Life as an international postgrad student

The UK is a popular choice for international postgraduate students, but how does living in a new country fair, while studying a notoriously harder course? We spoke to two postgrad students who have been staying with us over the past year to find out.


First, meet Runkun, studying MSc Modern and Contemporary Art in Edinburgh. A big fan of sports and exercise, Runkun lives at iQ Grove, 9 minutes’ walk from the city centre.


And to give their take on what life is life down in Sheffield, meet Rui, a MSc Marketing Management student staying at iQ Century Square – one of our 5 city centre sites in Sheffield.


Has your postgrad degree affected your living choice?

Runkun: Not really. But I did go for a private studio this year at Grove. It has enough space for me to work out at home which has proven to be so helpful during those stressful times.

Rui: Yes, it did actually. I chose a studio this year too, rather than the choice of a shared flat.


What you can expect from living in a studio apartment


Is there anything that has made your life easier?                           

Runkun: The location. Grove is really close to the Edinburgh College of Art campus. Also, the nearby supermarkets have been really handy.

Rui: The transport around iQ Century Square has been really convenient. We’re also really close to Sheffield University campus and just around the corner is The Ponderosa, a large park!


What has changed now that you're in postgraduate education?

Runkun: When I was an undergraduate student in China, my tutors were very strict, and I even had my study plans made up for me. Now, there is a huge emphasis on self-study, so I actually think postgraduate study is so much more stressful.

My living situation was different too, I shared a flat with seven roommates including the living room, bedrooms, and common areas. It was more social, naturally, but I’ve found that I’m really enjoying being in my own space. There is a common room on the ground floor of my iQ site which has given me quite a lot of opportunities to meet people.

Rui:  My master's course is a lot more stressful than my undergraduate one. Sadly, I don’t have too much time for socialising and travelling. I have to focus on my studies.


Lastly, tell us something you couldn’t do without.

Runkun: It would have to be a quiet study room.

Rui: Three things for me. First, the gym.  Second, the reception team being around to always collect my takeaway meals for me. And, last but not least, an aroma diffuser for my room.


Looking for postgraduate accommodation?  Get started with our postgrad guide


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