Malvika Produced by
from India


MA Creative Writing and Publishing

***This post was written before lockdown measures in the UK***


Hi guys! I’m Malvika Shahi and I’m doing my Masters in Creative Writing and Publishing at Bournemouth University.

Transitioning into a different culture can seem hard but Bournemouth is so diverse and inclusive that you fall in love with the place and forget all about the doubts you had in mind.

Coming to the UK, I had hundreds of questions swimming around my mind; will I be able to adjust? Will I be able to make friends? What about the food?

Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s definitely not as daunting as it might seem. As soon as I got to BU, my worries melted away and I blended into a routine that I was very happy with.

I realised that everyone is new here and you’re not alone so it’s easy to make friends, and everyone is very helpful as you adjust to your new life here.

How about a typical day in my life as an Indian student? Let’s talk about Fridays:

I don’t have any classes on Fridays, so it’s the perfect day to unwind and catch up with my household chores.

My day starts out a bit late as I like to sleep in on the days I don’t have classes. A cup of coffee later, I’m ready to take on my day.

I clean up my room first and then tidy up the kitchen while preparing breakfast.

I like to plan out my meals for the week, so I can buy everything in one go and keep track of my budget. At the beginning of the year, I had trouble keeping track of the money exchange and ended up spending a lot, but for this, all you need is some time and good budgeting. Set limits and plan things out so you don’t overspend.

(You can check out this post on Budgeting to help you through uni)


So, the first stop is Asda! They have multiple aisles of World Foods where you can find all types of Indian foods, plus loads of frozen Indian food if you’re as bad as me when it comes to cooking.

The only chink is that they don’t have a lot of Indian snacks that I adore, but luckily I discovered multiple Indian stores where you can find your Kurkure, Idlis, Hide and Seeks and more! 

The beach was one of the reasons I chose to live in Bournemouth, so I go there almost every week. A quick outfit change and I’m on my way to the beach. It’s a 30 minute walk from my accommodation, but there are also buses that will easily take you there. I prefer walking, so I grab my friend and head to the beach for a day of fun!

The route runs through the town centre, where you can find a bunch of amazing cafes, restaurants and shopping complexes. So, if I’m feeling hungry or am in the mood to shop a little (Primark has become my best friend now), I pop into the stores and cafes before continuing on my route to the beach!

If you’re in the mood for some indian food, don’t worry about that either. There are Indian restaurants scattered throughout the town and are quite affordable as well.

Now, lastly, I head back to my dorm and chill for a while, maybe watch a movie or a tv show before heading to cook my dinner. This is generally when I meet up with my flatmates in the kitchen; we talk and jam to our favourite songs while cooking.

My biggest worry was if I was going to be able to adjust with the people here, but this was actually the easiest part. Everyone is so nice and fun that you just fit in well. You’ll meet people with similar interests as well as people who are completely opposite from you, but there’s one thing in common: you’re all just people! You talk, have fun, exchange stories and time just passes through like a boat sailing over a calm sea.