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Carrie Jia made the incredibly brave move to the UK alone when she was just 13 years old. She didn't speak a word of English. At first, she felt shy, introverted and worried that she would struggle to fit in because of the language barrier.
However, with courage and perseverance, she began to make friends and grow as an individual. Now she is studying on the BA (Hons) Fashion course at Ravensbourne and has the drive and determination to succeed in the fashion industry. Read her story below:
What initially appealed to you about Ravensbourne and your chosen degree?
I first came to Ravensbourne in 2019 when I was going to different open days and applying to universities through UCAS in year 12.
Ravensbourne was the first university I went to, and I was impressed by how friendly the staff and students were. I was so welcomed from the minute I entered the distinctive building.
I was helped and guided by the Student Ambassadors, and all of them are very passionate and happy to help. I stayed in touch with some of them on the Unibuddy App, where we can directly message the students.
How have you found moving to the UK and living in London?
London is so exciting! I came to this country six years ago and went to boarding schools in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. Obviously London was a big change for me, but at the same time very exciting!
London has so much to offer students other than the fancy buildings and restaurants! You can go to the world-famous museums such as The British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum and so on! You will fall in love with the busy Borough Market and Camden Town.
There are so many places to go that will keep you busy, as well as your university projects!
Could you tell us about the benefits of studying with us?
Ravensbourne really cares about its students and looks after their welfare and mental health. When I was stressed out before a deadline, my tutor suggested that I should talk to a member of staff who is a professional psychologist, which really helped.
Learning is not all about grades. It is also about how we cope with stress and failure. This is crucial as we learn from our mistakes and move on. It has been extremely beneficial for me to realise that.
Also, how can I not mention all the career opportunities Ravensbourne has to offer! Ravensbourne offers placement years and lots of advice on how to write CVs that every employer is looking for.
What has been the highlight from your time at Ravensbourne?
My first visit to Ravensbourne was very exciting. I was amazed by everything my course had to offer and how many opportunities were available to students.
Although we are in lockdown now and all learning has been moved online, all the staff are trying their very best to keep us motivated. The highlight has to be when Ravensbourne arranged a quiz night for the students. It was amazing to participate and definitely one of the best ways to meet new friends remotely.
How to think your degree at Ravensbourne will help you to achieve your professional goals?
I am currently doing a BA (Hons) degree in Fashion. All the lecturers on the course have professional industry experience, and most importantly they are willing to get to know you and encourage you to ask them questions.
The lecturers are inspiring and really set an example for us. They are the professionals that will teach you everything you need to know to successfully enter into industry.
It is incredible that Ravensbourne students work on industry-led design briefs and competitions with some world-famous brands, including VF Corporation, which encompass Timberland, Wrangler, Lee and North Face and Kingpins Denim.
The career destinations also look amazing and so promising. Past students have secured internships at prestigious brands, including Givenchy, Viktor & Rolf, A.F. Vandevorst, Haider Ackermann, and finally Calvin Klein. You can truly find who you are here!
Do you have any advice for other international students looking to study in the UK?
First of all, do not be afraid to talk to people because they might be waiting for you to talk to them as well! Don't be afraid to be the one to break the ice.
I think no one can relate more than me to how difficult and scary it can be when you are moving to a new country. I came here to study alone when I was 13 and I could not speak a word of English.
I was shy and introverted, and I thought no one wanted to be friends with me because of the language barrier. However, I pushed myself to stay outside of my comfort zone. I participated in school plays, volunteering events and master classes that my school had to offer. By doing this, I met a lot of like-minded people and made amazing friends that I am still in touch with today.
Ravensbourne University London
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