Published on October 30, 2013 | by Valentina de Vito

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From Florence to London

ALN multimedia producer Valentina de Vito [Emanuele Giovagnoli]

People leave their countries for many different reasons, and so many decide to study in a global city like London because of its wide course choice, the quality of the universities that it hosts and the work opportunities that it offers.

Indeed, the environment is very welcoming for every student who takes the step of moving abroad and it is easy to feel part of a vast and colourful society.

Before moving to London I was living in Florence with my family; I paid no monthly rent, all my maintenance expenses were covered and I had my mum cooking for me every day after uni – what a spoiled child!

I was studying law at the time. So why did I decide to leave all this for London?

Well… I guess I needed a temporary change. But I never thought I would end up dropping my course at uni to start a new study career in London.

Because I always dreamt of writing and I started reading newspapers really early in my life, I thought of starting a BA in journalism at LCC.

University of the Arts London has around 19,000 students. It welcomes students from 114 countries and around 40 per cent of its total student body comes from outside the UK…and I now make up part of that percentage.

When I applied through UCAS three years ago, I had a vague idea of what university could be like in the UK. I was scared as I thought it would be very hard for me to feel integrated. All I can say now is that I feel like a proper Londoner.

UAL has inspired my creativity and helped me to create a network of contacts I am sure will be helpful for my future as a journalist. It’s a powerful platform from which everybody can start building their career.

It would have been different studying in my country as people there, once graduated, struggle to get a job. On the other hand, London gives you a wide range of opportunities in all fields, and if you show to be competent in your area of study and are determined to reach your goals, you can progress very quickly.

However, even though the chances of getting a good job here are higher, many others like me think of going back to their countries to improve things there.

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