Global Business School for Health


My journey to the UCL GBSH

16 October 2023

Ambassador Andria shares her journey from graduation excitement to beginning her MSc at UCL GBSH. Though missing induction week due to international travel, the awe of UCL East's impressive Marshgate building and the anticipation of a new academic adventure were undiminished.


I am sure many people know or will get to know the exhilarating feeling you get at your undergraduate graduation, or any graduation, for that matter. After finishing my degree at the University of Bristol, I was surprisingly confident to walk into what could be my last year in education. 

After getting my results and being accepted at UCL, my expectations for this academic year were through the roof, thinking that I would be studying at one of the UK's top universities. The thought of that boosted my confidence, and once September came along, I was ready to embark on this new journey. Coming from an entirely scientific background, I knew transitioning to my Biotech and Pharmaceutical Management MSc wouldn't be difficult. Still, my little economics knowledge from school gave me some reassurance. 

For most students, the academic year began with an inspiring induction week with extraordinary events where you also get to meet your unit director up close and personal while making awesome friends. , For me however, this wasn't the case! As an international student, I arrived in the UK on the 27th of September (midway into induction week), and while I wanted to attend a few of the last events, setting up a flat and preparing everything for the start of the academic year took priority. 

Fast forward to the first day of my master's degree; I probably don't have to mention the combination of nerves, excitement and suspense I felt walking into my first seminar. Same with everyone (I think) on their first day, I arrived 20 minutes early, allowing myself to find the building, seminar friends and hopefully a few friendly faces. Walking into the Marshgate building at UCL East, I was lost for words; the tall ceilings and open-plan structure of the budling were imposing and captivating at the same time. 


I walked in, scanned my UCL card for the first time, and went to the escalators and the 4th floor. Finding the room wasn't hard, but my eyes kept falling on the excellent displays hanging from the roof, fantastic studying and social spaces and, of course, the library (where I will be spending the vast majority of my time). At first, I realised almost everyone had already met in an induction week, which exacerbated my anxiety about being completely new. Thankfully, some awesome coursemates welcomed me to their table; I was finally ready for my first seminar.

That's when I realised that the course structure of my master's was tremendously different to the curriculum I was used to at my previous University. Suddenly, I was unprepared and already falling behind on my first day. My nerves started reaching their peak, but everything calmed down once our lecturer welcomed us and reassured us that the first days were challenging and it was okay if we weren't fully prepared for our seminar work. Overall, I am sure the first week was pretty chaotic for most of us, so if you feel this way, you are not alone!!

Having seminars instead of lectures was unprecedented but not damaging for me. After attending my first and second weeks of university, I started loving how my course was structured. Seminars are a safe place to have exciting and challeconversationssation with your lecturers and peers regarding the material being taught. Ideas are constantly being shared left and right, one-on-one discussions and questions with lecturers and, overall, an intellectually stimulating experience for one to learn. These conversations don't have essential facts about the swell and connect you with lecturers and peers, making this feel less scary. Fun fact: I made my first friends here at UCL during our seminar conversations, which continued to the cafeteria and on our way to the underground station. 

One of my favourite things here at UCL Global Business School of Health is that your professors and lecturers aren’t herearen'tnalise or dismiss you. At the end of all our week one lectures and seminars, the lecturer’s lecturer'srs were shared with us while encouraging us to attend them even without questions just for a simple conversation over coffee. As expected, a master’s master's not is not a walk in the park, but after talking to our unit director one-to-one, I was reassured that I am not alone in this. 

These are some of my thoughts and experiences as a new student at UCL GBSH, a journey full of mixed emotions, excitement, and the feeling of preparing for the real world. New beginnings are always hard for everyone, especially for international families away from their families. The most important thing I learned is that you are never alone; your friends and peers probably feel the same way, and our teachers are here to help, so never hesitate to reach out.