The Bath Experience - a Fresher's Perspective
Shoaib Maik was a student on
our first ever First Steps Programme in September 2007. The programme
was set up to introduce new students,
who had never been to the UK before, to study methods and university
life in the UK and to soften the impact
of making a change from home life to Bath life. If you are a new student
in 08/09 and wish to attend the First Steps programme next year,
please see our website in the new year for more information.
Hi my name is Shoaib
19 years old and from Pakistan but I have lived in Kuwait my whole
Chemical Engineering (Bachelors), 1st year, and Bath was my first
choice from all of my available options because the one thing that
separates Bath from the rest, other than the fact of being ranked
in the top 10 universities for my subject of study, is that it is
the most peaceful area thanks to the city itself being small and
beautiful. This was the key thing that made me want to come to Bath,
and I consider myself very lucky to have the opportunity to study
at such a prestigious university.
During my long summer wait, I had many expectations of Bath. When
I came here I was very happy to see that they were not only expected
but were overcome, as to my surprise. For example, I was told that
Bath was not as diverse in terms of international students but that
turned out to be the complete opposite because wherever I go I see
international students everywhere and thanks to this I have made
many friends from Spain, China and even Kazakhstan. This
was a great opportunity to learn about new cultures and new languages,
because of this I decided to take up Spanish courses and now I can
even have a small conversation with my Hispanic friends such as Mar,
Adrianna, Casandra, Julie, Esteban and my “Spanish brother
from another mother” Javier.
Furthermore, I now laugh sometimes at myself because before I came
to Bath I was scared of the fact that I might not get along with
my flatmates or even the students studying alongside me on my course
but my thoughts were a complete tangent to what actually happened.
flat mates are the nicest and the coolest people I know, and they
made my settle down much easier and because of this I owe them
a lot on my behalf, especially my close friends Wesley, Dean and
Hardeep. As for the students with me in my course, I owe them thanks
as it because of them I am now the Chemical Engineering representative
for the SSLC. Things were completely different as to what I thought
and now I feel as happy as ever and it’s a wonderful feeling
to be accepted in a place where I have never touched my foot before
as this is my first time ever living in a country outside Kuwait.
My worries turned into happiness and my expectations were underrated.
There is nothing more I could ask for. Yes, the life is here different
from where I used to live in so many ways like the weather for instance.
Kuwait is the complete opposite of the U.K. in terms of the weather.
Kuwait is a really hot country and here it’s really cold and
going from one extreme to the other is a real tough challenge because
I’ve never experienced such cold weather before but that is
the least of my concerns. Before coming here I didn’t know
how to clean, cook or even wash my own clothes but after coming here
I have learnt to do all these things and I’ve become more independent
It’s funny that everything worked out just fine. My teachers
told me that university will be the best time I will ever have and
so far so true. I’ve never been happier and there is nothing
more I could ask for. Lastly but not least I want to say that I found
a flower that has kept my heart since the day I saw it. It is the
only flower that can change into a star at night and it shall have
my heart forever.
Chemical Engineering 1st year, Shoaib Malik