International Study Centre

Student stories

Students posing in front of a wall in Glasgow

Meet our students

Estelle's story

Estelle, a University of Strathclyde graduate

"I’m a foodie and people are getting into the coffee scene and the brunch scene. We have coffee festivals now! Most the big stars that come to Scotland do their concerts in Glasgow because of the SSE – it’s the biggest concert venue in Scotland.

"The government has this campaign, People Make Glasgow, which is really true. I think they got it on the spot. In Glasgow people are more down to earth and they look out for each other.

"Because there are three universities in Glasgow, and there’s Glasgow City College, it’s a student city. There are so many students all around and if you shop here you get 10% off as students. Sometimes I’ll go to Glasgow City College because you can go to the courses and get your hair done or your nails done for a really good price.

"My time at the International Study Centre was definitely more intensive than I thought it would be. Looking back at when I first entered the University, I was pretty shocked at how relaxed it was compared to the International Study Centre. It’s a good training ground for you to prepare for university as you feel almost over-prepared.

"It’s quite small classes in the International Study Centre, which was really good because you get more time with your tutor if you have questions."

Estelle from Singapore
Studied Undergraduate Foundation Programme in Business and Social Studies
Graduated with BA (Hons) Business Enterprise

Michael's story

Michael, a University of Strathclyde graduate

"After my undergrad, I had a few years where I was able to ruminate on what I wanted to do going into the future. I had to do a Masters either way, because professionally now, almost everyone needs to have a Masters-level qualification. The investment and finance programme, in particular, struck me as something I was ready to do.

"I was well aware there were certain constructs, concept-wise, that you had to grasp. I wanted some kind of preparatory phase before I jumped into it. I think it gets you in that scholar mind-state. Initially, coming from not doing school for a few years, it's a bit of a mental shift to start going to classes. It was really good because that pretty much set a foundation for your thinking. The things I'm doing right now, they're a bit different, but they're all full of the same general logic to it.

"The Business School is a very welcoming place. I think the first thing that strikes you is it's rather modern. It's very well equipped. You find yourself going there to study and I think that definitely contributes positively to productivity.

"They have interesting labs and terminals for the Bloomberg platform that allows students to train on the platform. That's the terminal they use to check securities, check price movements.

"I'm definitely going to make applications to banks and securities firms. I think long-term I'm going to go back to Nigeria and be involved in the common development. I’m primarily developing analytical skills. And it's not just personal learning. If you're a part of a team and you work together, then your actions also affect other people. When you start getting that awareness that the things you do are part of a shared goal, this can be applied to the professional world."

Michael from Nigeria 
Studied Pre-Masters Programme in Business and Social Studies
Progressed to MSc Investment & Finance

Maha's story

Maha, a University of Strathclyde graduate

"When I started at the International Study Centre, the people who worked there really made us comfortable. They knew that international people were scared to study abroad alone, but facing challenges made me realise that I need to take more responsibility. I think challenges like studying abroad are interesting and exciting. You meet new people from all around the world and learn different cultures.

"One of my best friends is Taylor. She’s from Hong Kong and also Estelle from Singapore. We’re from all around the world. The friends that you meet in orientation and your foundation are going to stick with you through the whole experience.

"Scotland is a really historical place. It’s more than just studying. You’re going to explore!

"In my foundation year, I started in January, so it was winter. It snowed and that was my first time seeing snow. I remember wearing my jacket and running so fast downstairs that I even forgot my keys. It was a really amazing experience. It was magical to see snow!"

Maha from Saudi Arabia
Studied Undergraduate Foundation Programme in Business and Social Studies
Progressed to BA (Hons) Hospitality & Tourism Management

Mona's story

Mona, a University of Strathclyde graduate

"Throughout my course I'm looking forward to having different placements and different friends. You get to meet new people every day. I also get to experience different labs and practical work, so that's exciting.

"I'm really enjoying electronics because, as a second-year student, you start to do circuits and work in groups to use the equipment, so that's really fun.

"I chose the International Study Centre for the support. If you don't want to go to university directly and meet new people, you can go to the International Study Centre to help you meet other cultures. It also helps you with the facilities and you get to go to different events, so that’s a way of experiencing student life.

"It [the ISC] prepared me for my course and it prepared me, not only as student, but also in how to talk to other people. I was a class representative in the Foundation, so it really helped me talk to other people fluently. It wasn't a struggle going into first year or second year and not being able to speak up. It wasn't only educational help, it was also the social experience."

Mona from Egypt
Studied Undergraduate Foundation Programme in Engineering and Sciences
Progressed to BEng (Hons) Electronic & Electrical Engineering

Paddy's story

Paddy, a University of Strathclyde graduate

"I chose to study in Strathclyde because of their reputation for accounting, my course. I also chose to study in Strathclyde because of the location and the reputation of the people in Glasgow as friendly and supportive.

"At the University you have assignments, either individual or group assignments. If you're working in a team that's a skill you're building yourself, and also time management. We do work placements and internships. It prepares you for real world situations, to understand how things work. It helps you to know more skills. We've been introduced to different strategies like book-keeping and analysing data in finance.

"Glasgow has a lot of people, but compared to London you get more support. As a new person going to a new country, you need that support."

Paddy from Uganda
Studied Undergraduate Foundation Programme in Business and Social Studies
Graduated with BA (Hons) Accounting & Finance
Now working as an Operations Analyst at Morgan Stanley in Glasgow, Scotland