From Italy or Japan, four international students and their stories


Caterina – Italy

I chose to study in London as I did not want to stay in Italy, the standard of teaching for music there was not as high, the lack of jobs also pushed me away, I felt there were less opportunities for me there. I first moved to England to study A levels at St. Bedes school. I felt a bit isolated at first being an international student, I could speak fluent English, however I found that the students who could not speak it perfectly or had an accent were not welcomed into friendship groups as easily.

Unfortunately I noticed this carrier onto University with other students who struggled with English. After living in London for two years, I now find myself in a close circle of friends who have made my time here interesting and memorable. I have managed to grasp opportunities in the music industry that I would never have found in Italy. Performing with various groups, from all sorts of musical backgrounds has been a wonderful experience.

Mimi – Canada

Having previously taken time out after school to travel and work, I chose to move to London to study music. What appealed to me about the city was its lifestyle, culture and architecture. Being a Punk music fan, London felt like the Holy Grail for the Punk scene. I left everything I had ever known behind to come here and in less than two hears living here, I had started a whole new life and it was amazing. This step in my life made me realise that I had been living in a bubble before I had moved to a new country. At first there was the slight language barrier with slang and communication with locals, I learned that there was a different approach to getting along with people, this was a learning experience that you had to throw yourself into.

The situation seemed scary at first moving away so far from home but it was worth it, the experience you gain and the friends you make from all around the world are unique. I love the course I study, it gives me a blend of popular and classical music, which I couldn’t find anywhere else. Also as a musician, London is great, you are surrounded by venues to play in, the opportunities are endless. Living in New cross is like having our own little grimy corner of London, I love it.

Hannah – Japan

I came to London because I wanted to study music here. In Japan there is the chance to study music but the only option is generally a conservatoire, which I didn’t want to attend. A conservatoire is more so focused on performace, however I wanted to study music from various perspectives, along with people from different backgrounds and ideas. I’m so glad I came here as I managed to meet people from many different countries, studying different subjects, and learn from them.

One of the reasons I chose London was the fact I grew up, listening to UK rock bands like Queen, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie etc. the culture and music scene really appealed to me. I chose to study in Goldsmiths as they didn’t focus so much on classical music and I wanted to Live in London. What I miss most in Japan is obviously my family and friends, but I also miss manga, as well as sashimi and matcha.

Alexandra – Greece

I chose to move here because I wanted to travel somewhere, and London is great for studying music. Goldsmiths felt like the right choice of Uni for me, the city of London itself is great for performance opportunities as well. The reason I chose not to stay in Greece is because of the limited opportunities to study classical music. I wanted to meeting young musicians and composers from around the world, so I knew that leaving Athens would be the right choice for me. I love going to the theatre in London as well as exhibitions, choosing to live in London gave me the chance to experience a different culture, as well as the living experience of one of the most international cities in the world.

One of my favourite things about this city is its art scene. In the last two years that I’ve spent living here, I have been able to see amazing performances in music, theatre and contemporary dance. I also love my university, the people I’ve met, the multicultural experience of London, living here has broadened my horizons.

Luke Scott