Khanya Kakana

Law with Business – BCUIC

Khanya came to BCU from California to pursue her dream of travelling , push her confidence in herself and boost her future prospects. Thanks to the experiences gained in her first year at university and her viral TikTok channel, Khanya is rapidly building her self-esteem ready to take on the world as a lawyer.

‘I always wanted to travel abroad, and when I was allowed to combine my love of travelling and studying, I jumped at the opportunity. I didn’t want to study at home and I have lots of friends who decided to study abroad too, which was also encouraging. My family live in California but I had always wanted to go to the UK and it meant that I had some independence from my family by moving overseas. We used a study abroad agency to find schools, and there were a few options, but I chose BCU because I saw that lots of the students were international students and I wouldn’t feel alone or worried about being in a new country with new people.

It was nerve-wracking coming to a new country on my own. I'm naturally a shy person, but I didn’t let that stop me from moving to the UK. I had a wobble the month before I was due to come to BCU but my sister pushed and encouraged me to come. When I arrived at BCU everyone was very patient and understanding, and all of the people I have encountered so far have been really friendly which has helped settle me in.

When first applying for university, I had some hassle with moving house as I needed more funds to do so. These financial problems really brought my spirits down because I thought I would miss my opportunity. But BCU were really understanding and patient with my situation and I couldn’t be more grateful for that. Once everything was sorted, getting myself to university was a great process.

Since becoming a student at university I have become more independent, which is something that doesn’t come naturally to me. I am still in my first year, but I am so proud of how easily I have been able to understand my lectures and the work. I have found it easier to work in person compared to when we were studying online, which was a real challenge for me. I am also more open to trying new things now and I really enjoy going out for social occasions. I always go by the phrase ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ and that seems to push me in the right direction.

Getting a TikTok account with my younger cousin has also helped me gain more confidence. This was a space where I could be silly, expressive and creative whilst having lots of fun doing it! Not only was it a good way to pass the time during the pandemic, we started gaining a big following quickly by duetting with other content creators. I have started a YouTube channel off the back of it and was invited to a creator group in Saudi Arabia too.

Not only has my cousin encouraged me to be more confident, my sister is also a big inspiration. She has achieved so much in her career already, and is only 28, which has shown me that I can come out of my shell and do things for myself. By the time I graduate, if I am more confident, more assertive and confident as a lawyer, I will be thrilled.

I AM BCU means that I am confident, educated and worldly.’

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