Graduation reflections: five reasons to study at Birkbeck as an international student

BSc Business Psychology student Gina shares how Birkbeck helped her meet people from all over the world and have a fulfilling university experience.

Gina, BSc Business Psychology student

Before coming to Birkbeck, Gina was worried that evening classes and lectures would mean that she’d miss out on traditional student life. Now returning for her Masters, we caught up with her on graduation day to find out what makes Birkbeck so special for international students (to head straight to the video, scroll to the bottom of this post).

1. Time to see London

As part of the University of London, Birkbeck’s location in the heart of Bloomsbury is just around the corner from the British Museum, Leicester Square and Oxford Street. Birkbeck’s lectures are in the evening, which means there’s plenty of time in the day to see the best of London.

2. Daytime Freedom

Gina chose Birkbeck because it gave her the flexibility she needed to develop her skills: “Now that I’ve graduated, I don’t just have a degree, I also have a  lot of work experience and life experience that I gained from having my mornings free to do what I want.”

3. The People

Before moving to London, Gina was worried that she might miss out on the traditional student experience by coming to an evening university. However, Birkbeck’s diverse student base ended up being one of her favourite things: “The unique thing about Birkbeck is that you meet people from all different walks of life … I met people all different ages and all different backgrounds and that was the best part about Birkbeck.”

4. Birkbeck Talent

In her first year, Gina went along to Birkbeck Talent, the College careers service, and found an internship with a financial consultancy, which opened a lot of doors to further job opportunities.

5. Student Central

Birkbeck students have access to the University of London societies at Student Central. Gina found that trying out Kung-Fu was a great way to meet new people.

Watch the full interview with Gina below.

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Managing Culture Shock as an International Student

There’s a real buzz to moving abroad as an international student, but when homesickness strikes, Birkbeck’s Counselling Service are here to help.

On Thursday 17 October, Birkbeck’s new international and exchange students attended an in-depth workshop on the difficulties and trials of culture shock. Mrs Aura Rico of the student counselling team led the workshop, in which new students explored what it means to be away from home, surrounded by unfamiliar faces and in the centre of a bustling London. We have to admit, it’s not always the most familiar environment.

Throughout this workshop, students were given a thorough insight into what culture shock can first feel like. After welcoming her audience with a quick trivia quiz, Mrs Rico explored perceived stereotypes of Britain– noting that not all are true! Students then had the opportunity to share their first impressions of life at Birkbeck.

From the initial buzz of living abroad, to feelings of being homesick, culture shock can be felt in a number of phases. Mrs Rico explored the many ways in which culture shock can help us cherish our new experiences, and help us develop into open-minded and independent individuals. Whilst it is very natural to feel a strong culture shock, Birkbeck continues to explore the ways in which students can embrace new experiences in London without a fear of forgetting the familiar.

If you’re suffering from culture shock, or have any need to speak to someone at Birkbeck, please contact our student counselling team or Mrs Aura Rico at

You are not alone!

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