'When you explore the world, you explore yourself' | Top Universities

'When you explore the world, you explore yourself'

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Holly Hemmings

Updated May 15, 2024



Fulya, Student at Kings College University

Living and studying abroad had always been a dream for Fulya, a Taiwanese student studying a master’s degree in comparative literature at Kings College London, UK.  

Fulya spoke to TopUniversities.com about her decision to study abroad, what her experience has been like in the UK and the most important factors for international students to consider. 

More than a great education 

When talking about her decision to study in the UK, Fulya said: “For me, studying abroad is about more than a great education. It’s also about putting myself in a new environment where I can start from zero and completely be with myself, explore myself in a different place, try new things and encounter people I’d never otherwise meet.’  

“I love the English culture. The art, history and landscape are amazing. Studying in London offers me many cultural opportunities. […] Secondly, because my partner is British, he also provided me with much information about UK academics, which boosted my confidence. Thirdly, for a master’s degree, the UK’s one-year system also works for me because it is relatively cheaper.” 

A welcoming experience 

Life in the UK has been an incredibly positive experience for Fulya, one that she has greatly enjoyed. She feels that she has been welcomed in the UK and values the multicultural feel of the city of London which embraces her own culture as well as allowing her to learn more about other cultures.  

She said: “I recommend [living in the UK] because it’s international and culturally diverse. Most people would respect your culture. Although it seemed challenging to make new friends in a country I wasn’t that familiar with and in a language that isn’t my first language, I found that my classmates were very friendly and accommodating.”

Fulya in London

A beautiful background for studying 

"I was very surprised by the greenness of the UK,” said Fulya. “There are flowers, trees and parks everywhere. I love wandering by the Thames river, sitting on the grass and reading my book when the weather is nice. I’m always surprised by how beautiful and poetic the UK is.”  

She also appreciates the artistic culture of the city and suggests that London is a “fantastic place for art lovers” due to the number of art galleries, museums and exhibitions through the city.  

Collaborative and stimulating education 

Fulya’s experience of studies at King’s College London has been positive. She’s particularly enjoyed the style of education that the UK offers, one that focuses on engaging discussion and collaboration between the students.  

Fulya said: “We can freely share our thoughts and discuss our observations and interpretations of the topics, which advances our learning as a whole group. It’s very inspiring and different from my previous learning experiences.  

"Being in a small class, I had a lovely and really close cohort. We studied and hung out together a lot.”  

Not without its challenges 

Despite Fulya’s experience of studying in the UK being largely positive, she did have some difficulties including finding funding to study abroad: “I needed to apply for a loan for around £47,000 GBP,” she said, “which I will pay back over 10 years. There were few opportunities for funding for humanities subjects, so I was unable to find a scholarship or grant for my subject area.” 

Communicating with classmates was another area that Fulya found challenging. She said: “Sometimes conversations with English-speaking people can be tricky. There are a lot of cultural jokes that I didn’t understand, but once I learned it was OK to ask, I eventually realised I wasn’t the only one who didn’t understand. 

“Networking was the most valuable lesson I learned while studying abroad. I took on a role as an intern at a publishing house during my studies and it was one of the most precious experiences. I made friends and gained skills to help me in my career.”  

Fulya’s advice for studying abroad 

 "For an international student who does not have a rich background like me, studying abroad is both a dream come true and a big commitment,” said Fulya.  

“Before you study abroad, there are many things to prepare including researching and applying to university, applying for a visa and application registration card, transferring money, booking accommodation and organising a flight.  

“Planning is important, so give yourself plenty of time to understand exactly what you’ll need to do before you head off on your adventure.”  

Fulya encourages international students in the UK to make the most of their time studying. “Enjoy every moment of being in the UK,” she said. “Many opportunities are waiting for you. When you explore the world, you explore yourself.” 


This article is written in support of #WeAreInternational, a UUKi campaign which aims to celebrate the social, cultural and economic value that international students bring to the UK.