Kseniia Yakutina

"My story started in Ukraine, where I was born. My life there was active; I was in a leadership team of a youth movement, did plenty of volunteering and also had a job in a private language school in which I ran an English-speaking club. 

There is so much to tell about my life in Birmingham; the University, the community I have become a part of, and the city as a whole. I started in September 2022, and so far, my experience here has been absolutely incredible. 

I came to England, more specifically Birmingham, after Russia’s invasion of my home country. My background in learning English and experience running the club lead me to apply to university, as naturally, it seemed like the next step. 

I had an idea in my head of what I thought a university should be like and what I wanted from the experience. I pictured large modern spaces and the hustle and bustle of students from all walks of life; I was in awe of how BCU was exactly that. On my first visit, I saw students walking from class to class, laughing and carrying their laptops and folders. The buildings were filled with students work; paintings, fashion designs, texts and more. It felt like an inspirational and motivating place to study.

Birmingham is a great city. It’s huge, which makes me feel hopeful it has plenty of work opportunities. While exploring the city I found beautiful canals, big squares and parks. My favourite thing to do is to buy a latte and go for a walk, enjoying the music of street musicians and seeing different parts of the city. I wanted to experience life in a big city with so many different things there to see and do, and I have achieved that.

My course has helped me with my day-to-day life alongside my coursework. As I learn more about the language, it broadens my understanding of the power of words. I learn lots about culture, gender, feminism, class and politics, which has expanded my mind and helped me to understand why our world works in a certain way.

During my life here, I realised that I have become more independent. I’ve started to plan my everyday meals, manage my finances, think in advance and many other “grown up” things.

I really enjoy the city, the University and never once regretted my choice. English is not just interesting, but a useful subject. Birmingham City University has made it easy and exciting to study and I plan on continue studying here."