I came to Chester from London and, I know it’s a bit of a cliché, but so far I’ve had the most amazing uni experience. Chester is very different to London. Back in London, you’ve got all the hustle and bustle; people are basically rushing everywhere, going places. Chester is more laid back and I like that. It’s nice to be in a place that’s so relaxed because I can study and feel free in that kind of environment.
“Chester has that ‘it’ factor that not a lot of other places have.”
Being able to escape to Chester, I’ve got that freedom to breathe, which is great! Chester has that ‘it’ factor that not a lot of other places have. I call Chester home, and now, when I’m at home in London, it’s funny, cause I’ll say “I’m going back home”.
I still live with my first year housemate. She’s great! That thing they say about finding your best friends at uni, it’s actually true. Uni friends are definitely friends for life! Although I didn’t get to live on campus in my first year, that didn’t stop me from making just as many friends. Finding student accommodation in the private sector was quite easy and it’s not all that different to living in uni owned accommodation because you still get to live with students and get that experience of student living.
I decided to do Law and Spanish because I wanted to be an international lawyer in South America. But, since my year abroad, I’ve actually changed my mind! I taught English in two primary schools in Murcia, and to say I had a fantastic year would be an understatement. I learnt so much about myself, made some really great friends and got to share in some great experiences with them as well. The whole experience made me realise that there’s so much more that can be done to help children, and that’s why I’ve now decided to become an academic learning mentor.
To be honest, I wouldn’t say I’m the most studious person but the support you have at Chester is second to none. There are so many people on hand who are able to help you and steer you in the right direction so that you don’t fall behind or submit a piece of work you’re not totally happy with. Chester has a fantastic support network, everything from study skills development to careers guidance. And it is these little extras that help to ensure that I’m getting the very best out of myself and my degree.
The thing I love about university life is that it has made me more independent and I have met some really great friends and really great people. Living by myself in my accommodation has helped me to develop some of the skills that are required in life. I’m an amazing chef! I didn’t figure that out… so I think I can compare myself to Gordon Ramsey now!
“I think the University have done a really good job of linking your studies with work-based opportunities, and the facilities for Engineering at Thornton Science Park really are outstanding.”
My accommodation is a great place to live and study. I live in self-catered halls, right at the heart of campus. It’s very well equipped. I wanted my own kitchen and I wanted my own bathroom. We have fast internet and there’s lots of storage space for my books so I don’t have to move too much around to find my stuff. And the location of my halls is very good. The library to my accommodation is very close by; I can just see it out of my window.
Of course, everybody misses home to some extent but it’s so easy to keep in touch with friends and family these days. I Skype and WhatsApp my family and friends in Dubai, India and Canada every night, so this really helps me.
I chose to study Chemical Engineering at Chester. It must be a family thing because both my father and sister are engineers. My course can be a little challenging but I don’t mind it because I love doing maths and science.
What really appealed to me at Chester was the work placement you get on the course. And with the course also based at the University’s science park, you immediately get exposure to the real world of work. I think the University have done a really good job of linking your studies with work-based opportunities, and the facilities for Engineering at Thornton Science Park really are outstanding. It’s great to be able to get so much hands-on experience with industry standard equipment. That’s the main reason why I came to do engineering here at Chester.
In my first year, I was in semi-catered accommodation. It was good. It was two meals a day, five days a week so it meant that, whenever I was down at Kingsway, I could get my lunch at Kingsway and then have my class, then come home and get my dinner. It saved a lot of bother whenever I was trying to get on with my work so I really liked the convenience of semi-catered.
“…the course has been the best thing about going to uni in Chester. The whole three years have been a major highlight and an unforgettable experience.”
Then, when I went into the second year, I went into private accommodation. It was university managed so it was good in the sense that, if you had any problems, you could go to the uni about it. And then, in the third year, I’ve really enjoyed my accommodation because it’s completely private… but it’s good in the sense that I’m with my best friend who’s also a music student. It just feels a lot more like home because we just get on so well.
The course I’m studying is called Popular Music Performance and I’m really enjoying it. From the beginning there’s been so much support and guidance from the lecturers. And Kingsway, where the course is taught, is a great campus because there are just so many creative people there. It’s great for when you’re looking to work collaboratively with students from another course.
I’ve met a lot of friends throughout my university experience and I’ve also met one through my course, Chloe, who plays the keys, and also Chryso who’s a singer. They’re both in the second year now, studying music. It’s been really great because you can just rehearse with them in uni and then go out and gig with them. It’s just a really great experience.
The first four weeks of the course you’re put into a band and you’re taught how to rehearse properly as a band. And now I’m in my own band with two other members who are on my course. It’s great because you use the skills that you’ve developed on the course and gain even more experience at the same time. Plus when you’re gigging around Chester, it’s great for networking and it increases your confidence. I’ve got two tracks produced and I’m in the process of getting another two produced so I can have an EP released.
I just love Chester because it’s like a completely different world compared to back home in Northern Ireland. I love the history and there’s just so much of it in Chester. And then there’s the Zoo. I love going to the Zoo and Chester Zoo is fantastic. However, for me, the course has been the best thing about going to uni in Chester. The whole three years have been a major highlight and an unforgettable experience.