Name: Ralitsa Arnaudova
University: University of Strathclyde
City and country: Glasgow, United Kingdom
Major: BA (Hons) Business Administration
University of Strathclyde is one of the universities in the United Kingdom with highest rate of employability for both undergraduate students and graduates. In terms of student’s satisfaction from courses and facilities it takes 2nd place right after St. Andrews (the university of prince William and Kate Middleton). It is situated right in the heart of the most cosmopolitan city in Scotland, where the student life is rated as one of the best in the U.K. Students have the opportunity to live in the university campus while their first or second year, which is quite convenient especially for those coming from overseas. On campus students can meet loads of different people, make friends and have fun.
My course is Business Administration with a focus on Management and Marketing as main subjects. During the first year within Strathclyde Business School students are introduced and allowed to choose between about 10 different business subjects such as Economics, Finance, Business Technology, Management, Human Resources, Marketing, Hospitality and Tourism Management, etc. After completing 6 of those subjects successfully, students pick three of them to focus on for the rest of their studies. What is best for our business programme is that it is very flexible and one can always change their choice. The compulsory Management Development Programme is what makes us different and outstanding from all business schools. The module has a strong emphasis on building key business skills including negotiating, presenting, working and developing different team projects. It involves quite a lot of preparation for future job interviews and also gives us the chance to meet and speak with some potential employers.
After all subjects’ inductions I chose to do Management, Marketing, Hospitality and Tourism Management, Business Technology and French. As you can notice I didn’t take economics or finance since I don’t like numbers at all. The main point is to do the courses that you really enjoy, this is why I find my university the best. This year I will be doing Management, Marketing and Tourism and hopefully in three years time I will be a proud owner of a joint honors diploma for Management and Marketing. For all subjects students need to attend two lectures per week and one tutorial in every two weeks. Classes do not take much of our time, however we receive plenty of homework to do, such as researches, reports, essays and presentations.
Difficulties experienced during the first year
Scotland is not one of the sunniest places in world as you may already know. Weather was the most shocking thing and to be more specific – the rain. I was surprised a lot seeing all those people walking on the streets so calmly in the rain as they do not even notice it. In time I realized rain and cold are just things one can get used to. Today walking around with a T-shirt while 5 degrees outside is something that I find myself doing quite often. Another weird thing to me was that when I first came here the sun was setting at 4 p.m. each afternoon so I had to get used to the darkness outside. On the other hand in the summer the sun sets at 11 p.m. at night, which is cool.
University library & literature
Library is where most of the first year students spend their time. Whether you are doing an individual research for an essay or preparing a team presentation for one of your tutorials, our library has all facilities you need in order to be a successful student.
Career Center and professional development
Our career center helps students to find the most appropriate jobs for themselves, whether a full or part time one, inside or outside the university campus. Students can book meetings with our career advisers and get help for building a successful CV or a cover letter. Tips for interviews and assessment centres are given as well.
Strathclyde has a wide variety of sports clubs, from football to skydiving, so there is something for everyone. A number of different fitness classes and sports activities are provided on our CSR (Centre for Sports and Recreation) where is also situated the biggest gym in Glasgow. I found the sports facilities great, since I managed to continue with my table tennis trainings (something that I have done for the last 10 years). I met my new teammates and we managed to become champions of Scotland in the women’s team championship and I won the Scottish Student Sport individual championship myself. I became a president of Strathclyde Table Tennis Club in May and this year, a part from winning the gold medals again I plan to expand and develop the club, and also engage it with some famous sports brands, which will be announced soon.
Most of my free time in my first year I spent in our CSR or exploring the city. There are many possibilities for having fun in Glasgow, whether it will be by going out to a pub with friends of just enjoying some art work in some of the greatest Scottish museums and galleries. Since we are already 7 Glow girls living here, we created the GlasGLOW girls ‘club’ which was a bit of a joke at first, however we spend a lot of time all together and support ourselves in everything we do. This year we even made a bake sale in front of University of Glasgow in order to support financially LA GLOW 2014. It was a great fun!
Cultural and social events
My favorite part in terms of the events in Glasgow is that there are concerts almost every night starting from Beyonce to Fall Out Boy and Alice in Chains. A month after my arrival here, exactly on my birthday I went to listen HIM live. It was the most incredible night in my life to listen to my favorite band from literally the first row in the concert hall exactly on my birthday. And I am sure that more nights like this are to come!
Cut the costs
Even one of the biggest cities in the U.K. Glasgow is very affordable and even cheap, especially for students. A lot of discounts are made in restaurants, fast food chains, clothes shops and book stores and you can also use a card from the specific brand in order to collect points and get things for free afterwards. All museums and galleries are free of charge as well.
Insurances and transport
To be honest, I did not really use transport in my first year, because I was living on campus, which, as I already mentioned, is situated in the city centre. However, the subway is very convenient and cheap, there are busses in every few minutes, but most of the students coming from the towns prefer to use trains as the fastest transport.
Jobs and work permit
No restrictions at all. Once you get your National Insurance Number (need only passport and proof of address to get it), you are ready to work. 20 hours work per week are recommended for students, since they have to spend a particular amount of time studying and attending lectures, however you can do more during holidays and non term time. There are interesting internship opportunities, offered from the university, but you can always go and find something more casual if you wish.