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My Experience of Being a Student from Pakistan at Queen’s

Bisma explains what prompted her to make the big move from Pakistan to Belfast for Postgraduate study; and why Queen's is the perfect spot for her academic journey.

Queen's front gates

Why Queen’s?

Picking where to study abroad is a real puzzle, isn't it? It's like searching for the perfect place on a giant map of universities and cities. For me, it was a bit of a head-scratcher. I did lots of digging and comparing options until something just clicked. And you know where the compass pointed? Queen's University Belfast.

It wasn't just a choice; it felt like the perfect spot for my academic journey because of the University and city. Queen's University is top-notch, often ranking among the top 200 globally in the QS World Rankings. And Belfast? Well, it's known as the safest region in the UK (UK Crime Surveys 2021/22) with living costs that won't empty your pockets. And it is gorgeous, no fancy stuff, just telling it like it is!

Front of Lanyon Building

Lanyon building

That's all I had in mind while looking for universities back in Pakistan. Here comes the turning point in my story – the difference between online research and real-life experience. The exact moment I set foot in Belfast, you won't believe it! I instantly fell in love with the place. The landscape was serene, beautiful, and captivating, even more stunning than I had imagined or seen in the videos before. Seeing the Lanyon building for the first time was surreal, like watching a dream come to life. I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of it.

Colours of Life in Belfast

As a student from Pakistan, I had my fair share of concerns, which is completely normal. Now, drawing from my own experiences, what makes Belfast feel like a home away from home? It's the people! Google got it right, Northern Ireland's people are genuinely friendly and welcoming. Here, people go out of their way to help you and ensure you're doing well.

Belfast city hall

Belfast City Hall

As a Pakistani, get ready for rain and breezy winds—quite a change from the scorching heat back home. But don't worry, just grab some warm clothes for winter and become a pro at layering. The bonus? Mesmerising views of mountains and the river Lagan. Soon enough, you'll feel like you're in Murree or Naran (the Northern Areas of Pakistan where people love to go).

View of Belfast from BT2 accommodation

View from Elms BT2 accommodation

We Pakistanis have a deep love for food, and Belfast won't let you down—definitely give the Ulster fry a try. From South Asian to Chinese, Malaysian, Thai, Arabic, Turkish, and Greek, there's a plethora of global food options. Halal food is easily available.  And when it comes to shopping, you've got tons of choices, with the City Centre at the heart of it all. For recreation, there's the renowned Titanic Museum, beaches, the zoo, Belfast Castle, Cave Hill, and a whole bunch of other spots and towns nearby. Trust me, boredom won't stand a chance here!

One of the great things about Belfast is that it is walking friendly. The City Centre is a 15-minute walk from the campus. No need to hurry for trains or buses just to reach university, home, or the supermarket. And the best part? The transportation is super cost-effective, with even taxis being more affordable. Due to these reasons and being very safe, Belfast takes the crown as the most affordable and safest region in the UK.

Titanic Belfast museum

Titanic Belfast

What's your experience of Queen's so far?

The highlight of Belfast is unquestionably Queen's—the very reason we're here. Being part of Queen's means joining the ranks of the UK's prestigious Russell Group universities and becoming a member of one of the top ten most beautiful universities in the UK (Times Higher Education, 2023).

As one of the UK’s 24 leading research-intensive universities, with state-of-the-art facilities across health sciences laboratories, business, engineering, and computing, there are no barriers to accessing cutting-edge technologies and knowledge. The Russell Group Queen’s Library is one of the UK’s and Ireland’s major academic research libraries, including the award-winning McClay Library, Medical Library, and Biomedical Library.

ECO statue McClay Library

Eco statue in front of the McClay

The networking opportunities with the staff, subject leaders, and world-class researchers at Queen's are unparalleled. How’s it going to help you? This could definitely be a catalyst for your growth as a researcher, allowing you to master your field. It’s like being sure that our research is going to make a global impact.

As university life is much more than the coursework, Queen’s has a Physical Education Centre with facilities for swimming, badminton, rugby, football, GAA, mountaineering, rowing, a world-class gym and many more to help you get and stay active! One of the best things about Queen’s is its award-winning Students’ Union, where lots of events take place and you can host an event for your community too.

Interior of One Elmwood Student Centre

One Elmwood Student Centre

You can register for disability and well-being services, and they are always here to help and support you! Lots of students are already there from Pakistan and 90 other countries around the world, so here you can make friends for life!

This is how all of these experiences at Queen’s are broadening my horizons, shaping me as a person and making me ready for the corporate world!

Find out more

Pakistan: Admissions Guide

Welcome and Orientation at Queen's

More blogs by students from Pakistan

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