Asking our international students video transcript
"Radzi: Did you know that the UK is actually a leading destination for international students around the world? It's easy to see why. The UK's a reputation of being welcoming, having a multicultural society, and is home to many great universities, Derby being just one. Derby is a much-loved second home to more than 1,700 international students from over 100 countries, studying at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.
(gentle music) (birds chirping)
[Pre-recorded video]:Hi. (speaking in foreign language) (speaking in foreign language) (speaking in foreign language) (speaking in foreign language) (speaking in foreign language) (speaking in foreign language) (speaking in foreign language)
Hi, my name is Kyron. (speaking in foreign language) (upbeat music) (crowd cheering) (upbeat music) (sheep bleating) (upbeat music)
[Student] I came here, I didn't know anyone, no friends, didn't know what to expect. Like, the first day I was here, I sat down in a classroom, and I was like, what did I get myself into? I don't understand nothing this man is saying. The accents, they all sound like Harry Potter. I was worrying about being by myself.
[Kyron] I was just worried about living, I mean, you know, just like the cost of living. And how people will welcome me, how they will react.
(upbeat music) (crowd cheering)
[Student] Well, here in Derby, people are so friendly. They made us feel settled in very, very fast. After three years of living here, I feel like Derby is kind of like my second home. It feels like they are just from my country or I'm from here. It's a very, very friendly and very personal atmosphere. It's like a big family.
(upbeat music) (crowd cheering)
[Student]: I would recommend the university of Derby because it's so easy to connect with people, and it's so easy to get the support, to get the opportunities, and all you have to do is just want.
[Student]: When you're leaving your home, you're leaving your parents. You're willing to learn how to face the world, and you're willing to learn how to become more independent, become more strong.
[Student]: There's a team of professionals here who will welcome you, they will make you feel like you're in second home. So don't worry, just pack your bags and make a decision and you will enjoy it.
[Video ends and we return to the live studio with Radzi and two international students].
"[Radzi]: Now it's safe to say, it's one big family here at Derby University. But in the studio, we're gonna chat to three people who are all about international student living, and let's kick things off with our first two, both international students, both studying in Derby. Bowen and Sam, welcome to "Open Day Live", how are you both?
"Bowen: We're good, thank you and you?
"Radzi: Good, thanks guys, how are you doing?
"Sam: Yeah, I'm very well.
"Razi: Let's talk about your names, you got an incredible names, Bowen what's your full name?
"Bowen: My full name is Bowen Shang in the English language way. And if it's in my country, I would be named Shang Bowen.
"Radzi: It's a beautiful name, and Sam?
"Sam: Sam Chikowore.
"Radzi: My dad was from Zimbabwe, so we've similar surnames. But let's talk about you guys as international students.
"Radzi: What's it like, Sam?
"Sam: Awesome. It's really good. I've had a lot of great experiences here being an international student, meeting a lot of different people from different backgrounds. You know, it's a really melting pot for international students. I've had Chinese flatmates, I've had a new flatmate, I've had people from Asia, Europe, you know, just a whole mix.
"Radzi: And Bowen, you're from China?
"Radzi: How's your experience been?
"Bowen: Yeah, for my life, I've been living in Derby for three years and I've met people from like around the world and I'm feeling, I'm the most welcome here in Derby, which is like so good.
"Radzi: And what do you want to study here specifically?
"Bowen: In Derby for me, I'm a kind of people who want to stay in a very small town and quiet place but I still want those nice restaurants, shopping and parties. so Derby is like the location where you've got all the big nice cities like Birmingham, Manchester rounds, but we have the atmosphere of studying and student living in here.
"Radzi: So it's the perfect balance?
"Bowen: Yeah, it's the perfect balance.
"Radzi: And for you Sam, what was the reason?
"Sam: Oh, first of all, my aunt is an alumni.
"Radzi: So she-- - Oh wow!
"Sam: Yeah, she did her masters in 2008, 2009. So she's the one who initially kind of flight sold the Derby idea to me. And then the joint on is option as well, of which she can mix like two subjects, two into one course and kind of tailor that. So that was just a turning point.
"Radzi: And let's talk about the weather in Zimbabwe. I imagine it's slightly different to Derby
"Sam: Oh, definitely different. I mean, I'll tell you a story. I was walking to the bus and I checked the temperature on my phone and it was minus two. Up to that point, the only minus two I'd seen was on a fridge. (all laughing) So it was quite a change, yeah.
"Radzi: I've been to Beijing in China, it's quite humid there. How is the weather where you're originally from?
"Bowen: Where I'm from iS a bit not (indistinct) to Beijing. So it's actually very dry, and we get similar summer here comparing to the UK. So about like 20, 30 degrees summer but it's dry. And we see a lot of snow but a lot more than here in the UK--
"Radzi: Oh wow.
"Bowen: But you still got snow.
"Radzi: In terms of the actual logistics of this, I imagine a lot of people watching this, if they're thinking about traveling to Derby from abroad, they might be thinking about the financial implication. Sam, how much of a cost has it been?
"Sam: It's actually been relatively cheap as a cost, as compared to other cities, because I think, you know given the major cities like Birmingham, London, they quite expensive. So Derby being a smaller city, being more local, it's relatively cheap. And I think it's a good stepping stone as an international student as well. And I think even for international students if they can, they should look at the scholarship option of which I was the recipient of one in my first year. So that was a major, major advantage to my cost of living and tuition as well in my first year. So I think they should really look into that.
"Radzi: We're gonna talk about scholarships a little bit later on. And Bowen, in terms of yourself, was it expensive?
"Bowen: No, it's actually very cheap comparing to living in other cities. I've been living in the UK for eight years. So I think Derby is a very good balance on like food cost and accommodation cost.
"Radzi: Thank you, and just finally, what do you guys pack? Because I've been on a two week holiday. I've never had to stay in a country for potentially a year. How do you do that, Bowen?
"Bowen: For me, from a very Asian perspective I'd recommend bringing a rice cooker. (all laughing)
"Radzi: A rice cooker, not--
"Bowen: Yeah, but not... Everything else you get it from either online. You got the Chinese supermarket oriented supermarket, so you're all well taken care of here in the UK.
"Radzi: So there's sort of a Chinese community here that helps you I guess, to feel at home.
"Bowen: Yes, yes of course. And of course Chinese restaurant. If you miss the home dish, you've got legit ones in China towns.
"Radzi: Thank you, Bowen. And Sam, what about yourself?
"Sam: I would say try to minimally pack on warm clothes, because they just don't cut it. (all laughing) So, you know, get all your warm clothes, yeah. Pack a flag, you know, pack your identity. I mean, your flag is you.
"Radzi: I love that.
"Sam: It's a piece of home, and just like pictures of yourself, and personal documents, passport visa, all that kind of stuff.
"Radzi: Well guys, thank you very much. Now I mentioned the whole social distancing challenge. So what we're gonna now do is bring in Mikaela, who's on the international team. So Sam and Bowen, thank you very much. If you'd like to exit our studio your job for the day is done, and we'll bring in Mikaela. So thank you very much guys.
"Sam: Thank you for having us.
"Radzi: And so Mikaela, welcome to "Open Day Live". How are you? Thank you.
"Mikaela: I'm very well, thank you, how are you?
"Radzi: I'm very good. I'd love to talk to you about your role, I guess, representing international students.
"Mikaela: Absolutely. So in my role, I help students from inquiry to application stage and it's got to do with anything to do with the questions that they have about studying in the UK, or, you know, personal statements, references, anything like that. And then to the day that they actually join us. I also work with in-country agent representatives. I advise on inter criteria, and then yeah, up until the day that they're here. And I'm also from Sweden originally, so I came as a European student.
"Radzi: Oh, so you were actually a student at Derby here yourself?
"Mikaela: I was, yeah.
"Radzi: And what did you study?
"Mikaela:I studied Events Management.
"Radzi: Amazing. So I guess your role now is all-encompassing when it comes to international students.
"Radzi: Sam mentioned scholarships. Can you tell us any more about those?
"Mikaela: Absolutely. So we have a range of scholarships available for international students and these are merit-based. We also have some discounts, so great to check out our website for that. And there's no application process involved but when they have made the application to study, they will be automatically assessed. And also not to forget our fantastic sports scholarships for talented athletes.
"Radzi: Ah, okay. And how much of a scholarship could that potentially be?
"Mikaela: It could be a full vice chancellors tuition fees.
"Radzi: Oh wow.
"Mikaela: They could get school fees. Or it could be something like a regional achiever's scholarship, which is about 3000 pounds.
"Radzi: And I won't get too specific, 'cause I know you don't specialize in sports scholarships per say, but do you know what kind of sports they might be?
"Mikaela: Yeah, there are various amounts of performance boardsthat could vary but we focus on cycling, volleyball, men's basketball. Yeah, I suppose along those lines.
"Radzi: That's interesting. It's actually quite a lot of Olympic sports, which is quite... And just to remind ourselves of details where you can find that online.
"Mikaela: Yes, so that's on derby.ac.uk.
"Radzi: Perfect. Now, we spoke a little bit about the cost of studying if you're an international student. I know studying, if I'm a British student going abroad, it can be seen as expensive. What about the reverse?
"Mikaela: Okay, so obviously you would factor in the tuition fees and then the cost of living. And we estimate the cost of living to be around 190 to 230 pounds per week, including accommodation, food and socializing. And not to forget that we do have a free university bus shuttle that goes between the campus and the city center. So that's always a good thing to remember.
"Radzi: Are there any sort of classic myths that people have? So when you meet people, especially from Europe, and you say, why don't you come to Derby? Are there classic things that people think that you'd almost think, if only people knew this wasn't the case?
"Mikaela (laughing): I guess when I first arrived, it was things around maybe mentality or culture, et cetera. And they often told me, well, you're only from Sweden. That's not far away.
"Radzi: (laughing) It's just a long swim.
"Mikaela: Yeah, exactly. But in fact, there's things like salmon bowl and we're talking about the weather or... I initially studied at the countryside campus that we've had and it actually snowed a lot there, and I was trying to escape the snow.
"Radzi: Classic, yeah. In terms of events and activities, are there things specifically for international students to kind of just welcome them in?
"Mikaela: Oh yeah. So actually we have an integrated approach that we use together with the other student support services. We do put on specific sessions for international students as well, where they can mingle or drop in sessions for visas, et cetera. But also things like the fact that accommodation hosts a lot of various events and they have a free bedding and kitchen pack for international students.
"Radzi: Especially for the boys. That's a good one 'cause if they're anything like me, they won't be very good at looking after themselves and cleaning their clothes. But in terms of when you graduate, lots of people, say British students might want to stay in the area that the university was in. A lot of people at Derby do that. Can you do that if you were an international student?
"Mikaela: So there is actually a new graduate route opening summer of 2020. So as long as the student has either completed or started a degree by that point and they hold a tier four student visa, then they will be eligible to apply. And like you say, it's a fantastic way to stay in the area to get some work experience. And yeah, it's definitely worth checking out, and we'll be helping students to look up that route.
"Radzi: The final question is the C word. I don't like saying it too much, but COVID and the pandemic, is it a safe time to actually come to university at Derby right now?
"Mikaela: You know, we've always said that Derby is a safe and great place to study for international students just like Bowen was just saying about the balance. And that's really been the case throughout the pandemic too. And the city of Derby has put in a lot of various measures in place like sanitizers, social distancing, signage, rules around wearing face masks in cafes, shops, in taxis, et cetera. So, we've just welcomed a nice cohort of international students to Derby, and I look forward to meeting many more.
"Radzi: Well Mikaela, it's been a pleasure talking to you. Thank you so much for your insight. And actually, it goes without saying, in terms of what Mikaela was touching on, the world has changed a lot this year, but that shouldn't deter you from considering this special university in the heart of the East Midlands. (upbeat music)