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Student voices

Read about the experiences of students from Europe who have studied at a UK university...

  • Lelde, studying French and Journalism Studies at the University of Stirling
  • Miroslaw, studying Film, Media and Journalism at the University of Stirling

University of Stirling student LeldeName: Lelde 
Home country: Latvia
Institution: University of Stirling
Programme: French and Journalism Studies 

Why did you choose the University of Stirling?
I chose it for the course and for the facilities on campus. Although I’d never visited the University before coming here, I’d heard good things about the quality of education, particularly in the Media Department.

Why did you choose your programme of study?
It allowed me to combine the two things I couldn’t for the life of me choose between studying! Although I started off studying Media, the flexible system allowed me to easily swap it for Journalism in my second semester.

Where did you study before coming to the UK?
I graduated from high school in Latvia and applied to various Scottish universities through UCAS, with Stirling being my first choice.

What do you think of the quality of the lectures and seminars?
I like how seminars are taught, as students’ participation is encouraged and you really feel like your opinion matters. Lectures also tend to be very dynamic.

What do you think of your accommodation?
Living on campus in my first year was the best choice I could have made, as some of the fun things we got up to in halls are among the best memories of my time at uni. My room in Geddes Court was very basic, but it was my first home away from home so it will always be a ‘wee bit special’.

Living in town is very different, as you undeniably have more distractions, but the University isn’t far at all so you can head over at any time.

What do you think of the campus?
It’s absolutely stunning. The best season to enjoy the scenery and make use of the grounds is spring. Everyone brings out their picnic rugs and has barbeques.

Having mountains so close to campus has induced jealousy in everyone who’s ever come to visit me! As have the loch and squirrels and bunnies all around it.

What do you think of the Students’ Union?
I do enjoy the occasional pint at Studio, one of the Union’s bars. I’ve never really been involved in the Union, but do feel and trust they represent the students well.

Have you joined any clubs?
Yes, I’ve tried quite a few – Photography, French and the International Society. In fact, I made many very good friends through the International Society and always loved their food night events and ceilidhs.

Do you like being so close to Edinburgh and Glasgow?
I absolutely love being able to head down to Glasgow for a night out, or to Edinburgh for a bit of a cultural outing. Both are great for shopping too!

What do you think of the sports facilities?
Having a state-of-the-art gym and pool on campus made me appreciate fitness for the first time in my life.

Are you planning to do postgraduate study? Yes, I am. I plan to broaden my horizons and try out the education on offer in another UK institution.

What advice would you give to students thinking of coming to study in the UK?
Don’t just stick to campus, however beautiful it may be. Make the most of the surroundings! I really regret not spending more time discovering Stirling city centre and the area. You’d struggle to find a university so well situated for travelling around Scotland.

What is the best thing about your university?
The campus and new library are awesome. And I love how compact the campus is so you can always run into people you know and really feel at home.

University of Stirling student MiroslawName: Miroslaw 
Institution: University of Stirling
Programme: Film, Media and Journalism 

Why did you choose the University of Stirling?
I chose Stirling because of its good reputation, high position in the rankings and the opportunities that the University offers. I read some information about my course and life in Stirling, and it was just enough to convince me that it is a place for me. I have to say that the location of the University and its beautiful campus were two most decisive factors. What’s more, the University provides one of the best courses in film, media and journalism.

Why did you choose your programme of study?
I chose to study film, media and journalism because I have been interested in film and music since I was a child. Film is, for me, a work of art, the creation of something from nothing. As life went on, I became also fascinated with journalism and its ways of discovering the truth. At the moment my dream is to become a professional director. I have been working on my latest short film, ‘Irretrievably’, the premiere of which is going to take place next month.

What do you think of the quality of the lectures and seminars?
Working in small groups is definitely a positive aspect of lectures and seminars. The majority of classes are interesting. Practical seminars – for example, creating film or radio programmes – are my favourite. I love spending time in our radio studio or on the film set. Although it’s just for a short moment, you can experience what professionals feel.

However, some lecturers are better than others and I find that some lectures and seminars a bit boring. Nevertheless, it is a very personal opinion. Generally, it should be said that lectures provide the information that is essential for practical seminars.

What do you think of your accommodation?
Accommodation on the campus is generally good. Living in halls is the best way to make friends. I felt very comfortable in my single room with a beautiful view of the Wallace monument.

The only negative thing was a constant mess in the kitchen!

What do you think of the campus?
The campus is simply fantastic. In my opinion it’s one of the most beautiful campuses in the world. It looks amazing with the lake, surrounded by mountains and all the wildlife. There is everything you need – for example, a bank, shop or even a pub. Added to that, all the University’s buildings are located on the campus, which saves you the time and money to travel from town for lectures, etc.

Have you joined any clubs?
I’ve joined the AirTV society. Being a part of the AirTV team allows you to gain some experience in film-making, work with other students and get some help and/or advice about your projects. They also provide training for complete beginners. I would recommend AirTV for all students who want to work in the media industry.

What’s more, it’s a good way to become familiar with equipment like a video camera, as the Film Department does not allow you to use their equipment unless its for course-related purposes.

Do you like being so close to Edinburgh and Glasgow?
I like to be close to Edinburgh and Glasgow because it allows you to escape from Stirling from time to time. You can attend any gigs happening over there and get back home quickly. You can also just go there for a day out, do some sightseeing or relax.

What do you think of the sports facilities?
Sport facilities are amazing at Stirling. Basically, you can do any indoor and outdoor sport you like, including swimming or parachuting.

Are you planning to do postgraduate study?
I’m planning to do postgraduate study, but am yet to make up my mind where l would like to do it. Stirling is one of the main options.

What advice would you give to students thinking of coming to study in the UK?
I would encourage students to consider Stirling University, because it’s a fantastic place to be. You will find studies that are interesting, you will have fun while studying, make friends and live in a beautiful place. It will definitely be precious and one of the best moments in your life.

What is the best thing about your university?
The best thing about Stirling University is its atmosphere. You can never be bored at the University. You can either do sports, develop skills in your private time (equipment is always available for you) or simply learn in our superb new-built library.

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