Alumnus writes book to help international students

Dan Sewor Balasu smiling at camera

The book shares experiences and provides top tips to international students settling into a different country

  • 13 October 2020
  • 4 min read

Starting University is a very exciting time, but can also be incredibly daunting and scary. Even more so for those students travelling from further afield and uprooting their lives to study abroad.

Dan Sewor Balasu travelled from Ghana in 2017 to study MSc Business Management at University of Portsmouth. He completed the course and graduated in 2018.

He had researched the University, town and lifestyle before making the move, however, found that he still had questions to be answered. As a result of this, Dan decided to write a short book: Study Abroad Series: The United Kingdom Experience.

The book shares experiences and provides top tips to international students for settling into a different country. We spoke to Dan about his experiences and how the book came to fruition:

“My first few months were demanding, I wasn’t used to the learning and writing style and therefore didn’t do too well on my first assignment. I received study support from Portsmouth Business School and soon started seeing improvements and receiving distinctions in assignments. Throughout University, I worked as a student guide for the Business School which was a wonderful experience, as I got to work with a lot of lovely people!

A big cultural shock for me was that everything tasted different; even products that I was familiar with in Ghana did not taste the same. Also, the weather. It was a particular shock especially during winter, I knew it was going to be cold but I don’t think anything could have prepared me for what I had experienced. Looking back, I wish I knew more about the culture, in terms of the dos and don’ts and how easy it is to move around within the UK.

I decided to write this book to fill that knowledge gap and help other international students with their studies.

After coming up with the idea, I had to research to make sure that all information I was putting out was correct. I also spoke with friends who had studied at University of Portsmouth as well as other universities in the UK, which all made the book. 

I was involved in the process from fruition to completion; having researched platforms to distribute the book as well as working with friends with the typesetting and book cover design. The book is completely self-published and it has been a wonderful and educational journey.

The best advice I had for international students is to ask questions. They should not assume things. If there is anything they don’t understand, they should ask. It is also advisable to surround yourself with people who will help you attain your academic and social goals. Friends who will encourage you to go to the library, alert you on any new developments on modules and take you out to have fun. Finally, don’t take God (your faith) for granted.”

To read Dan’s book and learn more, please purchase through one of the following options:

  • Amazon  
  • iBooks: search for 'Study Abroad Series: The United Kingdom Experience'
  • Kobo
  • Lulu

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