top of page

STUDY ABROAD - Isata and Mariama

Studying abroad can be a huge decision. Some transitions may be smoother than others, With the help of some amazing people, “ #TCIMStudyAbroad series” was created and people of different backgrounds share their experiences by answering 7 quick questions on their experiences. If you’re considering studying abroad these posts will most definitely be useful.

Enjoy x


Name: Isata Kargbo Degree title: MSc Public Health

What influenced your decision to study abroad

I had been searching for a masters programme in the UK and was instantly put off by the £10,000 loan given that I already had the £9,000 to pay for my undergrad. I had been planning to go travelling for 10 weeks, which I did and so it kind of just clicked to me that maybe I should study abroad. Thus, I used my love for travelling to my advantage and searched for universities in Europe that offered a Masters in Public Health.

What were the main things that affected your final decision

To be honest, I never had anything that affected my decision.

The website that helped me greatly was They had all the information I needed. I.e costs, length of study, requirements. Anything you can think of they had it. I then found myself looking at masters programs in Sweden and to my surprise they were free for European citizens and that was deal breaker for me.

What did you value the most about your experience

I met people from various countries and it was interesting for me to see how people lived and thought about life outside of London. I think that you get a big culture shock when you do leave London and you genuinely become aware of how your environment shapes your thoughts and actions.

What was the hardest thing about your experience The culture of the swedes. They’re very reserved and if you don’t make an effort to make friends, you’ll literally have no friends. I think that it’s such a quiet country and I’m so used to the noise here in London that sometimes it made me feel lonely.

How has your study abroad shaped the way you think now? I would say that it’s made me a bit more determined. If I want to do something, I will do it in my own time that is. I must say that it’s made me want to learn a bit more especially improve on my general knowledge and so I do find myself reading a little more or researching things I don’t know a little more also.

Do you believe your experience has given you a competitive edge when it comes to finding a job and why?

Yes I believe it has. I think that I’m a bit more confident in my wants and needs and I know that when I apply for a job, employers like to see how you adapt to various situations which I always present in my applications. Also, it appears experience tends to be more valuable nowadays than the degree itself so a part of me is again proud to know that I’ve gained quite extensive experience that can be seen as desirable to future employers.

How did you fund your study abroad?

I simply worked and saved up before I went, then once I was out there I got myself a job as a nanny and then in retail.


Name:Mariama (She/her/)

Degree title:Politics and Sociology (BSc)

What influenced your decision to study abroad 

I have always wanted to experience living in another country and studying abroad made that a reality.

I don’t have specific sites, but personally looking up the individual universities, cities and the interesting facts about them really helped my decision. Also speaking to students who had been there, as well as students who were thinking of going there and their reasons, either put me off or got me even more hyped up

What were the main things that affected your final decision

  • As a Joint-honours student I was only allowed to do a semester

  • The classes my host university had to offer

  • Location – the city/country. Is this a place I would like to visit and live in for 6 months?

What did you value the most about your experience 

I’d say the beautiful people I met and the friends I made. The conversations I had. They really shaped my experience and made it turn out the way it did.

What was the hardest thing about your experience 

Me missing my family and friends. For the first time I was in a different time zone and they weren’t at my beck and call lol.

How has your study abroad shaped the way you think now? 

I think most importantly it has taught me to cherish moments and valuing time spent with friends. Practically, I think I’ve become more confident. Living in a different country and surrounded by a different culture, you are kind of outside your comfort zone, it’s like you’re thrown out to fend for yourself (well at least that’s how I felt) and that can be really terrifying. Now I feel like I can approach situations differently than I did before.

Do you believe your experience has given you a competitive edge when it comes to finding a job and why?

I really haven’t used it yet, but I have been told it can be used. From what I have gathered it is the adaptable skills that you inevitably gain from living in another country within a short period of time that employers find useful, but I might be wrong.

How did you fund your study abroad?

My tuition fees were covered. I just had to pay for accommodation, health insurance and a meal plan.Student finance covered most part, my university had some bursary available not specifically for study abroad students, which I applied for.My personal funds covered the rest.

Since my host university was outside of the EU I wasn’t eligible for the Eramus programme

bottom of page