The International Student Experience is a podcast dedicated to showcasing the unique stories of students from around the world who have chosen to study in the UK.

Topics include what it's like to come to the UK for the first time, how to navigate getting to Swansea, creating a community for yourself while away from home and the best places to go for a coffee when you're here!

Episode 1 - International Medical Dreams - Overcoming Adversity in the Pursuit of Becoming a Doctor. Safia Shirzad, Afghanistan.

Explore Safia Shirzad's remarkable journey, where she defied the odds and found her place in healthcare and the online gaming community. Motivated by a personal tragedy, Safia discovered the "Pathway to Medicine" course, excelling in diverse modules, ultimately earning a first-class degree. Beyond academics, Safia's passion for advocacy shines through her volunteer work, assisting disadvantaged communities and supporting humanitarian causes.

Safia's digital prowess extends to building a vibrant gaming community, forging connections and friendships across the digital landscape. Through her platform, she inspires others to pursue their passions.

Episode 2 - Empowering women worldwide – what happens when you believe in yourself and take action. Bethel Ohanugo, Nigeria

Driven by the pursuit of breaking tech barriers in healthcare, Bethel Ohanugo from Nigeria was a recipient of the Eira Francis Davies Scholarship. Bethel embarked on Swansea University's MSc Health Informatics program, driven by her mission to empower women in tech. Her journey unfolds against challenges of homesickness and isolation, which she conquered by embracing Swansea's vibrant culture and university events. Bethel's transformative path led her from clinical practice to the world of informatics, fuelled by her ambition to create change. Listen in to gain insight into Bethel's journey and her commitment to empowering women, making waves in the tech industry and beyond.

Episode 3 - How to overcome any adversity in your life through perseverance and purpose. Kuuku Anim, Ghana

Listen to an inspiring journey of resilience, knowing yourself, and the importance of having support. Meet Kuuku Anim, an student from Ghana, who has overcame adversity to pursue his passion for legal technology. This episode delves into Kuuku's unwavering determination in overcoming adversity, drawing strength from family and mastering accessibility hurdles. Join us to explore a range of interests spanning from cooking, swimming and playing baseball and football, all while being blind. Become inspired by Kuuku's unyielding resolve, which continues to shape the vibrant international student experience at Swansea University.

Episode 4 - Breaking Cultural Barriers in the Pursuit of your Passions. Lan Wei, China

In this episode we're delving into the inspiring journey of Lan from China, who studied an Undergraduate degree in Translation and Interpreting. Lan's story takes us from the bustling streets of Beijing to the city of Swansea in the UK. Lan's story is a testament to the power of seizing opportunities, breaking cultural barriers, and pursuing your passions. She started her educational journey in Beijing, where efficiency and conformity were the norms for her. However, her life took an unexpected twist when she came to Swansea, discovering a world beyond textbooks and exams. From collaborating with local musicians to performing live at the Swansea Fringe music festival, Lan has fearlessly explored her interests.

Episode 5 - How working part-time during university can open doors to exciting opportunities. Rewa Gupta, India

In this episode we meet Rewa Gupta, who moved from India to Dubai and then to the UK where she completed her BSc in Psychology at Swansea University. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Rewa's commitment to volunteer work propelled her from volunteer to Trustee of a volunteering organisation, fostering specialised initiatives and fundraising. Her experience underlines the transformative power of part-time work and volunteering.
Rewa's path reflects her evolution from being home-sick to self-assuredness. Her journey highlights the significance of venturing beyond comfort zones, acquiring skills, the rewards of part-time work and embracing new experiences.

Episode 6 - The value of saying 'YES' during your university experience. Christian Rodriguez-Howell, Spain.

 In this episode we follow Christian's adventures, from studying civil engineering to exploring the world, and discovering the beauty of saying "yes" to life's opportunities. Hailing from Spain, Christian's path to higher education was far from conventional, navigating the limitations of the Spanish education system that left him with little choice during A-levels. But that didn't deter him from pursuing his dreams. Join us as we explore his incredible journey from sunny Spain to the vibrant landscapes of the UK, where he embarked on his university adventure at the tender age of 17, all while adjusting to a new culture and making lifelong friends during a global pandemic.

Episode 7 - Embracing every experience and the benefit of never stopping on the path towards your career. Madhav Pandya, India.

This episode features Madhav Pandya from India, who turned the problems facing his education during the Covid pandemic into an opportunity to study abroad in the UK. Studying BSc Computer Science Madhav has been able to seize every opportunity presented to him, during his time at Swansea becoming a Student Ambassador, a teaching assistant, a Digital Content Creator, President of the Indian Society, Creative Director of the Hindu Society, taking a year to study in industry all while running an incredibly successful YouTube channel on the side! Join us as we unravel Madhav's story, a testament to unwavering determination, unyielding commitment, and the art of seizing every opportunity that comes his way. This episode is a celebration of a student who not only navigates the challenges but also carves a path marked by triumphs, making the most of every moment.

Episode 8 - Planning ahead, being adaptive to change and finding your own community through University societies. Lexie Stewart, Canada

Embark on an inspiring journey with Lexie Stewart from Canada, where she shares her experience as a Law undergraduate at Swansea University. Lexie's academic pursuit, facilitated through a partnership with Trent University in Canada, led her thousands of miles away from home. Despite the distance, Lexie discovered a profound sense of belonging and community in Swansea.
Lexie discovered early on she was the child of donor insemination and looked into this extended family of half-siblings. This extended family instilled in her the invaluable skill of creating community wherever she goes—a skill she fondly refers to as finding her "little village," as her Mum calls it. Lexie's narrative unfolds as she fully immerses herself in the vibrant tapestry of university life, actively participating in diverse societies like the Choral Society, Tea Society, and Canadian Society. Through these engagements, she has not only built connections but has firmly planted her roots in the UK.

Meet our host

Meet the host of the International Student Experience podcast, Daf Turner. Daf is currently the Campaigns and Content Manager in the International Marketing team, having worked at the University in a few roles since 2013.

Daf is one of the Co-Chairs of the University's LGBT+ Staff Network, who's work has contributed to the University being recognised as the top education provider in the UK in the Workplace Equality Index.

Outside of work, Daf is an ardent music enthusiast, evident from his tenure as a presenter at a local radio station hosting his own weekly show, and can usually be found wearing headphones and curating diverse playlists. He also has a passion for film and creativity, which he showcases online in being a cosplayer and hand crafting film props and costumes. He also finds joy as an amateur baker, chef, and mixologist in his spare time.

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