My name is Sophia, and I’m from Brazil.
I am studying a pathway course at the University of Brighton International College.
I am hoping to progress to an Environmental Science degree at the University of Brighton. Let me tell you about my journey with Kaplan so far.
Returning to the UK
I was 2 years old when we moved to England, where we lived for the next 8 years. Growing up in England, and having some great memories from my time here, motivated me to come back.
Although I do love Brazil, I thought about the life experiences I would gain from moving away for university and started looking at options for courses offered at the University of Brighton.
Spending my teenage years in Brazil, which is a tropical country, made me have a lot of close contact with nature. My family and I would constantly travel to beaches and forests for hikes and amazing landscapes.
Causes to care about
I struggled to find an environmental-based degree in Brazil that suited me. Therefore, studying abroad in a country that gives support for students in this area will help me achieve my goal of educating people about the importance of nature.
When I saw the Environmental Science degree at the University of Brighton, I felt like I had found what I’m meant to do after so many weeks of confusion and feeling unmotivated.
When I first arrived, I had to quarantine at a hotel in London, due to the UK’s restrictions in light of the pandemic. Before coming I was so worried that the hotel experience was going to be difficult. However, it gave me the chance to adjust to UK time, and research practicalities, like SIM cards and bank details. I just couldn’t wait to start my pathway course and make new friends.
How my pathway course is preparing me for university
My experience with Kaplan has been very positive, and all the staff have been so helpful from day one.
I am currently studying the Foundation Certificate for Science and Engineering with Kaplan. It has improved my academic skills in many ways. For example, I have developed my written English and learnt how to manage my time better, and how to format documents. As a person, I have gained so much cultural knowledge and learnt how to manage the daily tasks that come with being an independent adult.
“As a person, I have gained so much cultural knowledge.”
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My course has also given me more in-depth knowledge on the subjects I will most likely need to know about in my first year at the University of Brighton.
I also had the amazing opportunity to be a Student Representative, which developed my social skills and gave me experience in attending important meetings.
In general, my pathway course has been a very positive experience. I did not face any negative challenges, and my favourite memories are those where I am with the friends I met on my course.
Advice for international students
For international students wanting to study abroad, I would tell them to do it without thinking twice. For me, it was such an amazing experience and taught me so much more than just academic knowledge.
I matured so much as a person after coming here, and my main advice would be not to panic and stress out when something doesn’t work out the first time — eventually everything will fall into place.