Student Experiences - Guatemala

Veronica Benavides Olyslager - MSc Management

Veronica Benavides OlyslagerI wanted to do a Masters degree in Management in an English speaking country and I chose England. I started researching about different Universities and came across University of Bristol. Before I even applied, I fell in love with some of the pictures of the University I found on the Internet and I had a special feeling about the place. I applied to the University of Bristol and to some others and after the long process of submitting personal statements, reference letters, exams and filling out forms, I got accepted to five Universities. Choosing Bristol from among them was an easy decision as it had a great ranking and reputation, it sounded like a safe city and I loved the fact that it was located right in the centre of a small city.

The first day I arrived in Bristol I came on a train from London, as I had a viewing for an apartment. I was a bit nervous and felt a bit lost as you often do when you are visiting a place for the first time. However, apart from the beautiful train station, I noticed there was a stand with the logo of the University of Bristol. Wondering what it was, I approached it and friendly students gave me a warm welcome and offered me a starter kit. We chatted, they answered my questions and ended up taking me onto the University bus, which took me around the city. I was very impressed by this treatment.

Since my first day here, I have definitely enjoyed Bristol. I live in Clifton, which is my favourite suburb, and my house is five minutes away from the Suspension Bridge. This is definitely my favourite part of the city and walking around this area is remarkable. There are so many cafes, pubs, restaurants, parks, nice stores and delis. I really enjoy having visitors and showing them around such a nice place. I also enjoy the events organized by Bristol, for example the Chocolate exhibition in M-Shed, the Grillstock Festival held in May and of course the famous Balloon Festival in August.

Studying in this University is great. Although I believe classes should have lasted a bit longer, I have really enjoyed my lecturers and tutors. You feel really comfortable to approach them and they are willing to organize one to one meetings if you need help or have questions regarding your assignments. I believe that more than anything, this degree has taught me to think critically, to work in groups with people from different cultures and to organize my time in effective ways in order to complete my assignments. This is the first time I will work on a dissertation and I am really looking forward to writing it.

I consider I have been active in the University. I have participated in focus groups with the student representative, which have given me a chance to share me views about my time here and the aspects that I consider could be improved. I have also attended some dancing classes in the Student Union and other events organized by the University, including get-togethers and balls. This has given me the chance to meet so many people from around the world.

Inside and outside of University I consider I have a fun social life; although I would enjoy it if there were more Latin American students in my course, I have made a really close group of friends from different parts of Europe. We hang out a lot and I have even had the chance to visit their home countries. Apart from this, I got into Crossfit, which is a sport were I have had the chance to meet many other people of different ages. This has helped to keep me active and happy.

Overall, I wouldn’t change this experience for anything, as this experience will prepare me professionally for my future and will give me the tools I need to make a difference in Guatemala, my country.

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