A home away from home… my experience at Falmouth as an international student

08 May 2024

Blue signpost on Penryn Campus with trees and path
Penryn campus sign
Type: Text
Category: Student life

This article was written by Animation BA(Hons) student Amrutha.

Hey! I am Amrutha, an international student from India currently pursuing my second year as an Animation student, here at Falmouth University.

Moving to the UK for me personally, was sort of a whirlwind of emotions, ranging from anxiety about if I picked the right university, to the paperwork and the overall worry about living away from my family. Whereas on the other hand, I also had bursts of excitement for the new experiences, the chance to meet new people and the projects I could work on with the facilities I heard were provided as part of my course. 

Looking back at the past almost two years now, I am so glad I made my choice to go to Falmouth. With the encouraging environment at the SoFT department (School of Film & Television), the buzz of everyone's creative energy rubs off on you. I love learning new ways of enhancing my ideas with my talented peers and my lecturers, who are esteemed professionals, many of whom still work as part of the industry, which peaked my interest in the course in the first place. The Animation department at Falmouth emphasises exploration of the three different mediums of animation, namely 2D, 3D and stop motion. There are also hybrid projects, where students get to merge multiple mediums in their production in the first year, explore their interests & consider what practice they would like to specialise in, in the following years, which set Falmouth apart from the other universities I applied to.

Upon arriving at Falmouth, I found that Cornwall’s natural beauty went far beyond my expectations, with its serene beaches, lush greenery and the air of tranquillity you sense, whether you're strolling into town when the weather is nice or soaking up the sea breeze at the beach, or my personal favourite, which is walking home after a late night at the studios and witnessing the breathtaking views of a clear starry night sky. The environment even at the Penryn Campus compliments this feature, strongly influences my creative process and I find it aids in maintaining a balance from the chaos of deadlines & workload by being the perfect backdrop for my study/work breaks. 

One thing I was anticipating was the culture shocks that I could experience and the feeling of not being able to fit in. However, I spent most of my growing-up years in the UAE and I always admired how my mother made sure I experienced traditions and got creative by recreating experiences with what was available around us. Being miles away from home, I now have the opportunity to step into her shoes and create my own recreations of practices, such as learning how to cook meals I get nostalgic for over video call or attending events held by societies (such as the Asian Society or the International Society) to meet people, who in some way are going through something similar and finding comfort in that.

A key memory from this year was when I celebrated Diwali with my flat-mates and friends, which was a challenge that a few years ago I never thought I would have been able to undertake, but I enjoyed so much of it from planning to cooking and decorating. The process as a whole also helped me find a new form of appreciation for my family & my life back home in general and it was the most heartwarming experience seeing my friends from completely different cultural backgrounds coming together and showing so much interest in learning & experiencing what is important to me and creating new memories that I will cherish forever, no matter where we all may end up in the future.

I have had the privilege of meeting some of the best people in my life coming here and the warmth & radiance of the people here has helped me see Falmouth as my home away from home, that's most definitely very different, but has been a charming part of my life that I am eternally grateful for.

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