Tasleem Fathima

"I am an exchange student at Plymouth University and I am studying three modules here. Two of them, maritime finance and business modelling and international shipping procurement and logistics, are related to operations and workplace coaching and development which is an MSc Human Resource Management (HRM) module.

I come from Bangalore, the silicon city in the southern part of India. I have done my undergraduate degree in computer science engineering. After that I worked at Deloitte Consulting India Pvt. Ltd. for a year before I started doing my postgraduate degree at IIM Kozhikode, one of the top B-schools in the country. I will complete my degree at IIM Kozhikode by studying for another three months. And then I hope to work in the HRM area. In the far future I plan to do a PhD and retire as a professor or at least as a visiting lecturer.

Plymouth University offered the HRM course that I wanted to study. The student community of this university is very diverse and I believed that this would give me a lot of opportunity to interact and work, and of course make friends, with people from other countries. 

The first thing I was worried about was the culture shock, but I was absolutely fine in the UK and I realized that if you can communicate well in English it is not difficult to find friends here. It may take a few hours to get used to the accent which is different in different parts of the country. At Plymouth I was worried that I would not be able to find Indian grocery very easily. And voila! It was difficult until I met my exchange program coordinator. For the benefit of exchange students, you can find an Asian grocery in the Plymouth market which is very close to the Drake Circus. Walk straight from Marks and Spencer’s and you’ll find it on your right!

I was also worried if I would get along with my flatmates. However, this did not materialize and I could make friends with all of them pretty quickly and I’ll keep in touch with a few of them even after I leave the UK. The orientation program helped a lot in adjusting. 

I would recommend Plymouth University to other students. You get to meet lots of students from other countries. In some modules (for me it was the HRM module) there are experienced people in senior positions who are studying along with you and you can learn a lot from them.

It is one of the best experiences I’ve had to date. From an academic perspective every subject is taught by many lecturers. Each topic in any subject is taught by the lecturer who is an expert in that topic. We’ve had many speakers from the industry as well for all the modules that I studied. 

Non-academically the University is even more brilliant. There are so many activities going on almost all the days of the week. The student union is really active and you just can’t find enough time to enjoy all of the activities organized by them. Any student should make it a point to know what else is happening in the University. There is lot more to learn outside the classroom and this is true especially in Plymouth University. There were surfing sessions, which unfortunately I could not attend. But, I did attend the exercise sessions (this includes dance) at Nancy Astor Sports Centre and I brushed up my French a bit by attending the free language sessions. This is the place to be, especially if you want to try your hand at new things and find your interests or develop new hobbies. For book lovers, the library is magnificent and you could spend all you day there. There are massive numbers of books on any topic you can think of.

Plymouth is a small but a very beautiful city. The Hoe area is so beautiful that you just won’t know how time went by. The city is active as well. There are festive nights like the fireworks night and Christmas market that one must not miss. The Pavilion is a good place for activities like ice skating. The people are very friendly and helpful. I have not had a single bad experience with the people in Plymouth. Having said this, it is important that one should try and understand the culture of the people here and be more open to other perspectives. This will enhance your experience. And this will also help in making good friends, some for life.

It has been an absolutely wonderful stay. The weather may be cold but the people are definitely warm in the UK!"