Amy, France

BA (Hons) English & American Literatures. Lyon, France

My name is Amy and I’m originally from Lyon (France). I am currently undertaking a Creative Writing PhD here at Keele and I’m also a Graduate Teaching Assistant.

I first arrived at Keele four years ago, when I started my BA in English and American Literatures. Dissatisfied with the choices and options I was presented with in France, I’d had my mind set on studying in England for a while. There were a lot of reasons not to go through with this major change. It would be a move into the unknown: new country, new language, new people. When choosing a university, this was a very important factor: I wanted somewhere where I could feel at home. Keele’s community feel and the staff and students’ friendliness meant that although I was away from home, I never felt lonely or isolated. The Keele community is nicknamed the ‘bubble’ and it’s exactly what it is: a safe and friendly place, where you will feel supported and cared for. This is something I felt from the very first moment I stepped onto campus on an open day visit. I visited two other universities and considered many others but none of them ever came close to how home-like Keele felt.

Another major obstacle was the issue of finance. Unlike France, tuition fees are considerable and the prospect of spending such an amount of money on your education can seem like a gamble. I personally have no regrets. The difference in price is perfectly legitimate when one considers the difference in quality. The education you will receive in England will be not only better but tailored to you and what your hopes are for the future. This is especially true for Keele, where you can build such quirky degree combinations as Media and Maths or Forensic and English. Rather than limiting you, Keele seeks to give you all of the tools you need for your future. Studying here means that you get to explore your potential to the full.

As a European student, finances might not be as big of an issue as you think. Just like a home student, you are allowed to apply for a student loan from the government. And this loan, unlike a loan from the bank, is designed to help you, which means no interests and a repayment scheme adapted to you and your circumstances – how much you pay back depends on how much you earn.

My main reasons for choosing England over France were the prospects and possibilities that an English education promised. A French education seemed, by comparison, like a dead end. I went on to do a Masters in Creative Writing, also at Keele, and now a PhD. I could not have done this in France. My BA and my MA were both tailored to me: my interests, my needs, my aspirations. I was presented with more choices than I could ever have hoped for in France. Studying at an English university means that you are at the heart of your degree, not just one among the crowd.

My main reasons for choosing Keele were the community spirit and the courses offered. Having options was important to me, as mentioned previously, and Keele had more than any other university. Originally, I wished to pursue a Creative Writing BA, which was offered at many universities. However, I also wished to study Literature, as I deemed that it was important to my development as a writer. Keele gave me the option to study for a literature degree while also taking modules in Creative Writing, combining both of my interests into a truly enriching and professionally enhancing degree. This combination means that I am now able to write an in-depth Literary Theory thesis alongside my Creative Writing thesis. It also means that my career prospects are wider: I will be able to teach both Literature and Creative Writing.

In summary, if you are looking for a supportive and friendly university that has your best interest at heart and will strive to help you reach your full potential, take it from a four-year old (and counting) Keelite: Keele University is the place for you.