The process of moving to the UK | Why and how I did it

by - 8:00 PM

By now you all probably know that I am studying abroad, more specifically, in the UK. And it is sooo weird to think that precisely a year ago, I was in the process of finalizing my moving preparations. Because there are only a few days left before I leave again, I've been doing some introspection. So why don't we go back to the very beginning so that I can tell you all about the process of moving away from home, Portugal, to a new country, England?

It all started around November, with a very simple announcement in class: an agency that helps students continue their studies in the UK was having a fair in Leiria. Keep in mind that at this point I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. One of my plans was to go to med school and then specialize in psychiatry though. So, me and Bruno decided to attend, to see what they were proposing. And so we did. Many universities had their stands up with their super friendly representatives, with whom we managed to chat. We talked about courses and opportunities and realized that studying medicine in the UK was pretty much impossible since universities only accept students with averages of 19 and 20 (out of 20). We realized, nonetheless, that studying in another country was another option to be considered, even though it has always felt unrealistic and insane, to say the least.

We then made our first appointment with the agency and chatted via Skype a few times with our advisor. We also had a few in person, both alone and with family members. After loads of debating and arguing, my family finally gave up trying to convince me to stay and, on the 1st of January, we paid the fee to sign up. Still nevertheless, at this point, my only certainty was that I wanted to study abroad. 

The following months were super stressful since I had the pressure of deciding which course to study. I kept researching and researching and going back and forth but the one that always felt right was psychology. I therefore opted for a bachelor's degree in psychology and neuroscience, another related area that fascinates me.

Next, it was all about choosing unis. My advisor gave me a list of options with details concerning the city and rankings, amongst others. I opted for the one I am currently studying in, University of Essex, and East Anglia as a second choice.

The most boring part followed: documentation. I had to send them some papers such as mid-year grades and English diplomas, which enabled me to receive my conditional offers. This meant that, if I managed to achieve a certain average by the end of the academic year, I would be offered a place. Needless to say I did accomplish all of the requirements, having therefore obtained the awaited unconditional offer!

After this, the excitement just kept rising, and days went by super quickly. I applied to live on campus accommodation, made a passport (which of course, turned out awful), bought a huge suitcase, plane tickets and some more bits and bobs.

Finally, on the 1st of October of 2017, the dream became a reality. One year has passed, I couldn't be happier that I was allowed to have this incredible opportunity. I have experienced amazing things, made new friends and grew up both physically but especially mentally. But of course, this could not have been possible without my parents' support! Despite the distance, home still feels like home. But above all, following your dreams is what matters the most.

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