'I have access to world-leading research and a welcoming global community'

Rimsha stands smiling in a white jumper in front of a big, classical building in York.

'There's so much to explore, even within York itself'.

GREAT scholar Rimsha from Pakistan is studying for a master’s in psychology in education at the University of York. Hear about her experiences living, studying and embracing new cultures in the UK, the enriching academic environment she’s immersed in and learn about her new role at the NHS.

'There is so much world-leading research going on in my field at the University of York'.

‘I am so inspired by the world-leading research going on in my field’

When deciding where to study, I was impressed by how versatile the field of psychology and psychological research is in the UK. The huge body of literature that I found was so inspiring. At the University of York specifically, there is so much world-leading research in the fields of education, psychology and organisational psychology, which really interested me.

The opportunity to research under expert academics, engage in meaningful intellectual debates and meet all these amazing people who have done incredible research in my field is unrivalled. I just had to come. Psychology is still an up-and-coming field in Pakistan, so to expand my perspectives and horizons, coming to the UK was appealing due to the volume and variety of research being done. I've seen the passion, commitment and dedication to psychology as a discipline in the UK and am so pleased to become part of it.

Rimsha standing holding her laptop in an outside area near the University of York.

'I like to study outside sometimes for a change of scene'.

‘I communicate regularly with different experts and academics’

My dissertation looks at a specific angle of development psychology but from a non-western perspective, instead focusing on countries - like Pakistan - where there is currently a smaller body of research. One thing I’ve loved here is that I communicate regularly with different experts and academics, and many part-time work opportunities are available for students too. I’m becoming increasingly familiar with the working culture in the UK and the current climate for jobs and roles available. When I graduate, I want to build on my experiences during my studies and hopefully move into a successful career in marketing psychology. It’s my dream.

A paper plate on a grassy field with Mexican food and disposable wooden cutlery.

'I've enjoyed eating amazing food in the UK'.

‘I love the independence and freedom I’ve had while studying in the UK’

Coming to study in the UK, beyond academics, has led to so many new experiences for me. I’ve enjoyed living in student accommodation, decorating my dormitory, and having a space entirely my own. I love the independence and freedom I’ve had while studying here. Finding a place to live, finding my circle of friends - my chosen family - eating amazing food, travelling. The food I tried in London was some of the best I’ve ever had. It’s been so much fun exploring.

Coming to the UK to study is so different from coming here, for example, to work. Although during my master's, there is a lot of work to do academically, my schedule is different than it would be if I were working full-time. I can spend my days more flexibly, and I have a group of people around me who are also new and eager to explore and experience new things and travel as much as possible.

Rimsha (right) and three of her friends (left) in the London Underground.

'Visiting London with some friends'.

Rimsha standing in front of York Train Station with a backpack and holidng the handles smiling, ready for her next adventure.

'Travelling in the UK, even on a budget, is really easy'.

‘Travelling by public transport in the UK is so accessible and relatively inexpensive’

One of my biggest passions in life is travelling. I want to travel the world, explore different cuisines and different cultures. Travelling by public transport in the UK is so accessible and relatively inexpensive. It’s easy, even if you’re on a budget, to book a train or bus ticket and go to another city with your friends, whether on a day or overnight trip.

Rimsha posing by a view of a body of water near York.

'You never have to go far to find a beautiful place'.

‘There is so much history, culture and natural beauty here in the UK’

So far, I’ve been to Liverpool, Scarborough, Newcastle and London, among other places, and Europe is also so close. There is so much history, culture and natural beauty, and some of the bigger cities are like a melting pot of people from many different countries and cultures. It’s an amazing opportunity to find out what you’re passionate about and connect with all sorts of different people and cultures.

Rimsha and a group of other GREAT scholars at a careers networking event.

'Rimsha and fellow GREAT scholars at a networking event in Manchester during a career workshop session'.

‘I’ve made so many unforgettable memories’

I’ve made so many unforgettable memories here. Beyond everything else, I think just the time I’ve spent with my friends has been the best. I’ve met people from practically everywhere, all with their own customs and cultures. It’s been so interesting getting to know them and learning more about them and the places they are from.

'I've been able to share Pakistani culture with my friends'

I have learned so much, and I’ve also been able to share my culture with others. Not everyone in my classes, for example, knows that much about Pakistan. The other day I was playing Pakistani music with a friend, and she loved it. These cultural exchanges have been one of the most rewarding parts of this whole experience. I can’t wait to keep doing that, even when I graduate.

Rimsha and other GREAT scholars standing in front of a branded Study UK wall holding their GREAT scholar certificates.

'I'm proud to be a GREAT scholar. Meeting other scholars for networking at Old Trafford Cricket Ground was amazing.

Two print-outs of photos from a photo booth with the words 'GREAT Scohlars 12th May 2023'

'I've become part of a global community of GREAT scholars'.

‘Go and meet people. Try new things. You might even surprise yourself with what you end up doing’

When you’re in a new and unfamiliar environment, like when you first come to study here, it can feel easier to stay in your own little comfort bubble. Say, to hang out with people from your country who you may be more familiar with or to seek out the food you’ve always eaten. I recommend you don’t do that. Of course, keep that connection to your own culture and people too, but also step outside your comfort zone when you’re here. Go out and meet people. Try new things. This is your opportunity. Use it wisely. You might even surprise yourself with what you end up doing.

Rimsha sitting in a library at the University of York with a book in front of her, leafing through the pages.

'I'm working part-time at the NHS while finishing my dissertation'.

'I started my job search in May and found a job within a month'

I decided to start looking for a job before I graduated so I could ideally transition smoothly from my master’s into work. I started my job search in May and found a job within a month. During that time, I applied for multiple jobs each day, and of course, I received rejection emails along the way, which was frustrating. But my advice to anyone in a similar situation would be to just push through it, as you will find something that fits you sooner or later.

I know the job market can be tough, but I feel that you can increase your chances of success if you make sure your skills align with whatever job you are looking for and you go for things you want. It’s also important to apply for things you know you’re qualified for or at least have a shot of getting.

‘I now work in the speech and language therapy department at the NHS’

I now work at the NHS (National Health Service) working in the speech and language therapy department. I work with other speech and language therapists and families and children who come to use the service. Speaking Urdu is an asset in the role as the team sometimes needs someone to act as an interpreter between the therapists and families, as many families are from Urdu-speaking backgrounds.

‘My master’s prepared me well for the job that I’m doing now’

My master’s prepared me really well and, I’m sure, helped me secure my role at the NHS because what I am doing now is similar to what I studied in my course. So far, I’ve been working remotely for 20 hours a week because I’m still working on my dissertation. When I finish my studies, I’ll move from York to London, where the job is based, and transition into full-time, face-to-face work.

Anything's possible when you study in the UK

Find out about the endless possibilities that studying in the UK has to offer. And why 500,000 international students choose to study here each year.

Open doors to limitless opportunities

See more

Scholarships and funding

Would you like to turn your dream of studying in the UK into a reality? There are many funding and scholarship options available for international students.

About the UK

From our ancient traditions to our modern and inclusive way of life, there's so much to love about the UK. Explore UK nations, food and culture.

Access world-leading research

The discoveries our universities are making are at the forefront of global science and research. You’ll be at the cutting edge when you study in the UK.

Student life in the UK

A UK education goes far beyond what you learn from your studies. Discover the unforgettable student experiences you can have when you study in the UK.

Hear stories from international students

The Study UK blog is the home of real-life, personal stories from current international students and alumni.

Read our blog

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the latest updates and advice on applications, scholarships, visas and events.