Simranvir Kaur

Criminology - BA (Hons)

Simranvir knew she had to leave her small village to achieve her dreams. At BCU, she’s been able to flourish, experience new things and take on new challenges, without losing her connection to her home and culture.

“It has always been my goal to study my degree abroad. I come from a very small village of only 1,000 people. The opportunities there seemed limited and, as a girl, no one thought I would amount to much. I wanted to set an example for my younger siblings to follow and show them that I can achieve anything.

There was definitely a culture shock and language barrier when I arrived in Birmingham, but I was confident in my abilities and knew it would all be worth it in the end. As soon as I arrived in the UK, I felt welcomed as BCU arrange a free airport pick-up service. This was helpful when I arrived in the UK all on my own. Welcome Week also helped me connect with so many students from different countries and make new friends. At first, I thought I wouldn’t fit in because I don’t drink or enjoy clubbing but joining societies and getting involved with different things helped me realise there were still people I could make friends with, I’ve now made friends for life that I can rely on for anything.

Even with my friends, being away from my family and home was a big challenge for me, but I’m lucky that at BCU I can still connect with my faith. Birmingham is a religiously diverse and multicultural city, so I found a local Gurdwara easily and I now volunteer there in my free time. I was a committee member of BCU Sikh society and the inter-faith society. There’s also lots of events and festivals going on at the university and in Birmingham.

As an international student, I initially faced a language barrier. I went to the Centre for Academic Success in my first year and it was a great decision. They told me about free English workshops and referencing tutorials that have helped me improve my work. My course leaders also helped me a lot when I first started my criminology course. The modules are really interesting, and the teaching is of a very high quality. Thanks to my tutors and the Centre for Academic Success, I did well in my assessments and didn’t let my language barrier hold me back.

I also made the most of work opportunities available at BCU. During my studies I worked part-time in BCU’s international office. This really advanced my personal development as I’d never worked in this sort of professional environment before. I’ve improved my time management, interpersonal, and organisational skills.

This gave me the confidence to apply for Birmingham City University Student Union’s vice-presidential election to represent Academic experience. BCU has given me the chance to learn from my failures and flourish. Working for Birmingham City University’s Students’ Union, I’ve been able to help others do the same.

To me ‘I am BCU’ means being an empowered, independent woman thanks to it being a place with so many opportunities to grow.”