An International Student's Experience of Wlv Uni

 

Studying at university can be tough, but how about tackling university on the other side of the world - In a different language, with a new culture, on your own?

Ryosei Onaya, a student from Sapporo, Japan, kindly tells us of his experience of what would appear both an incredibly exciting, and daunting experience.

The 21 year old student of Audio Engineering first came to the UK for 2 weeks of summer school before beginning his course, travelling 9000km from his home in northern Japan, having obtained a competitive study-abroad scholarship from his Government. Read about his experience of the University and the UK in general - from thoughts on Brexit, to food, to insights about differences:
 

Why study in the UK and Wolverhampton?  What were your expectations?

A fan of Top Gear/The Grand Tour and ‘kin-iro mosaic’ – an anime involving UK international students - Ryosei was “excited to come to the UK and learn more about Britain and Europe.”

“I found the course online – Wolverhampton was one of only 3 universities in the UK to do my course. The course here is the best; I love my modules. And location is great for trips.”

In light of Brexit, did you have any worries about British attitudes?

After Brexit, some people abroad worry about whether they would be welcome in the UK. However regarding his experience, Ryosei says “I’ve never felt any discrimination. Everyone is so friendly… I feel welcome here.”

Also commenting comically on the fall of the pound, he says it is “much better” for him, as “now I can buy much more when I exchange my money.”

What was the biggest challenge with studying abroad? Was the language difficult?

My first thought about studying in UK – ‘difficult’. But I had a lot of help from people here and teachers at home. They worked so hard.

As currently the only Japanese student at Wolverhampton, Ryosei describes making new friends as the “most difficult” challenge, explaining that “in Japan we have classes with the same people for 2 years, so it is easier.

As for the language, he “learnt English from video games, but it was mostly American English. The difference was difficult at first.”

How does university here differ from Japan?

We don’t have a Starbucks at our Universities in Japan.”

Other than the Starbucks (about which he enthusiastically exclaimed “I love it”), he talked of the difference in strictness over lateness that was surprising to him: “Being late for classes is highly strict in Japan, it will affect your grade… It’s much more relaxed here, but I love it.”

It is so different I can’t compare. There are not so many activities at my home university (I joined the Anime society here), but maybe that is just my Uni.”

Were you able to settle in and was it difficult getting used to the food?

“Actually I LOVE fish and chips. I can’t start the week without it.”

But despite his love for fish and chips, Ryosei still makes the journey every 2 weeks to London’s Japan Centre for ‘proper’ instant Ramen; returning with an impressive stack of “maybe forty”.

But settling was easy – “it only took a few days. I love the UK. The only thing I don’t like is the delay in anime releases.

How has this experience benefited you and what has been your best experience?

Learning in the studio filled with very expensive equipment is great experience as an audio engineering student… and my trip to Edinburgh was one of the best experiences in my life” he told us, relating his experience of that trip to one of his “favourite cities” (along with London), spending all day at the castle and learning how to play and record bagpipes.

This experience has given me confidence and independence, and improved my English.”

What advice would you give to other international students currently here and those thinking of studying here?

Have fun! I believe that fun and memorable moments will help us to grow up impressively. Studying abroad has great potential to give us them”.

It’s hard to leave alone, but don’t be afraid about it. Everyone is friendly”.

Also, Ryosei explains that many people in Japan are worried about safety when they leave their country, and many “for some reason think the UK is not so safe”, but “Wolverhampton is much safer than I thought it would be.”


To all our international students, we welcome you and hope you have an amazing experience during your stay here, in the UK and at Wolverhampton! If you want to share your experiences with us we will be happy to hear it.

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