Go Higher: London & The South East - What the students say

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Zowie Edwards (below), 20, has completed two years of a degree in communication studies at the University of East London.

"University of East London was my first choice because I wanted to do the course. It looked really interesting, a mixture of theory and practice, and quite different from other courses. There was a lot about youth culture and cinema and society, whereas the other courses were quite practical and had a lot of broadcasting. At the same time it had a practical element - journalism and writing.

"I live in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, and I wanted a change. And I really enjoy London.

"I had applied to Nottingham Trent and Sheffield Hallam but I thought they were too close to home, so I turned them down. Also I didn't like their courses as much.

"I'm enjoying my degree, especially cinema and society, and learning about different cultures.

"The nightlife is also good. I lived in a hall of residence, and then moved to a shared house. I go to museums and art festivals, and I like shopping on the Portobello Road.

"It has been expensive; however, I've been on a grant. I'm not sure I could have done it without one. And I've had various jobs - working in market research and waitressing - to make ends meet."

James McAuley (right), 24, has just completed a four-year joint honours degree in American studies with business at Canterbury Christchurch University College.

"I chose to go to Canterbury Christchurch because I wanted to get away from Manchester where I'm from. I liked Canterbury. I had been brought up in a really hectic environment and I wanted something different, but still with atmosphere. Canterbury is very much a student-oriented town. There are lots of things to do and more pubs per square mile than almost anywhere else. I didn't want to go to a big campus where you meet someone on the first day and never see them again.

"When I first arrived there was only one nightclub, but another three have opened in the last three years. Within a few minutes you can be in the Kent countryside. You have the sea and beaches within a 10-minute drive. We went to the seaside in the summer. We were revising for our exams on the beach on a beautiful day.

"I liked American studies, which was varied, including politics, history, TV and film, sociology and literature. And I enjoyed spending a year in the US as part of the degree. I found the college very friendly. You're always bumping into people you know."