Introducing Kelvin, a student from Malaysia, which contributes to 5.4% percent of international students in UK universities and increasing.
Kelvin Lee, 24, Kuching
Kelvin is a recent graduate from University of South Wales and a member of the Malaysian society in Cardiff. He enjoys traveling and trying out extreme sports.
Why study in the UK?
Apart from gaining a better education and a more appreciate degree, it was also a chance for me to explore British culture and travel to European countries. I have always wanted to experience living abroad and somewhere far from Malaysia. The UK fitted my requirements.
How was your experience in the UK?
It was good for knowing more international friends. As a business student, it benefits to widen my network and improve my international connections. International friends also improve my overall experience in the UK as they come from all walks of life and provide different views and opinions about the world. Although Malaysia is already a country with a diverse race and culture, studying in the UK taught me more. My experience with international students gave me an understanding of different culture and approach when socialising.
What challenges did you face?
The biggest challenge that I faced was with the budgeting that I was required to maintain for my living expenses. The Malaysian Ringgit is not doing so well against the British pounds, therefore increasing my cost of living substantially. The tight budgeting affected my decision to splurge on food. This led to the inclusion of more vegetables to my diet, which was actually healthier and cost saving for me at the same time.
‘For a better Education’
What are your concerns before coming to the UK?
I was initially afraid that I could not understand the British accent. It would have affected my ability to learn in university. I was also afraid that I will not be able to able to communicate with the local people, which would be a barrier for me to make local friends. However, my concerns were unneeded as I learnt to understand the British accent within a couple of weeks and the people in the UK are so friendly and patient when I am communicating with them.
How do you remain connected to Malaysia?
I have joined the Malaysian society in south wales and from time to time, they would organise gatherings such as day trips or potluck. I would also celebrate Chinese New Year with my roommates. There are also a lot of Malaysian establishments around the UK, such as the Malaysian hostel in London, which is my go-to place whenever I am in London. The price of the hostel is cheap and priority is always given to Malaysians. On top of that, authentic Malaysian food is available at the hostel for a significantly low cost.
Was the UK up to your expectations?
Prior to my arrival, I was always informed about the unpleasant weather in the UK. However, it has been better than what I have been told. The difference of weather to Malaysia was a welcome change to my lifestyle. The environment in Wales was fantastic as I was surrounded by mountains and rivers. It was naturally therapeutic and contributed to my ability to concentrate for my studies.
Advice for future students?
The education that one can obtain from the UK should not solely be on academics. The money spent on an overseas education is significantly huge, so take the opportunity to embrace and participate in everything that comes your way. If possible, travel around Europe during the holidays to enrich your overseas experience and give you a different perspective about the world.
With more than 30,000 students, the University of South Wales (USW) is a major player in UK higher education – one of the UK’s ten biggest campus universities by student number. With campuses in Cardiff, Pontypridd and Newport, the University is renowned for its partnerships with major employers. These partnerships are one of the many reasons that 94% of our students are in employment or further study within six months of graduating.
University of South Wales is also voted as one of the top 10 UK universities at the WhatUni Student Choice Awards 2016. For more details, sign up here.
International students are eligible for scholarships such as USW Postgraduate Scholarship which waives £1500 and more from the international school fees. There are also Leverhulme Bursary and MPhil / PhD Studentships available for International students. Visit the Application UK Scholarships page for more information.
In the #AppUKinterview series, we aim to encourage all international students pursuing their postgraduate degree in the UK to use Application UK as a platform to share their experience with fellow international students. Use the hashtag #AppUKinterview to give us a shoutout or simply drop us an email for a chance to be featured.
If you are considering a postgraduate degree just like Kelvin is, then be sure to follow us on social media for the most up to date education news and finance opportunities. Please don’t hesitate to write us should you have any questions and don’t forget, enrol to a course via Application UK website here and you will receive a bursary worth £300 because helping students realise their ambitions is what we do.