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THE UK: Destination Guides

An international student story: Production management in Manchester

We find out why the cold weather, culture shock and missing family is all worth it for this international student on a postgraduate production management course at the University of Salford.

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What did you study for your undergraduate degree?

I studied a Bachelor of Arts in performing arts from the University of Ilorin in Kwara State, Nigeria.

 

What made you choose production management for your masters?

I chose production management for my postgraduate degree because I realised that I needed to enhance my skills and they were going to be teaching me things that I didn’t know like line producing and production management for television, film and digital media. That’s why I chose it. Plus, it’s set in Media City, which is the hub for the media industry in the North West of England. That was a big sell for me.

 

 

What made you choose to study abroad?

If you’re trying to get international exposure and to understand how things are done internationally, the best way to do it is go international. That’s why I came here. Plus, there are not any courses of this standard on offer on the African continent and this was the closest I could get. The perfect fit really.

 

Did you do much research before applying to the University of Salford?

Yes, I did a lot of research because I initially wanted to go to national film and television school in London, as they have an amazing course list. I found two or three courses I liked but they were a bit expensive and apart from that I couldn’t meet the application deadline, so I started looking for an alternative.

 

When I found the University of Salford and found out this is the first time they were offering a production management course I studied the modules and I talked to some of the tutors on the course. They were very open, smart, and drawn right from the industry. A lot of them have produced great shows like Strictly Come Dancing and Dragons’ Den. Why wouldn’t you want to come and study under these guys?

 

 

How did you conduct your university research?

I did most of my research on the internet, looking at the tutors and opportunities after study.

 

How have you found the adjustment to studying in the UK?

Apart from the cold weather, I’m adjusting fine. There’s a big African community in Manchester. There’s a big Nigerian community as well. Apart from that the people in Manchester are very used to seeing foreign nationals so they are very welcoming and they are accepting, they treat you just like every other person which is more than anybody could ask.

 

How does the teaching style differ to in your home country?

It depends on the kind of university you go to in my home country. We’re very particular about knowledge retention, but a lot of it is theoretical because in a lot of our industries there’s not yet a very good connectivity between the professional and academic world. It’s not like England where its basically one and the same.

 

The teaching style here is very practical where they want you to know and understand what it is they are teaching you and you apply it immediately, unlike in Nigeria where you might have to wait a couple of years before you apply your knowledge. So yeah, it’s a little bit different in that sense, but it’s just as intense.

 

How does the University of Salford accommodate international students?

It’s almost like the university was made for international students. They bend over backwards to provide all kinds of services to you. They break down your fees, if you can’t pay it all at once, they give you a payment plan. They offer scholarships to international students who have a certain academic ability.

 

They constantly have programmes to engage international students. They have staff dedicated to international students. There’s also something they call wellbeing, which is basically for the general student body. However, for international students they make an extra effort to reach out to you, find out if you are adjusting well and coping. It’s nice, you feel cared for.

 

What has been the most challenging part of your study abroad experience?

This is my first time living in England, so apart from adjusting as a student you also have a life outside of being a student. It’s a bit of a culture shock. I’m from a very conservative country, culturally. But it’s an international city so everything is clearly marked, you barely have to ask any questions. You know where your buses are going, everything is online, there are apps to get everywhere, whatever you want to eat, wherever you want to go. So, it’s really easy to get integrated into Manchester society and Salford especially.

 

 

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time in Manchester?

I like to walk, I just pick a random direction. I also like eating Shawarma which is like an Arabic burrito, it’s amazing. I like to go to music shows, I listen to all kinds of music.

 

What do you miss most about your home country?

I miss everything. I miss the sun, although I can’t believe I’m saying this because I didn’t like the sun. I miss my family, a lot of my friends and I miss my mum. I talk to my daughter almost every day.

 

 

Have you travelled to other parts of the UK?

I’ve been to London, Liverpool and Essex.

 

Do you have any plans for when you graduate?

I plan to get some work experience really. In my home country there’s no standard for it. I’m hoping that I am able to integrate within a company and establish that office to help them generally improve the quality of productions in Nigeria and bring them up to speed with international standards and requirements. For now, it’s get my studies done and get some work experience at a reputable company and go back there [Nigeria] with a wealth of knowledge.

 

 

What did you study for your undergraduate degree?

I studied a Bachelor of Arts in performing arts from the University of Ilorin in Kwara State, Nigeria.

 

What made you choose production management for your masters?

I chose production management for my postgraduate degree because I realised that I needed to enhance my skills and they were going to be teaching me things that I didn’t know like line producing and production management for television, film and digital media. That’s why I chose it. Plus, it’s set in Media City, which is the hub for the media industry in the North West of England. That was a big sell for me.

 

 

What made you choose to study abroad?

If you’re trying to get international exposure and to understand how things are done internationally, the best way to do it is go international. That’s why I came here. Plus, there are not any courses of this standard on offer on the African continent and this was the closest I could get. The perfect fit really.

 

Did you do much research before applying to the University of Salford?

Yes, I did a lot of research because I initially wanted to go to national film and television school in London, as they have an amazing course list. I found two or three courses I liked but they were a bit expensive and apart from that I couldn’t meet the application deadline, so I started looking for an alternative.

 

When I found the University of Salford and found out this is the first time they were offering a production management course I studied the modules and I talked to some of the tutors on the course. They were very open, smart, and drawn right from the industry. A lot of them have produced great shows like Strictly Come Dancing and Dragons’ Den. Why wouldn’t you want to come and study under these guys?

 

How did you conduct your university research?

I did most of my research on the internet, looking at the tutors and opportunities after study.

 

How have you found the adjustment to studying in the UK?

Apart from the cold weather, I’m adjusting fine. There’s a big African community in Manchester. There’s a big Nigerian community as well. Apart from that the people in Manchester are very used to seeing foreign nationals so they are very welcoming and they are accepting, they treat you just like every other person which is more than anybody could ask.

 

How does the teaching style differ to in your home country?

It depends on the kind of university you go to in my home country. We’re very particular about knowledge retention, but a lot of it is theoretical because in a lot of our industries there’s not yet a very good connectivity between the professional and academic world. It’s not like England where its basically one and the same.

 

The teaching style here is very practical where they want you to know and understand what it is they are teaching you and you apply it immediately, unlike in Nigeria where you might have to wait a couple of years before you apply your knowledge. So yeah, it’s a little bit different in that sense, but it’s just as intense.

 

How does the University of Salford accommodate international students?

It’s almost like the university was made for international students. They bend over backwards to provide all kinds of services to you. They break down your fees, if you can’t pay it all at once, they give you a payment plan. They offer scholarships to international students who have a certain academic ability. They constantly have programmes to engage international students. They have staff dedicated to international students.

 

There’s also something they call wellbeing, which is basically for the general student body. However, for international students they make an extra effort to reach out to you, find out if you are adjusting well and coping. It’s nice, you feel cared for.

 

What has been the most challenging part of your study abroad experience?

This is my first time living in England, so apart from adjusting as a student you also have a life outside of being a student. It’s a bit of a culture shock. I’m from a very conservative country, culturally. But it’s an international city so everything is clearly marked, you barely have to ask any questions. You know where your buses are going, everything is online, there are apps to get everywhere, whatever you want to eat, wherever you want to go. So, it’s really easy to get integrated into Manchester society and Salford especially.

 

 

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time in Manchester?

I like to walk, I just pick a random direction. I also like eating Shawarma which is like an Arabic burrito, it’s amazing. I like to go to music shows, I listen to all kinds of music.

 

What do you miss most about your home country?

I miss everything. I miss the sun, although I can’t believe I’m saying this because I didn’t like the sun. I miss my family, a lot of my friends and I miss my mum. I talk to my daughter almost every day.

 

Have you travelled to other parts of the UK?

I’ve been to London, Liverpool and Essex.

 

 

Do you have any plans for when you graduate?

I plan to get some work experience really. In my home country there’s no standard for it. I’m hoping that I am able to integrate within a company and establish that office to help them generally improve the quality of productions in Nigeria and bring them up to speed with international standards and requirements. For now, it’s get my studies done and get some work experience at a reputable company and go back there [Nigeria] with a wealth of knowledge.

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The Content Executive for Hotcourses Abroad, Lizzie will be writing helpful articles to support you all along your study abroad journey.

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