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I arrived in the United Kingdom five years ago attracted by its picturesque landscape, friendly inhabitants and great career prospects it offered to those who worked hard. My primary goal was to learn English and go back to Poland to continue my studies at the university. Having studied English at the Brighton and Hove College for two years now, I made new friends and discovered even more opportunities this country can give. This is why I am writing this statement. I used to study Pedagogy and Primary Education at the University of Bialystok.

I wanted to be a Nursery Teacher. However, due to the fact that teachers in Poland are not very well paid, I thought it would be a good idea to study English and teach at private language schools after hours to boost my earnings. Since further and higher education is not cheap and my parents could not afford to pay for it, I made a decision to go abroad to have a first hand experience of the language and the culture of the country it is spoken in. After five years of being in England, I can see how advanced this country is compared to Poland.

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Studying in my home country is all about learning text books by heart. Universities “produce” graduates who are very knowledgeable, but can hardly deliver in practice. Hands-on experience is something students are deprived of in Poland, mostly due to the system being so old that it does not meet the requirements of our times. Hence I am making an informed choice of staying for longer and applying for a university place here. Only after I have graduated, can I take my knowledge and experience home to share with others.

We can then make a joined effort to make Poland a better place to live for the generations to follow. Moreover, I would like to be the first person in my family to graduate from university. Why have I chosen social work? Working as a Personal Assistant through Brighton and Hove City Council, I meet people who are disadvantaged in one way or another. I feel I can give something back to the community. Therefore I did voluntary work at Sussex Deaf Association, where I supported people in completing their daily routines. I also raised money for them by selling home-made cakes.

At present I am working with people who are mentally ill and find it difficult to socialise with others. I help them to build up their self-esteem by exploring their talents so that they could find something they are good at and can be proud of. I also go out with them so that they could feel more confident in the public. Currently, I am doing an Access to Higher Degree in Psychology Course at City College Brighton and Hove. I hope that it will help me to develop my counselling skills even further and I will achieve my goal of graduating from university.

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