Agents and educators at the StudyWorld 50 welcome reception this year will hear first-hand about the difference their work makes to students.
Yinbo Yu, who came to the UK from China in 2010 and became an advocate for international students, will talk about how his experiences changed his life and that of others.
“When I landed here as an 18-year old, I didn’t have a bigger vision of where I would be in five or ten years. I didn’t expect to be where I am today. UK education made me who I am today; I love it and I am very grateful,” he says.
International education brings people together
Yinbo said he chose the UK as a study destination because he wanted to learn about the world and different cultures.
He said: “I came from an essentially homogenous society and there are very limited experiences I can get in my home country in the classroom.
Yinbo also wanted to come to the UK because of the quality and history of education and higher education in the UK, but he really didn’t know what to expect.
“I felt great in the classroom surrounded by a very diverse group of students in background, perspective and ways of thinking from across the world. You really couldn’t get that in many places and it’s a privilege for me to have had that experience sitting in one room but feeling so globally-minded and challenged.”
Unlike the USA, there are few films and TV shows set in UK schools and universities. And famous productions like Downton Abbey and Harry Potter do not accurately represent UK education or its diverse culture.
Yinbo thinks this narrow representation meant his foundation course in the UK “was a complete culture shock.” But his later experiences, including happy years at the University of East Anglia where he took an economics degree, got involved in student politics and went on to serve two years as the National Union of Students International Officer, changed everything about him.
“Studying abroad is a life-changing opportunity – grab it”
“The way I understand the world, the way I learn things, the way I think was shaped not only by the curriculum but the peers who surrounded me. My personal experiences really shaped my politics and shaped my way of work.
“That’s why I want to support as many international students as possible to have better study and life experiences when studying abroad.
“For those who haven’t thought about studying abroad to raise their personal awareness … this is a life-changing opportunity that if you can, you really should grab.”
Yinbo says he is delighted to get the opportunity to give a student’s point of view at the StudyWorld 50 welcome reception. This is just one of our many networking opportunities, which is open at no extra cost to all registered delegates.
Inspiring international students to change the world
His most memorable experiences he has had in the UK is seeing the difference studying here makes to international students. Yinbo said: “In my last job as the NUS International Officer, I met and worked with a lot of international students and I witnessed them transform themselves like I did. “
“One student lobbied her university to become a housing guarantor for international students and they did that. Even more amazingly, one introduced a refugee scholarship and changed the way student accommodation providers worked with international students.
I had the privilege to witness their growth and the growth of the international student community and how they have changed their campus, their institution, their local community their society and the world for the better – and that’s something I wouldn’t have been part of if I hadn’t chosen the UK.”
The StudyWorld 50 welcome reception
Sponsored by IELTS and open to all StudyWorld delegates
18:00 – 20:30, Monday 2 September 2019
QEII Centre, Westminster, SW1P 3EE
Not yet booked for StudyWorld or want to bring an extra colleague? It’s not too late to join UK educators and international education agents at StudyWorld to prove that education is great.