Written by Sujata Singh Shekhawat
MA Media and Communication
Hi! I am Sujata Shekhawat from India and I am studying MA Media and Communication. Making a decision to study abroad is a very big decision. It’s a long process that involves a lot of planning, a lot of finance, one has to step out of their comfort zone, and last but not least, they have to get used to a different pattern of study in the new country. You may be really good at studying, but my advice would be to not expect the same when you go to a different country.
Marking criteria is different: The marking criteria is very different in UK when compared to India. When I came here, I came with an open mind. My motive was to learn and explore new things, and it was never to get the highest marks. I always give 100% in all my assignments, but I don’t think much after that. In India, from my personal experience, it was very easy for me score 80s or 90s, but it is not the same here. Here in the UK, they follow a critical evaluation system. Above 50 is a pass, and below 50 is fail.
Referencing system: Referencing is another thing that is really important, and it gave me a big shock when I came to the UK. You are asked to do referencing for each and every thing that you read for any essay or presentation, and one should be particular about the referencing system as well. Every University has their own choice of referencing system. In Bournemouth University, it is the BU Harvard referencing system. I remember, back home in India, I used to refer to the sources for my work, but that was only in the form of a bibliography as opposed to a specific referencing system of my university.
Submission deadlines: In the UK education system, they are very particular about the deadlines for submissions and it should be always be before the deadline. If for any reason you submit it even a minute late, they won’t accept it and will straight away give you a zero in that piece of work.
No exams: Even in the UK, there are courses that have three hour-long formal written examinations, like in India, but that is not the case for all courses. I don’t have any exams in my course; it’s just essays and presentations on which we are judged. I am tired of writing exams, as I’ve been doing it since Primary school, so this made me happy.
So, as you do all the necessary planning when you’re thinking of moving abroad for your studies, make sure to get acquainted with the different education pattern. I was shocked when I saw my first assignment’s mark, but that’s okay because it is part of the learning process, and I learnt a lot from the feedback and scored well in the assignments after that.