In this blog, we spoke to Queen Mary University of London undergraduate student Timothy Deng Hong Loong from Singapore. He talks about his experience of living in London since joining the University to study Neuroscience in the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences (SBCS).
Timothy Deng Hong Loong
Why did you decide to study at a university in London?
I moved to the UK for my A Levels where I attended a school in the Midlands. The school organised many trips to various parts of the UK and on a couple of occasions, we visited London. Whilst in London, I was immediately drawn to the vibrancy and liveliness of the city. There is always something new to see or do. London is home to some of the top universities in the country so I knew that I had to apply and Queen Mary made a really positive impression on me. Since moving here, London hasn’t disappointed. As one of the most international cities in the world, there is so much to experience and explore, whether it is trying new activities, seeing new places or simply tasting new food.
What support did the University provide to help you settle?
The first thing on my mind was accommodation and the process to apply for accommodation at Queen Mary was very straightforward, which really made me feel at ease. The University provided a lot of information on both practical things (such as setting up bank accounts and mobile phone numbers) and information about London itself (such as sightseeing and things to do on the weekend). If you require a visa, the team at the Advice and Counselling Service are extremely helpful and provided all of the information and support needed for my application. There is plenty of information on the university website too. Overall, I felt very comfortable moving to London knowing that I had all this information at hand and if I had a question, there was always someone I could talk to.
What do you enjoy about living in London?
London is probably my favourite city in the world. There is a buzz about London that I haven’t found in any other place I’ve visited. My favourite about the city is that it’s so international. I really enjoy visiting the different markets across the city. There is always something new to try and if you’re after some comfort food from home, you’ll most likely be able to find it. There are also loads of concerts and festivals to attend which take place all year round. London is one of the most well-connected cities in the UK and Europe. Going on a weekend trip is as easy as hopping on a train or a plane so it’s very convenient to visit other countries.
What are the benefits of doing your degree in London?
Many of the top companies in the world have headquarters set up in London. These organisations frequently organise talks and are present at career fairs. This gives students great access to these potential employers as well as useful knowledge to help understand what they are looking for in a graduate. Understanding an organisation is crucial to applying for a job so living in a business and commercial hub has been really useful. Queen Mary and SBCS organise a huge range of career events too so keep a look out for them. In addition, some of the leading researchers and research organisations are also based in London. There are regular seminars with prestigious researchers held at Queen Mary and across London which are free to attend are open to all. They are very insightful and allow students to keep up-to-date with the latest research taking place across many fields.
Any advice for other international students considering doing their degree in London?
Go for it! London is truly one of the most vibrant cities in the world and if you like exploring new places and seeing new things, this is the place for you. Queen Mary constantly provides us access to many different aspects of the city, be it through trying new activities with the Students’ Union, visiting top London organisations through the Careers and Enterprise team or opportunities to engage with the latest in our field of study at SBCS. Being able to live on campus at a university in London gives students easy access to lots of opportunities that the city has to offer. London is a city like no other and a degree in London is an opportunity not to be missed.