Georgia is a second-year Forensic Psychology student here at Teesside University. Below she talks about her experience of moving from Cyprus to the UK to study.

Georgia Wright
Georgia Wright

When people ask me where I am from or what type of student I am (UK or international), I can’t give them a straight answer! I was born in the UK but then moved to Cyprus before I was 3 and have now moved back to go to university. This concerned me when I was applying because I wasn’t sure if I would be classed as an EU Cypriot student or a British one and it was a journey to find out!

Since I went to a public Greek-speaking school and received an apolytirion (A level equivalent certificate) my entry requirements were based on those as opposed to GCSEs or A levels. However, since my first language was English, I did not require to take an English language examination such as IELT’s which are normally a requirement for international students. So, in some cases, I was treated as if I were a Cypriot student and in other cases as if I wasn’t.

Applying for a student loan was a different experience altogether. Due to the fact I had not lived in the UK for 3 years outside of full-time education before starting my course, I was classed as a Cypriot student. This meant that I could apply for a tuition fee loan but not a maintenance loan. It’s important to mention when I lived in Cyprus I was not living on the military bases, I was just living on the Greek side of Cyprus as a British ex-pat and situations may be different if you are living on one of the military bases or the Turkish side of Cyprus.

Upon arrival to campus, I was treated no differently than any other British student and attended the international admissions events which I found helped. The university overall is very inclusive, and I have had no issues or felt discriminated against due to my circumstances and any questions I had I was able to find support to answer them very easily.

So, to answer my earlier question: what type of student am I? A confusing one! I’m a bit British and a bit Cypriot even if my passport says one thing – but the Student Loan Company say another! It doesn’t matter because I am me and my experience has not been difficult because of my situation.

By Georgia Wright.