Take A Chance, Be Brave!

Derby student

Clarence Clark is from Phoenix, Arizona, where he lived for eighteen years until he moved to Kansas to play American football for Baker University. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in Sports Administration, he chose to get an MBA at the University of Derby.

Having never traveled outside the United States, Clarence decided to move away from home and family following the completion of his degree from Baker. It was a big step, he says, to move so far away from home. “In Kansas, I had family that stayed less than an hour’s drive away, so I could be with them if I was ever feeling homesick. I was a little anxious when moving over to the UK as I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to handle everything on my plate. I was coming over on a sports scholarship to play American football, but I also wanted to try out for the university’s soccer team on top of studying for my MBA.”

Although he’d already completed a bachelor's degree in Kansas, Clarence found studying in the UK different from the USA, which required some adjustment.

“At Baker University, the courses would have more graded work throughout the term, so teachers could track how you were doing and make sure you understood the material before moving on. Studying for my MBA at Derby, there were only two pieces of coursework that were graded and counted towards my final grade.”

And while this approach to learning may seem daunting to some, Clarence found it benefitted his broader understanding of the subjects he was studying: “I personally enjoyed this teaching structure because it required me to retain a lot of information for a longer period of time, and I believe that helped me to remember information better, too.”

Clarence believes studying abroad is all about having new experiences and despite differences in learning methods and culture, encourages international students tempted to study in the UK to push themselves.

“The one piece of advice I would give is to not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Take a chance, be brave, and live life to the fullest. Don’t look back years from now and wish you had taken the opportunity when it presented itself.

“As my mom and grandmother have always told me, ‘Be like a river and go with the flow – you’ll end up where you’re supposed to be’.”


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