10 things I’ve learnt from being an international student in London

As it has been a few years since I moved to London, I have realised that being here has had a greater impact on me that I first expected.

The cultural diversity and social divergence in London is greater than I’ve ever experienced and understanding the different layers on which society works has been a metamorphic process in which I have rediscovered myself and learnt that challenges can become rewards.

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Moving out from my parents’ house has been indeed a cathartic way to discover more about my skills and accomplishments and  how to become an adult.

Is there a precise way of learning how to be an adult? No, there isn’t. But let me tell you this: You build your own strategies and tactics in life.

1.Be aware of your and other people’s needs. 

Being nice and polite is a must, but knowing when to say ‘no’ to things is vital. Understanding that everybody comes from a different cultural and social background is essential to buildings up new relationships.

2. Meals shouldn’t be just chips and take-outs.

Learning how to cook simple meals is indispensable. Your health for the following years will rely on this and there are endless, on-budget options.

3. Think outside the box, or even better, remove the box.

Don’t get follow stereotypes. People  come from very different social backgrounds and they might have other views that yours. Carefully choose your words or you might offend/ get offended by awkward situations if you don’t act with care.

Be considerate to others.

4. Create a budget but don’t forget to have fun.

As a new person to the hustle and bustle of  London, spending money on things you don’t really need may be very easy. Keep in mind what is your monthly expenditure and try not to go overboard when shopping. You might realise you’re penniless a week after your pay-check.

5. Find a part-time job.

It can be in an office, a cafe, a restaurant, walking dogs or baby-sitting. As long as it does not interfere with your studies, go for it.

If you are lucky enough, you can get a job in your desired field and as Confucius said: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

6. Find time for your inner peace.

Being a student and having a part-time job can be quite stressful and joggling between work and studies can bring you to the edge sometimes.

Find the time to relax and enjoy the day. Go on a 10 minutes walk just to relax, read a book, listen to your favourite band, Skype with a friend. You’d be surprised to see how much this can help.

7. Don’t forget about your roots.

Living in London can be quite transforming.

It is very easy to get lost in the abundance of new things or habits coming from other people and it is natural to want to experiment.

But, bear in mind everything you’ve learned from your parents and make sure you leave a print on the world.

8. Stay connected with what’s happening at home.

Although exploring London can be fun and filled with new experiences, you can lose track of what’s happening at home quite easily.

Being caught in the routine of studying and working you’ll realise you haven’t checked the local news from your country or you have even forgotten about the new elections coming up.

It’s vital to remain on track with information from home or else, when you go back, you’ll find yourself confused by the amount of things you missed out on.

9. Move on with your life and build new relationships

I understand how important are for you the relationships you have with your friends from home.

But as soon you leave, they move on with their lives – they still care about you – but they keep the party going.

And you should do the same.

Another thing, “it does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live” ( Albus Dumbledore), because you’ll end up being sad and lonely.

Get out there, meet new people and have fun!

10. Be yourself!

No matter what you do, you don’t have to live your life to please anyone.

Your decisions are yours and yours only.

No one can tell you what do and you shouldn’t be bothered by that.

It is true, you can be advised about doing certain things, but, never, ever let yourself driven by someone else’s passions.

Stay positive and learn to love yourself and people will start loving you.

Love,

Csilla

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Visit to Google campus

In a world where technology is slowly taking control over values, ethics and morals, there is a sparkle of hope from a major corporation that intents to connect the entire planet and make internet available to everybody.

Google is known worldwide.

Even from its launch in 1996, it has reformed the meaning of online surfing and the power the Internet has so that it became the leading corporation in Internet-related services and products. Not only that, but Google offers products that are accessible for everyone, such as Gmail, Google Books ,YouTube, etc.

One of the most attractive products that leads the market is YouTube, the video-sharing website that managed to bring together music from every corner of the world.

Being an LUIP Ambassador is more than just representing Middlesex University at a national level, but also enjoy some of the  bonuses  that come along ( as many of you already know!) and this time, I visited the Google Campus o  and admired the beauty of the campus, met two brilliant vloggers, Sanne Vliegenthart and Helen Anderson, and of course, had a chance to catch up with all the fellow ambassadors and mentors.

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The View from Google Garden

After exploring the beauty of Google Campus, it was time for some more serious things and we were led into a room where we were welcomed with goodies from YouTube, snacks and drinks, and of course, a masterclass about being innovative and expanding our shareability.

YouTube goodies

                    YouTube goodies

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Our mission is to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

9 Notions for Innovation:

1 • Customer Need = Creative Inspiration
2 • Ideas come from everywhere
3 • Fail quickly and learn
4 • Allow ideas to morph
5 • Creativity loves constraint
6 • Share everything
7 • Data informs decision-making
8 • Users come first
9 • A license to pursue passions

Google’s intentions are all about connecting the people from every corner of the world and making the world a better place for everyone.

The greatness of their upcoming projects is so big, that even myself couldn’t believe some of the things that can be accomplished with enough money and power. However, in a world where competition is at stake, Google knows well its market and how to deliver the general public the required products.

 

On a different note, the discussion we had with our guest vloggers was more than inspiring. As a part-time blogger myself, I understand the necessity of filling the market in the required areas, but as they said, things can get easier if given enough time and energy.

If you are currently a blogger or you are thinking about becoming one, make sure you know your market, write with passion and just be brave enough to put yourself out there!

 

Love,

Csilla

 

LUIP Ambassadors and mentors, Google staff, Sanne Vliegenthart and Helen Anderson. Many thanks for Kim Duller for this awesome photo!

LUIP Ambassadors and mentors, Google staff, Sanne Vliegenthart and Helen Anderson.
Many thanks for Kim Duller for this awesome photo!

Benedict Allen at Middlesex University.

As a third year student, I need to slowly start planning my future, and what better way to get inspired than listen to Benedict Allen talk about his experience with travelling and exploring? But before I begin, let’s do a short introduction about who Benedict Allen is.

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Photography by Murdo MacLeod

Benedict Allen is a British writer, traveller and adventurer best known for his passion of travelling to remote locations and learning new survival skills from indigenous people. He has recorded six TV series for the BBC, written nine books and is also an international motivational speaker. One of the things he’s famous for is the fact that he had to eat his dog in one of the expeditions, due to harsh surviving conditions.

However, let’s not be scared by that! Benedict explained how it was his dream since childhood to become an explorer and see the world with other eyes. Ever since a child, his interest in exotic locations and customs was inspired by his father Colin Allen.  As the years went by, Benedict’s desire to go out in the world and see what it has to offer increased, making his main goal to travel across the Amazonian rainforest.

Benedict said:

After graduating [university], I worked in a warehouse for a few weeks, just to get the money I needed to travel to South America.

Everything was said and done and soon after that, Benedict found himself in the rainforest, being chased by goal miners, “third-class assassins”. As he dived deeper into the nature, he ran across a few aborigine villages, where in order to be part of the community, he needed to be initiated ( to be strong as a crocodile). After undergoing several trials, Benedict explains:

All this men were dancing and telling us to be brave. Having been through that ritual, we thought the worse was over, except, that was the better day of the initiation. After that, we got beaten with sticks at least four times a day.

The ceremony was all about bonding, all about forgetting the differences and learn to work together.

By the end [ after six weeks], we were finding a way to cope with this huge world. I was initiated into this culture.”

His journey hadn’t stopped there. He underwent several adventures with different villagers and worked with children as well and he understood he needed to be more humble after seeing how little girls had great knowledge of surviving in the rainforest and using herbs as treatments.

I’m either going to become a hunter or a [herbs] gatherer.

Gradually, after spending months in the rainforest, Benedict understood the necessity of processing his own food and things were slowly deteriorating. He started to become ill and his cautiousness was slowly fading. When things started to go wrong, he realised he needed to take challenges and try something else.

In the end, I wasn’t alone. I thought of the people who had faith in me, my parents, friends; and I survived. After seven and a half months, I pulled myself outside the rainforest in the Amazon.

Benedict Allen had not stopped there. After the Amazon expedition, he travelled all around the world in order to find new villages and understand better the functionality of new communities: Russia, Mongolia, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Papua New Guinea, the Gobi dessert . His determination and curiosity of learning new things was what kept him going.

On his webiste, http://www.benedictallen.com/, he says:

For me personally, exploration isn’t about conquering nature, planting flags or leaving your mark.

It’s about the opposite: opening yourself up and allowing the place to leave its mark on you…

That’s why, for me, listening to him was inspirational and made me understand I need to find a way of creating my future, of deciding whether a path will be right or wrong and challenging myself more. As Benedict himself said,

It’s all about finding something in yourself.

It’s about how much potential you have.

For those in the same situation as me, take a minute and think about the options you have. Are you really doing what you want with your life? If not, what would you change? Don’t let harder steps ruin your desire for a better future! Work, determination and inspiration is what makes a life truly full-filled.

Always remember, the choice of today is the reward of tomorrow!