Arriving in Belfast: views from HAPP International students

This September the International Student Experience team at HAPP ran a photo competition for International students with the theme: ‘Arriving in Belfast’. Below are three of the wonderful entries from our International student community.

By Clare French, MA in Violence, Terrorism and Security

Clare French: A New View of Belfast
Arriving in Belfast this time around was unusual given the pandemic. My uncle picked me up at Glengall street and I was grateful to get the soggy, wrinkled mask off of my face. While we made our way through, the memories crept up one by one as if the city was waving back at me. Visions of date nights, Halloween, and Tesco picnics in Botanic filled my mind one by one. But I knew this time would be different. I’ll be here permanently and my interpretation of the city has to be more realistic. Now that I am a resident rather than a visitor, I see this city differently. I see myself splurging on dinner in Victoria’s Square, going for runs in Ormeau Park, studying at Common Grounds, and finding little reminders of home, even if its just a bag of Goldfish.

By Solyane Michaut, Undergraduate in Politics, Philosophy and Economics

Solyane Michaut: On the top of the world I first came in the city with my dad to visit Queen’s in February. It rained a lot, was very cold and extremely windy. And yet, I loved it. In fact I loved it so much that I decided to come here for three years! The first two weeks were dedicated to the visit of my room, the corridor, the living room and the kitchen. That’s on self-isolation… But as soon as I got out, I have been able to enjoy Belfast in its best autumn colours, and start to meet amazing people. From the castle to the MAC with a friend, strolling by cafe and bookstores, saying that I loved everything would be doing an affront to the way I really feel. I’m living a dream, my dream, and it can only get better.

By Mohaddeseh Ziyachi, PhD in Cognition and Culture

Mohaddeseh Ziyachi: Campus
I have fallen in love with this Campus since before coming to Belfast! Every day that I walk to the office, I find the Lanyon building and the graduate school more gorgeous than the day before!

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