Elzarie is an international student based in South Africa and has been studying Clinical Technology from home this year, due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. In this blog, she discusses her experience of being an adult learner at Bradford.
Why did you decide to return to learn?
“Education is key” and that is my reason for returning to campus. The valuable knowledge I have gained so far is priceless and has made me even more interested to learn from my academics and grow into a professional and successful woman.
The University of Bradford has provided support systems and changed their ways of teaching to accommodate for their students to ensure they deliver a top standard education during this difficult time. It is now our responsibility as students to support the University and return to our degrees and prove the Pandemic will not stop ambitious students from receiving first grade degrees.
What support have you been given as an adult learner?
The University of Bradford provides a range of support systems for their students. My personal academic tutor has been a big support to me. We regularly meet up virtually, since I am an international student and had to complete my year from South Africa. It can get difficult to communicate with staff and students from a distance, coping with time differences and balancing work with study. The International Student Support team has supported me with regular updates and changes regarding the Pandemic.
During my first year I went to the Academic Support Centre, where they host a maths clinic. It is a support centre that saved me. I did not have any previous mechanics knowledge and I struggled with a particular module. But this centre helped and guided me through the module, and I am grateful to say that I received extremely good marks for the exam (96%).
What’s your favourite thing about campus?
Academically it will definitely be the labs. Being able to work in laboratories with the best and most advanced equipment is my favourite part of campus. I love to do practical work and learn from academics in the lab centres and using interesting equipment.
But socially my favourite part will be the Unique Fitness and Lifestyle Centre. Going to the campus gym is part of my daily routine and it also helped me with social interaction and gaining friends with similar interests to mine.
How do you manage your work-life balance?
It is not easy being an adult learner student – having to manage more than just your studies is hard. Fortunately, I do not have a family to care for yet, but I had to find a way to prioritise my studies, work and responsibilities. From a young age I prioritised my schoolwork with my extra-mural activities and I definitely believe that has helped me during university.
I keep a weekly diary which I update every Sunday to highlight my working hours and divide my study, work and relax time for the week ahead. I give myself earlier deadlines to complete assignments to ensure that I have extra time if an emergency out of my control should happen.
What’s your advice for adult learners considering applying to Bradford?
As you already know, it will not be easy, but it is definitely possible. The University of Bradford provides an environment that will support you in all aspects of your university experience. They listen and care about their students.
Make sure to develop a good relationship with your personal tutor and you will have a support system for the remainder of your studies. Get to know campus and find out about all the different services and centres Bradford offers to make your university journey as fun and stress free as possible.
A good education is promised to you, support in successfully completing your degree is guaranteed, all you need to do is use it and take advantage of the opportunities available.