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A second-year Bucks New University student has spoken about why he decided to study nearly 1,000 miles from home.
Pawel Gminski, from Osiek, in Poland, made 'one of the most important choices' of his life by talking to an education agency which was visiting his high school.
Moving to the UK in 2015, the BA (Hons) Advertising Management and Digital Communications student has told the Bucks Alumni Blog about the big decision to move here, his first experiences of the University and his decision to travel back to his old school to be an ambassador for Bucks.
"I hated travelling, I never left my house for more than a week," explains Pawel. "So I went to study nearly 1,000 miles from my home, visiting my family once every three months.
"After being told about the standards, modern teaching methods and state-of-the-art buildings I decided to visit Bucks New University campus. I was charmed with what I saw and from there I made my choice - I wanted to go there and make my schools and parents proud. I decided to leave my country and went to get my university degree outside my comfort zone."
Studying for a degree with English as his second language tested Pawel in his first few assignments but soon it became easier and the first year had already been completed.
He said: "That year was the biggest change in my life - learning how to cook, doing the laundry, and I got my first job all that while doing a degree in my second language. I finally became independent and entered actual adult life - years 2015-2016 were my biggest development points."
At the beginning of the second year, Pawel became a Student Ambassador and contacted some of his former teachers in Poland to see if they would like a presentation for their final year students about studying abroad - they jumped at the chance.
"I didn't see anybody talking or browsing their phone under their desk - they were actually engaged and interested in the subject I was talking about," said Pawel, pictured above visiting his old school in Poland.
"I've never felt more appreciated as my former tutors were looking proudly at me. From that moment on I've been much more confident about what I do. I believe this was one big step for my confidence, presentation skills and future career. I cannot thank highly enough all people who have supported me throughout this journey."
Simon Morley, Recruitment Officer at the University, said: "Pawel's story is exactly the experience we are aiming to give all our students.
"We welcome numerous students from all over the European Union and from all around the world every year. Bucks New University is a global university where we provide support for our students to succeed in their university life and future careers."
To read Pawel's full story about his time at Bucks visit the Bucks Alumni Blog.