Written by Diana
MA Digital Effects
While choosing the right university, you never know how well you would integrate in the course or in the student community. I think considering a university for the support that it offers is a key aspect to examine during your selection process. In my opinion, transitioning from Bachelors to Master’s was made easy thanks to academic and personal support I received throughout the four years I’ve been studying at BU and I’ll explain why.
As an international student sometimes I feel hesitant about my level of English, especially when writing academic essays. Luckily, BU have helped me by offering some amazing support from the dedicated staff on the Academic Development team who helped me before the submission for a theoretical unit. They made me feel more confident about my knowledge of English. In fact, writing a theoretical essay is much different to the usual Italian structure for writing essays so it was very insightful for me to see the English approach of referencing and structuring body of work.
For my course it is required to shoot footage to use for my Animation/VFX projects. The camera equipment itself is expensive and hard to manage, but BU offers you an online platform through which you can book equipment as needed and collect it during working hours. The kit team are very helpful with renewing equipment and suggesting what other tools might be needed – similarly, with the uni library you can easily renew books and receive recommendations from the librarians.
Although academic support is essential for the completion of my course, I wouldn’t have been able to make it without the precious personal support of the BU staff.
There were occasions in which I felt homesick and I wasn’t very motivated to engage with my work. I found a second family by attending the weekly Global Café event: a completely free session in which international students are welcome to come and grab free cookies and hot drinks. This experience helped massively because I realised I wasn’t the only one alone and studying in another country. There were many others in the same position, so this feeling of international solidarity provided a basis for many beautiful friendships I made across the years.
But BU managed to help me also on a more simplistic level. For example, I’m a big fan of cycling, so during my years here at Bournemouth I’ve been
cycling a lot around. Quite often it happened to have a flat tyre, or rusty brakes. It was pleasantly surprising when SUBU Advise pointed out the Bike Doctor facility offered by the university, which consists of a mechanic that fixes your bike on campus with the extra parts you bring to him.
During Covid-times, it has been much harder to organise these in-person events and support sessions. But in a way I still feel BU is still offering a great support, from the free Covid-19 test you can get from the gym atrium to the economical funds in case you got economically affected by the pandemic.