Guest blogger Written by

Ngoc Huyen Nguyen | Vietnam

MSc Retail Management and Marketing student, Ngoc Huyen Nguyen, shares her experience with studying in the UK and how it compares with studying in her country, Vietnam.

Studying in the UK is a unique experience, which is totally different from my experience back home. Here are some study skills that I have gained after six months of studying a Masters at BU.

Keep talking, keep asking

I was very shy at the beginning of the first semester, but then I realised how interesting my subjects were and I wanted to join the discussions in class and learn to express my ideas. I try to ask questions as much as possible, so I can make sure I understand everything.

Over time I have learned that actively discussing topics with my professors and other students helps to improve my English. A common issue for Vietnamese students is that we are very good at grammar and theoretical knowledge, but lack confidence when communicating. So, take the opportunity to develop your English and self-confidence when you’re in the UK.

There is no right or wrong

I was surprised by my lecturer stating that he does not provide flawless knowledge, but gives us guidance and ideas instead, which we can reflect on, evaluate and apply in practice. Therefore, we should always feel free to argue and disagree with him, and even find other approaches and ideas to a problem.

One more important thing that I have learnt is that I am not assessed on the final result or the conclusion of my assignments, but on how I develop and explain my ideas with facts and evidence. It seemed to be complicated at first with a lot of reading and researching, but once I got used to it, it was fine.

Make full use of the tools

There is an enormous amount of resources, ranging from study materials and study skill seminars to software and applications. This is probably a huge advantage when studying at BU. You can find many useful tools that support your study, such as:

iBU, a mobile version of myBU with many similar functions including your timetable information

Endnote, a software which can save a lot of time when referencing

The H and P drives, which link the campus computers to your own personal laptop

The Mahara platform, where you can upload and save your CV, portfolio and assignments

It has been fun exploring and experiencing things on my own at BU. I hope this has given you some ideas about studying here, and if you work hard it will definitely pay off.

By Ngoc Huyen Nguyen, Vietnam, MSc Retail Management and Marketing, 2017/18