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Quick book review: “Student life in the UK”

Student life in the UK: A guide for international studentsStudent life in the UK: A guide for international students by Agnieszka Karch

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There are probably 99 problems on any student’s mind – per minute. This book is a clear and concise introduction to solving at least a few of them.

I was not immediately convinced by the way Agnieszka approached the subject: there are no ready-made action plans, no lists of “top X things to do / avoid” – very much unlike the guides I’m used to when tackling problems nowadays. But this doubt was soon replaced by a much nicer thought: this little book is exactly what international students will need.

It’s clear that the author has been through a lot of the things she describes, and doubly clear that she saw the value of experiencing them in full. So instead of a complete uni-hacking tutorial, what you get is a friendly and gentle introduction. It won’t stop you from getting the freshers’ flu. It won’t guide you to the right bus stop of hold your hand as you’re signing up for the library.

This, on reflection, is this guide’s strong point: it treats students like curious, creative grown-up people who are about to have an interesting experience in the UK. The well-written chapters suggest good and bad episodes of the experience, and may serve as useful navigation points as you steer towards the good parts you chose as a student – but that’s all it will ever do. If there’s a need for a more step-by-step approach, and more practical solutions, then I’m sure Agnieszka has another book like that on the back burner somewhere 🙂

If you’re an international student, read it and enjoy your time. If you know international students in the UK, get them this book.

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