindon which are just a few miles away by train. I love the countryside views of hills, villages, rivers, and parks in Gloucestershire.