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Being a mother while studying at university can be a wonderful experience. I should know, I’ve been doing it for the last two years along with my husband who is studying as well. We have not only been juggling child care and uni, but we’ve also been doing it away from our home country and family. I won’t lie, it hasn’t been easy all the time, especially since we are both studying at the same time. But we have been very lucky with the amount of help we’ve got from our families (especially my mother in-law who has flown all the way from Iceland countless times to help us when we are very busy at uni).

Fannar and SignyBut before we came to the UK we had to figure out how the child care systems works here and we soon realised that it was more expensive than in our own country. We could therefore not afford to have our son at a day nursery for 5 days a week (like we had back in Iceland), but the great thing about my timetable at Bournemouth Uni was that it was condensed, with lessons only spanning 2-3 days per week. We managed to get our son into the amazing Talbot Woods Day Nursery, which is situated on Talbot Campus and he was there two days per week. Teri and the rest of the staff there were very welcoming and absolutely saved us when we were having a hard time finding a nursery with vacancies. I would recommend it wholeheartedly, but you might need to contact them as soon as possible because they are immensely popular and have a waiting list.

Signy Graduation

Our son has now moved on to Primary School while we are both doing our Master´s degrees, and now he goes to school five days a week (which gives us more time for uni work). We are very happy with the school he goes to and just the education system here in general. He started school at five years old (you start at six back in Iceland) and he is already speaking a second language, learning how to read and write and we couldn’t be prouder.

This experience for our little family has been invaluable and Bournemouth has been a very child-friendly and safe place to be. There are loads of fun things to do here with children and we have the beach, which is always popular with our son (even when it’s raining!).

It has also never been a problem for me to bring my son with me on campus if there is anything I need to do and I have no-one to look after him. He loves going on campus with me and everyone has been so friendly and understanding. Bournemouth has definitely been the right place for us to be as a family.

Signey's son on campus

By Signy Johannesdottir

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