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Arash Vosoughifard joined University of Chester in September 2019 to study our postgraduate Sport Management programme.

Originally from Tehran, Iran’s capital city, Arash embraced the international student experience and recently graduated with a grade he is immensely proud of.

Read more about his experience in Chester below:

You took the University of Chester English Language Test (UoCELT) to gain admission. Tell us about this.

Unfortunately, my existing IELTS score fell just below the University’s entry requirements and I didn’t have enough time to book another one before my programme deadline. I was close to giving up, until I heard about the UoCELT. It provided me with an excellent opportunity to prove I could meet the required level of English to gain admission. The test was conducted online, in the presence of a very friendly English tutor from the University’s International Centre. He explained the process well and made me feel at ease. Like IELTS, I was tested on reading, writing, speaking and listening, but with a focus on one particular topic. I passed and was very grateful for the opportunity.

To find out more about our in-house English test, visit our UoCELT webpage.

What made you choose University of Chester?

I knew the University had a good reputation amongst overseas students and this was confirmed last year when it was voted second-best in the UK for international students. I was also influenced by the high academic learning standards and excellent facilities. Finally, coming from a hectic capital city like Tehran, I decided I wanted to live in a city which was quieter, where I could feel safe and at home - Chester ticked these boxes perfectly!

What were your first impressions of Chester?

That it was the perfect mix of historical and modern! I loved discovering the Roman walls and learning more about the city.

What do you like about studying here?

The people of Chester are so friendly! There is a very warm and welcoming atmosphere in the city. There’s also a big number of international students, so it’s very easy to make friends.

I also appreciate the supportive nature of the University. Academics and support departments have ensured that my learning experience throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been a positive one. My lectures had a real focus on practical learning, which has enhanced my career prospects.

What is life like as an international student in Chester?

Amazing! The University is home to students from countries around the world and I’ve made friends with people from all kinds of backgrounds. The international experience requires you to come out of your comfort zone. Moving to a new country and adjusting to a different culture was slightly overwhelming to start, but each day, my confidence grew, allowing me to embrace the international student experience. I have gained a great insight into UK culture and history and this is exactly what I wanted to achieve prior to my arrival.

How has the programme shaped your future career?

As previously mentioned, modules and lectures are focused on practical learning, as opposed to just reading notes from a PowerPoint slide for two-hours at a time. Even when studies were online, I was still able to take part in interactive group sessions with my peers (via Microsoft Teams) and apply our knowledge to real-world scenarios. This experience will be crucial during my professional career.

Would you recommend the University to other international students?

Absolutely. My experience has been amazing and I would advise every international student who is considering overseas education to choose University of Chester. Excellent facilities, supportive staff, a beautiful city and students from around the world make Chester the perfect location.

" Students from the MENA region have sometimes found it difficult to book an IELTS test or equivalent. I am very pleased that Arash, and others have been able to take our in-house offering as an alternative. The UoCELT is practical and effective and I would encourage any student with an English language requirement on their offer to consider the test. I’m also glad Arash has enjoyed his experience in Chester! He represents everything that is good about our diverse pool of international students. "

Ibraheem Al-Jumaili, International Officer for the Middle East and North Africa

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