School of Computer Science

Meet some of our International CS students

Goda Bieksaite

Photo of Goda Bieksaite



Country of origin: Lithuania
Degree: MSci Computer Science

Why did you choose Birmingham?

I was looking for a great University but I also wanted a good community and a nice atmosphere to live in. I got that with Birmingham. I wasn't able to attend any of the Applicant Visit Days so my decision was mostly based on the information provided online. Naturally, I was looking at the University league tables and Birmingham ranked very high.

One of the things that was very important to me was that as soon as I got an offer, I was given information about joining the University Symphonic Orchestra, because I play an instrument and had mentioned that in my personal statement. Incredible results and that kind of attention to detail was what really drew me in. Birmingham as a city is a lovely and lively place to live in. It also has great transportation!

Things I wanted to know when applying to Birmingham

  • I wanted to know more about funding and work available on campus. I didn't know about Worklink (the University's Job Agency for students) or the different funding schemes available
  • I also wanted to find out more about the level of expectation of prior knowledge. Because of differing exams and teaching standards it can be a bit daunting to go to a University in a different country, so talking to someone to put my mind at ease was helpful
  • There's lots of helpful information for students coming to study at Birmingham from outside the UK, but we're here to answer any questions too!

Tips

  • Get a Student Railcard. You will be going on to trips to town and London and airports and all sorts of places. Believe me - it pays off! You can get one when you start studying
  • Look for any delivery services in your home country that offer good delivery deals to the UK. Your parents will want to send you packages and there might be cheaper ways to go about it

Hung Hoang

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Country of origin: Vietnam
Degree: BSc Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science

Why did you choose Birmingham?

Birmingham is a big city, with lots of events and activities to get involved in. It is definitely cheaper than London, but still has everything you need. I picked the University because of it's Computer Science Department. The degrees have a great module content, and the School has a welcoming, intellectual and active atmosphere. The University itself has lots of different societies to get involved with, and the campus has lots of benefits.

Things I wanted to know when applying to Birmingham

  • Who else would be on the same course (where would they be from and what were their backgrounds)
  • Should I learn Java beforehand?
  • What UoB and the course is like from a student perspective
  • What things do I need (living-wise), and where could I get them

Tips

  • Careful with your spending habits. Numbers are small (especially if you come from a country with a large numerical currency) but they add up very quickly!
  • There isn't a necessity to become a chef beforehand. You will pick it up!
  • UK supermarkets offer quite a lot of discounts, so take advantage!

Tanya Daskova

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Country of origin: Bulgaria
Degree: BSc Computer Science

Why did you choose Birmingham?

Birmingham is a highly-rated University, and I was looking for a somewhere that offered a lot of opportunities. The campus is amazing and really welcoming, and you can meet people from all around the world. It's also reasonably cheap for students, and the location is good and not too cold! The course programmes in Computer Science are very well designed.

Things I wanted to know when applying to Birmingham

  • I wanted some insightful tips into what things I would need to bring when I was moving into my accommodation.
  • I wanted to talk to more people who were taking Computer Science degrees who were from the same country, or were coming to study from outside the UK.
  • I wondered whether there would be a pick up service from the airport, as I know some Universities offer that.

Tips

  • Remember to bring adaptors, if your electrical appliances are not UK-standard
  • Meet people from flats next door and above you in your accommodation - make friends!
  • Don't worry, you will eventually get your code working before your deadlines!

Ossama Edbali

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Country of origin: Italy
Degree: MSci Computer Science

Why did you choose Birmingham?

I was searching for a Computer Science Department where research performance was at the top as well as graduate employability prospects. I was also looking for a great campus and community where I could get involved in various societies. Birmingham was my first choice, for these reasons. I have the opportunity to pursue my hobbies, improve my academic and employability skills through societies, events, career fairs, talks, one-to-one appointments and much more. Coming from a small village in the north of Italy I chose Birmingham because it has some of the best urban communities in the country with green places everywhere.


Things I wanted to know when applying to Birmingham

Tips

  • Never be afraid of asking questions
  • Do not let deadlines pile up. Organise your time carefully at the beginning and it will save you a lot of effort
  • Join the societies you're interested in, they're a great place to make new friends, contribute and express yourself!

Gwendolyn Wong

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Country of origin: Singapore
Degree: BSc Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science

Why did you choose Birmingham?

I found out about the Computer Science Department through looking at University League Tables. I applied and was then invited to a Skype interview with a lecturer, who was really friendly and helpful. He asked if there was anything I needed to know and after the interview sent me four emails in a couple of hours highlighting what I asked for, with helpful links. That really helped me decide to choose Birmingham, as it is nice to know that even though you're moving away from everything that you know, there would be someone who would go out of their way to help!

Birmingham has a huge student community so everything is well within reach and student priced. Birmingham is just outside of the city centre (seven minutes by train to our own train station), so you get the best of both worlds - a proper university campus and the convenience of living in a big city.

Things I wanted to know when applying to Birmingham

  • I wanted to know how to open a bank account and get a phone contract once in Birmingham
  • I wanted to know the best places to buy goceries - I lived in University accommodation and for the first few months I used to buy my food from a large supermarket nearby. I found out that most UK supermarkets sell really good value groceries and offer cheap delivery slots

Tips

  • NUS student discount cards are great and give you lots of reductions in different places. You can apply for one when you start studying
  • There are lots of online discounts available too, and the Freshers Fair during Welcome Week gives out lots of freebies as well!
  • Taxis - the University has set prices with Castle Cars Taxi Company so you should never pay too much

Tsanimir Sakutov

Photo of Tsanimir Sakutov


Country of origin: Bulgaria
Degree: BSc Computer Science

Why did you choose Birmingham?

Having decided I want to pursue higher education in the UK it was not an easy decision to decide which University exactly I would like to attend. After I had chosen my future degree and had done extensive research on most Universities offering it, the University of Birmingham stood out as the best choice for me. It was not only the top University for Computer Science the year I applied but also had an outstanding reputation and a beautiful campus.

The only aspect I was unsure about up to the very last day before starting the course was the city I was about to move to. Being an international student I had not had the opportunity to visit Birmingham before and it's sheer size worried me at first. Now, after two years of living here I can say that all my doubt had been for nothing. Birmingham has been an amazing place to live and study and I cannot see myself anywhere else!

Things I wanted to know when applying to Birmingham

  • What technical knowledge would I need to be successful in my degree
  • Naturally when moving to a completely different country I wanted to know about the every-day life of a student in Birmingham
  • More about the excellent sport facilities that the University offers

Tips

  • Try and find someone who does your chosen degree and just talk to them. That would undoubtedly help you with what to expect when you first start the course
  • Don't be shy! Everyone is super nice and willing to help so make the most out of it

Get In Touch!

Do you have a question? Join our UG Applicants Facebook Group and talk to Goda, Hung, Tanya, Gwen, Ossama and Tsanimir, along with our other CS student ambassadors. Don't worry if you can't access Facebook - just email our Admissions and Marketing Coordinator, Helen Whitby and she'll arrange alternative communication methods.

It can be a big step coming to a new country, but the School of Computer Science is a great place to study and is very supportive. Feel free to ask us anything - nothing is too silly!