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Starting university is an exciting time. But it can also be a daunting one; finding yourself in a completely new environment and, for many, moving away from home for the first time. In this blog, third year Criminology student Roberta recalls her journey from applying to Chester to moving all the way from her home in Italy at the start of her first year, and how much things have changed since those early days.

Roberta’s Story

The story of why I chose the University of Chester starts back in 2013. I used to come over to the UK from Italy (as I am from Italy but my mum is from the UK) to visit my grandparents. Chester has always been one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. Since I was a child, Chester was always the first place I visited each time I came to the UK.

During one of my last visits before I moved here, I was invited by my friend to accompany her to an Open Day at the University of Chester. This, involuntarily, gave me the opportunity to discover more about the University, and made me start to think about how big an opportunity it would be to be accepted to a British university, and how my language could improve in the meanwhile.
From that day everything seemed a lot different to me, as I started to think more about my future and focus on my studies with the goal of coming to do a degree at Chester. I applied during January 2016 through UCAS, and in March I was accepted onto the course I had always wanted to study, but that in Italy is only considered as a specialisation. 
I left my own country to come and study at Chester in August 2016. For the first 11 months I commuted to Chester from Buckley, North Wales. During first term I often felt a bit confused and unsettled, but I was lucky to get lots of support.

For the Christmas holidays I went home for three weeks and I missed Chester so much: the Eastgate clock, the River Dee, and trips on the boats. When I came back I realised that there were so many people there for me; university friends and family. 
In February 2017 I applied for a job, and this has significantly improved my language skills and my confidence. Since then I have gained so much more experience and improved my skills even further. This summer, I decided to push my student life forward a bit more so reduced my working hours – in a way in which I can still survive with the money earned – and decided to participate to some events as a student ambassador. I’ve made some amazing new friends and can’t wait to start my third year!

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