Italian student Paolo Prioglio has spent the last two years getting stuck in to UCFB life. Now in the third year of his BA (Hons) Sports Business & Coaching programme at UCFB Etihad Campus, Paolo tells us what life as an international student is like at UCFB in Manchester…

As an international student, what made you consider coming to and then choosing UCFB to study?

As I was coming towards the end of my time at school in Italy, I started looking for something that would make me excited and make me want to do it every single day. When you are at UCFB you hear the word ‘unique’ a lot, but it’s true. Not just because of the location, not just because of the degree programmes, not just because the Employability & Enrichment programme, but because all the above are used to their full potential. The Etihad Campus means opportunities. I thought this before I came to UCFB, and I was right!

How have you found living in England, and in particular Manchester?

It’s great, Manchester is perfect for students. It’s modern, the public transport is well organised, and there is everything you need to study, relax, work, have a good night out and have fun. Obviously it’s not home, but when you do something that you love you find the way to adapt yourself to a different culture. Manchester is the world capital of football I think – two of the biggest football clubs are here, it’s amazing.

What aspects of your degree programme have you enjoyed the most?

Coaching has always been my priority, so I wasn’t that excited about the business side. But doing the modules I found this just as interesting as the coaching side. All of the modules have been challenging and engaging, and the most important thing is that if you do your job, at the end of each module you have the competence and knowledge. The Employability & Enrichment courses are just great, and they really give you the chance to be different.

What kind of work experience placements have you undertaken during your time at UCFB and how have they helped you in your studies?

I’ve done a lot of coaching in the last two years – experience is vital to do this job. I’ve also worked on a family day for Manchester City, which was a good experience that I hope to take part in again this year. In terms of helping my studies, the coaching experiences have been crucial to get good grades on some of my assessments because you can refer to those experiences within a piece of work.

What are your plans after you graduate?

To me UCFB means opportunity, and by talking to some UCFB graduates I know for a fact that if I keep doing my job as a student, UCFB will help me to find the job I’m looking for. There are some exciting Masters options, but right now I’m more interested in getting a job.

Is there any advice you’d give to fellow international students who are thinking of studying at UCFB?

I want them to know that Student Services is one of the best things at UCFB. They’re always on hand to answer anything you need. Also, don’t be afraid of diversity. To have a dream and to be ambitious is not enough – you need to understand how to achieve your goal then go out and do it.