Written by Sian Hedger
Getting a glimpse of what it means to study at BU, seeing the crowds, getting a feel of the town and the Campus was, for me, one incredible experience. Since I’m a student of the School of Tourism, I got to tour around Talbot Campus. However, since Lansdowne Campus is very much a part of the city, we also got to walk around and see some of its buildings, like the 24h Open Access Centre in Studland House.
Coming to Bournemouth University with my mom, who I have to concede is a quite conservative lady, and seeing the lolly-pop coloured hairdo’s, the unique dress styles, and the vibrancy of the students walking around campus to a lecture, or running late for one, provided an intoxicating contrast to the sleek lines, and modern feeling of the buildings and facilities that surrounded us at BU. She was amazed by how much everything looked like the headquarters of a company, how everything had an air of professionalism and technology. I just wanted to be let loose, not just observing. My feet were itching to walk its halls as a student and become a part of it.
There are many awesome things that you don’t get to know about the Talbot Campus unless you take a tour. For Media School students, the discovery of Sully and Tardis probably comes on the first day when they go to Weymouth House. Other students will never meet the blue character from Monsters Inc. or see the Dr’s purple booth. That is, unless they take a Campus Tour and know where these, and other, secrets lie.
Tours are given by students for prospective students, so your guides are actually “living the dream” and can answer all kinds of questions.
Taking a campus tour also let me discover amazing things that, although they might (most probably) be mentioned somewhere in the BU website, I wasn’t very likely to have read before (like the mind blowing amount of online resources available in the library, or how much they spent renovating the Gym, or the special music rooms where you can just sit and play). This info made me realize how serious BU’s commitment was to providing its students with “industry standard” facilities, great support services and resources.
In Venezuela we don’t have anything in our libraries like the special PG room with couches and tables where you can meet to do group-work. And even though we did have places where you could plug in a laptop and try to get 5 people to see its screen, we most certainly didn’t have anything like the Techno booths (chapeau to whoever thought of that idea, I’m eternally indebted to you).
Another surprise for me was Dylan’s, the university’s bar (on campus). While in Venezuela it is illegal to consume alcohol on campuses and it cannot be sold within an I don’t know how many kms radius, in Britain I got to share a burger with chips with my mom while enjoying a beer after finishing the tour. While the burger was amazing (and still is one of my favourite meals at uni), experience tells me I should’ve ordered nachos as well, since they come in a huge portion perfect for sharing (and my mom was quite hungry that day).
All in all, taking a Campus Tour let me get over the cultural shock and it gave me an advantage over colleagues who hadn’t taken one before enrolling for finding my way around the university. But most importantly, to me, was that it let me get a feeling of what this year as a Master’s student would be like and I do have to say it has been as A-MA-ZING as I thought it would be!