In Britain's culture hub

Anirudh Parthasarathy   | Photo Credit: HANDOUT_E_MAIL

When you set foot in a foreign country, the first thing you experience is the change in climate.

When I arrived in England last year, it had the coolest temperatures I had ever experienced.

Especially for someone accustomed to Chennai's weather, the drastic change in temperatures was exciting — the streets filled with snow and temperatures close to zero.

I joined Oxford Brookes University in September 2012 for pursuing master’s in Digital Media. The preparation for my journey to England was intense — I completed my bachelor’s in May 2012 and joined Oxford Brookes three months later.

Hence, I had my work cut out for those three months.

Building synergies

I decided to stay at the university-managed accommodation and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to pursue higher studies in the U.K. as you get to meet and live with people from different countries and learn about their cultures, which are important aspects of living in a multi-cultural society such as Great Britain.

Many Indians I know prefer to live as a group in private accommodation, which is fine but it’s important to keep in mind that when you are in a foreign country, social integration with the locals makes your life much easier.

The teaching method here is practical-oriented. Especially for creative fields, which rely more on practical than theoretical training, all modules are evaluated through coursework alone.

Students have 24-hour access to the university’s facilities, so you can stay back after lectures for as long as you need to study or complete any pending works.

Improvisation and the passion to learn independently definitely helps as you will be spending more time working on your own than attending lectures, especially while working on your final project or dissertation.

Time and money are the two major factors that determine your academic as well as social life. Hence it’s important that you manage both well.

Student city

Oxford is a beautiful place. Popularly known as a ‘student city’, it boasts of having the highest proportion of students in its population, compared to the rest of the U.K. But it’s also an expensive place to live in. Therefore, it’s important to keep an eye on your spending.

The city centre is the hub for commercial activities and a major attraction for tourists. The Ashmolean Museum and Christ Church College, which was used as a location for the Harry Potter films, are the other major attractions in the city.

Oxford has a blend of ancient and modern architecture and its streets give it a historic look. Travelling to London takes just over an hour, which is ideal if you wish to visit London during weekends.

The people are quite friendly and the use of ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ is common in everyday conversation as etiquette is highly valued by the British.

The weather is mostly overcast and rainy, but there is also the occasional heat and sunshine in-between that takes you by surprise.

The writer is pursuing his masters in digital media at Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, U.K. Email: 12028845@brookes.ac.uk

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 3:04:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/education/college-and-university/in-britains-culture-hub/article5009787.ece

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