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Viktoria Chatzigiannaki

Media and Communication - BA (Hons)

Viktoria always dreamed about going to university but she was concerned that her ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) diagnosis would affect her studies. After receiving support and encouragement from tutors and feeling welcomed to the BCU community, Viktoria has no doubt that she is in the right place to achieve her career goals and is now more confident than ever.

"It had always been my dream to go to university ever since I can remember. Both of my parents are university graduates and my dad studied in the UK. After visiting England for the first time at age 12, I instantly knew that this is where I wanted to study and maybe even live permanently. As I grew older I became more fascinated with England, its culture, and the opportunities that UK universities had to offer. 

Choosing the right course was the hardest decision. I always thought of myself as a creative as I enjoyed writing stories, taking photos and had a passion for film and TV industry. After careful consideration I chose a media course at BCU which offered all of the creative subjects I had an interest in. It was a hands-on industry focused experience and modules were practical rather than theoretical, which made the course very appealing to me.  I wanted to try a bit of everything before finding my specialism and this course was a perfect choice as it didn’t limit my career options.

When I was 17 I was diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) which had a negative impact on my confidence. I was never good at exams and I struggled to stay focused when reading something, so not having any exams on the media course played a big role in my decision to choose BCU. After joining the course my confidence increased very quickly as I spent my time in the studios doing practical things, and I soon realised that this is the best teaching method for me.

I was very excited to move to the UK, however I still wasn’t sure what exactly to expect from a UK university experience. The Welcome Week was a crucial part of this journey as it gave me an instant sense of belonging, showed me how fun university life can be, and helped me adapt to the new lifestyle very quickly. I’ve made some great friends with whom I always feel like myself around.

I couldn’t imagine myself being so passionate and goal orientated about something. I am 100 per cent sure that this experience is what I needed to find myself and to become who I want.

Not long ago, having confidence and taking on responsibilities felt like a distant dream of mine. During my two years at university I have grown more than in my entire school life altogether – I am now the person I wanted to become for a long time but thought I could never be. That self-conscious girl who left Greece to study in Birmingham at the age of 18 has now turned into someone who continually sets goals, plans her time, and knows what she wants and how to achieve it.

I couldn’t be more proud of the leadership skills I have gained. I have taken on leading roles in group projects, like producer or director. I feel confident in expressing my opinion, presenting my ideas and taking part in discussions – all of this scared me so much before coming to university. Looking back, I realise how much I have grown up as person – coming to university has encouraged me to come out of my shell and has really helped me to discover who I am.

I would have never been able to learn how to handle ADHD without the support I have received. My tutors have been there for me even when the issues have not been linked directly to the course itself. I know that I can share my struggles with them and that I will be listened to. Having that support when my own family is thousands of miles away is fundamental.

By the time I leave BCU, I want to make sure that I have taken as many opportunities as possible – anything that university life has to offer I want to at least have a taster of it. When I graduate, I want to feel capable of securing a great job that I enjoy.

‘I AM BCU’ for me means a sense of belonging to a group of supportive and helpful people with dreams, goals and ambitions to achieve the best they can."

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