International Students

Check out what our International Students have to say about their experience of studying History at UCL.

Meet Asmi Manudhane, our International Student Lead

a student with long dark hair smiles at the camera
How do you find studying at UCL History as an international student?

Studying history at UCL has been transformative; I am currently in my third yera studying BA History and the past has become an integral part of my life. It still feels surreal to attend a university where a casual walk across the street leads me to libraries that once seemed beyond reach. My journey at UCL History has been a rollercoaster, marked by highs, lows, and unexpected twists I never foresaw. This experience has shifted the way I look at the world.

Besides being academic experts, the professors are remarkably approachable individuals, and their support has enriched my time here. I have connected with people from all over the world with diverse stories and backgrounds. This exposure has made me realise how big the world actually is, and there’s so much to learn from every encounter.

UCL History has offered me a platform to express my thoughts and instigate meaningful change, creating a sense of belonging. The department, professors, and student communities are incredibly accessible, fostering a strong sense of affinity. As an international student, I was accustomed to a somewhat hierarchical structure in academic spaces, and coming here has completely altered that perception. I share a genuine connection with both students and professors, including the department head, Antonio! Everyone in the department, from professors to coordinators and the head, is equally approachable, contributing significantly to the smoothness of my time here.

What are you most enjoying to study?

Whenever someone asks me, ‘What do you actually study in history?’ I realise the range of history I have been able to study here at UCL. While finding my history niche, I have experimented with ancient history, medieval Chinese history, the history of the Anthropocene, wartime Southeast Asia, Poland and Lithuania and even archaeology! Although it sounds biased, my spatial favourite is Indian history. Thematically, I have really enjoyed exploring the history of inequalities.

What do you wish you would have known before coming here?

I wish someone had told me that it’s not all sunshine (quite literally) and that there will be times when nothing would seem to work out in your favour, and in times like this, it is very important to hold your ground and have faith in yourself. Academically speaking, since I come from an academic background where writing essays was not common, it took me a long time to learn how to write a university-level essay. I wish I had known of the academic help service UCL provides early on in my time here! Another important thing I wish someone had told me or reminded me is not to be afraid to ask questions and speak up!

Finally, can you share some of your favourite places, restaurants and any tips for exploring London?

Find your favourite coffee/bubble tea spot(s), treat yourself once in a while and don’t be afraid to try new things! Walk around as much as you can and find your ‘my spot’ - it is a very helpful escape when you’re overwhelmed by the pace of London. When it comes to food, Too Good To Go is your best friend for cheap yet amazing food from your favourite restaurants!

Parmal Ahmed - Making History Project

london eye
As an international student from Pakistan, Parmal discusses their experience during the first year at UCL and taking part in the Making History Project. Parmal talks about the discovery of the “public space” of Trafalgar Square through its history, and status as a melting pot of immigrants, tourists, and students; it was a nexus connecting a lot of disparate worlds together. However, there was also an earnest sincerity in the group’s anger at the racist undertones of the square’s history and a desire to truly change the wrongs of selective history writing. 

“Communication and visiting sites will serve you. I felt like I had truly started deciphering London as a city, its residents and their daily musings, and the buses which could take me from campus to 10 Downing Street. Public spaces, I have believed ever since, are inherently personal.”

Read more about Parmal’s experience and find out which soup is more filling (Tesco or Sainsbury’s).