From China to Aberdeen – Starting RGU as an international student

RGU welcomes 16,000 students every year from over 150 countries. First-year student Muyang He moved from China to Aberdeen last September to obtain a degree in Fashion Management at RGU. She discusses choosing to move abroad and shares her experience as a new student in Aberdeen.

Why did you choose to move from China to Aberdeen to study Fashion Management at RGU?

I am passionate about the fashion industry and I hope to become an expert in the field. All aspects of fashion management not only fascinate me, but also make me eager to manage big projects in this field one day. That’s why I chose the course.

There are many reasons why I chose the UK for higher education. On the one hand, I think it is one of the best places for students to study fashion. Students can get in touch with the latest changes in the fashion market, study supply chains, transaction management, distribution, promotion and sales. I believe that it is also a field with broad employment prospects. On the other hand, I wanted to gain some independence and improve my language abilities while experiencing a different culture.

Choosing RGU was evident for me. I was attracted to its title as the Top Modern University in the UK* and Scotland (National Student Survey, 2021). RGU is the 1st in Scotland and 2nd in the UK in the Graduate Employment measure (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022), which helps you gain the knowledge and skills required for a successful career. I believe that my efforts and the guidance of excellent lecturers will shape me into an expert in the fashion management field.

RGU's Aberdeen Business School's building.
RGU Campus

How is life in Scotland different than life in China and how are you settling in Aberdeen?

I grew up in China’s capital, Beijing, which has a population of over 20 million. The streets are crowded and people are busy everyday trying to get to work. Here in Aberdeen, the streets are quieter and the pace of life is much slower.

Union Street, Aberdeen

I’ve been in Aberdeen for three months and this is the first time I’ve been away from home on my own. I’ve had to learn to cook by myself and I have already mastered various dishes!

So far, I like Aberdeen Beach the most. The last time I saw the sea was when I was a child, as my hometown isn’t coastal. It’s so easy to get to the beach in Aberdeen by bus. You can take a walk and eat delicious food. My favourite thing to do is to watch the sunset there. It’s so beautiful.

Even though I feel lonely at times, my classmates are very friendly and understand my language difficulties. They often help me when I don’t understand something in class. This is a rare opportunity for me and a meaningful experience in my life.

What does a typical day in your life in Aberdeen look like?

On weekdays, I go to RGU when I have lectures and tutorials. During my free time, I try to deal with homework and emails to stay productive. When the weekend comes, I sometimes walk to the city centre to grab dinner with my friends or go to the cinema.

But most of the time I like to stay at home, practice my cooking and watch movies.

What do you miss the most from home?

When I moved from China to Aberdeen, I knew I would miss my family the most. I call my mother twice a day to share my experience in Scotland with her. Beside that, I miss her delicious meals a lot. My own cooking can be terrible, even though I am getting better. There are also some Chinese ingredients that are a bit tricky to get in the UK. However, there are international food stores in Aberdeen and even a Chinese supermarket.

What is your favourite aspect of the Fashion Management course?

My favourite thing about the course are the practice-based modules. Practicing skills in a real-life environment helps you realise your own potential and ability. It has been beneficial to me in learning what I’m good and not good at.

RGU students working with cameras on campus.
Muyang at RGU

There is a big difference between only learning theory from books and practice what you are being taught with projects. It doesn’t only enhance your employability but also boosts your social skills and so on.

What advice would you give to other students from China and overseas thinking about applying to RGU?

Studying at RGU is a good opportunity to broaden your horizon. Not only can you benefit from a professional Scottish education, but you can also experience a new culture with different customs. It is also an excellent way to learn more about yourself and learn many life lessons.

Muyang posing in front of the River Dee on the RGU campus.
The River Dee on campus

If you decide to move from China to Aberdeen, or from anywhere else in the world, to study at RGU, please cherish this unforgettable experience in your life. During your time at university, do not give up when encountering difficulties, face and solve problems. You will grow a lot from it. If you need it, you can even ask for support at the university.

* excluding colleges, small, specialist and private providers. Based on HESA listings.

Muyang He

RGU have lots of different support services available to students, from  Study Skills to career adviceEnglish language support to Counselling and Wellbeing, and much more! Find out more about RGU’s support services on the RGU website.

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