Bulgarian student Emil Enchev 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, Emil 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 choose UCFB to study?

I was considering the different options for me to continue my academic development, when I saw a UCFB advert online. After some research, I was delighted by the specificity of the courses concerning coaching and business in sport – my primary area of interest. After a talk with a UCFB representative, I was amazed by the practicality of the programmem and the environment being based in and around the Etihad Stadium. I knew this was something new, which was a risk, but I felt excited by the opportunity and decided to go for it.

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

Moving to England was a big step for me, as I wasn’t sure what to expect. I hadn’t visited England before I arrived at UCFB, so I felt both excited and nervous. Now, after being here for two years, I can say England is a great place for personal development and that Manchester provides a lot of opportunities for young people. I am pleased to be part of a vibrant city, even though I miss the sun and the food in Bulgaria!

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

I have definitely enjoyed the practical side of the programme the most. The Management Games with Neil Doncaster give us a real opportunity to experience the industry with its challenges. The Executive Guest Speaker Sessions are also an inspiring way to get valuable knowledge and contacts.

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

During my two years at UCFB I’ve had numerous opportunities to improve my work experience credentials. I have been coaching with the Stockport Dynamoes for the majority of that time, while during the summers I’ve spent time working for Challenger Sports and the Long Island Rough Riders, both in the USA. That gave me the chance to experience the industry internationally while travelling, which I love! Taking other courses on sales and management on top of this has helped me gain confidence and learn how to adapt in the sports industry.

What are your plans after you graduate?

I am currently looking at different options to continue my education, mostly through a Masters degree relevant to my field of study. I would love to experience different football cultures and grow my knowledge in that area, so I will probably look for opportunities abroad.

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

Knowing how fast UCFB is growing, I would definitely advise students who have a real interest in the sports industry to make this choice. I know that it might seem difficult for international students, but once you take the step I am confident you will not regret it. Be brave if you want to achieve!