Studying at the most International University in the UK
It goes without saying that Imperial College London is one of the most culturally diverse university communities in the world. Just walking around campus, it is clear to why we have been named the UK’s most international university by The Times Higher Education. Being one of the highest ranking universities in world and leading the way in scientific research, attracts some of the brightest students from across the globe, giving Imperial its signature incredible variety in culture.
Having lived in London my whole life and attended, what I thought was, quite a diverse school, I’m not sure what I expected Imperial to be like however, I had really not anticipated making friends so quickly with people from all around the world. Even amongst those from the UK, many actually have more varied ethnic backgrounds rather than just being British. This creates a very strong sense of community as whatever country you are from, language you speak or religion you follow, it is so easy to find others like you. Imperial proudly boasts over 70 different cultural and faith societies where people come together to celebrate special occasions such as Chinese New Year and Diwali, discuss aspects of religion and faith and simply come together to reminisce about home.
Coming to London, which is such a busy and bustling city, for the first time, can be extremely daunting. A new city, maybe a new language and not knowing many people could leave you feeling quite isolated. However, with such a strong foundation of clubs and societies within the college it is extremely easy to find people who will soon become like your family, brought together by a shared culture and language and often a craving for foods from home. This is incredibly important as it allows students to feel like they’re at at home, even when home is 1000s of miles away. By feeling like they belong somewhere, students begin to have a sense of identity and thus make the most of their time at Imperial by getting more and more involved in the community, leading to a more positive university experience.
Aside from just building strong cultural ties, the diversity of Imperial allows students to experience other cultures. From trying my flatmates’ food to attending variety shows, I have been introduced to a whole host of new experiences I otherwise wouldn’t have. Between Malaysian night and the Indian society’s dance and music extravaganza, to name a
few, I have witnessed aspects of a culture one can often only experience in certain countries. However with people from almost everywhere, students at Imperial are able to share such authentic experiences with large audiences of students, keen to learn about other cultures.
Not only does this make students at Imperial incredibly culturally aware and accepting as we live, our few years within the Imperial community, surrounded by people from all over the world but it also means that we have made life long connections beyond country borders. Bring exposed to these varieties of cultures leaves us students hungry to learn more, encouraging us to travel in the future and maybe even consider working in a foreign country as we have already experienced some of what it might have to offer. High profile, international universities such as Imperial College London, therefore thrive off their international population as these students who travel so far to study here bringwith them their culture and take back their scientific knowledge and research allowing science to progress much better when people are able to work well with each other even if from different corners of the globe, as they have already been exposed to this concept at university.
For all these reasons, Imperial continues to attract countless numbers of international students, driving the university forward with their opinions and ideas within science but also by sharing their culture all students are able to leave university more enriched and well rounded and creating the lively, bustling and multicultural atmosphere that Imperial is so well known for.