The University of East Anglia (UEA) is a public university located in Norwich, England. With 15,000 students and a beautiful, green campus spread over 320 acres, UEA offers students diversity and natural beauty along with an excellent academic and social experience.

UEA welcomes over 3,500 international students and has a thriving international community. Students new to the university will find plenty to see and do, on and off campus. At UEA there’s a range of services on campus to help support studies, and lots of clubs and societies to enjoy outside of study time. UEA really is a great destination for international students.

Bradley Farrow, Country Development Officer, UEA International

SchoolApply interviewed Habiba Diab, an Egyptian student graduating from UEA this summer, to find out what makes the university so special.



Location: Norwich, England (UK)

Student Name: Habiba Diab

Age: 20

From: Egypt

Graduation: July 2019


Favorite school event:

My favorite event would be “Pimp my Barrow”. It is an annual fundraiser that the student's union holds to gather money for cancer research but it is also the most fun event of the year. Everyone dresses up in teams and then we have a race with barrows to see which team is the fastest. There is usually a club night after the event as well.

Three words to describe University of East Anglia: Home of the wonderful!

Tell us a little about yourself…

My name is Habiba and I am from Egypt. I am a third-year psychology student at University of East Anglia and I am 20 years old.  

I have only lived and studied in Cairo and Norwich so far but during my stay in Norwich I have been fortunate enough to travel to other cities in the UK and Europe because of the excellent transport links from here. For example, I took the train to Cambridge and London multiple times and I have also been to Paris, Barcelona and other major European cities.

What were your school experiences like before university?

Prior to UEA I was a student at an International American school in Egypt. There I was awarded the International Baccalaureate Diploma, which gave me a good foundation to study further at UEA.

How did you hear about UEA and what made you decide to study in the UK?

I have always liked the idea of studying abroad and having more independence. I chose the UK in general for higher education because the quality of education here is excellent, it is also not too far from home. I had heard about UEA initially at a university fair, where I met Ms Basma Hakim the Middle Eastern representative. After falling in love with the university and everything Ms Hakim told me I decided to come visit UEA during one of their applicant days. As soon as I arrived, I felt like it was the right fit for me. Everyone here was very nice and helpful and the campus was beyond beautiful. It truly felt like a second home to me.

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What were your first few days at UEA like?

The campus was lovely, the sun was shining and there were lots of rabbits running around campus. I loved every second of it. I felt a sense of comfort when I first saw the campus as it was everything I wanted and more. We have everything you might need on campus, which is amazing. I had a single studio room overlooking the lake in my first year and I remember I would always have breakfast by the window because of the amazing view.

Did you have any problems adjusting to life in a new country and university?

Fortunately, I did not have any problems adjusting. I was very excited to be here and everyone was so nice. I joined a couple of societies and met people from my course which helped me make friends easily. I still remember my first day - Ms Hakim helped me move everything into my campus accommodation. The student union had also dedicated a week to welcome international students with lots of different activities so it kept me really busy and excited. I still believe my first year was the most exciting one, everything was new and I made so many friends and memories.

What degree are you pursuing and why?

I am pursuing a BSc in Psychology. I chose to study psychology because I am interested in the brain and human behavior.

What has your academic and social experience been like as an international student at UEA?

My experience at UEA has been the best of both worlds. It is a combination between academic rigor and an exciting social life. My lecturers are always happy to help and they make the lecture material engaging. As for my social life, there is a lot to do here on and off campus. It depends on what you like, but for me, personally, I love starting my day with my friends sipping coffee and catching up at Ziggy's (a cafe on campus). After lectures we usually head to the city center and grab a bite to eat. We always have trouble selecting a place to eat at, as there are so many options to choose from, but we usually settle on something that makes everyone happy, like Pedro's, a Mexican restaurant special to Norwich. Who doesn't love good Mexican food! After our meal we go shopping, which my second favorite thing to do after eating out in Norwich. We have two big shopping malls but my favorite would be Intu Chapelfield as it has most high street brands. Sometimes we go watch a movie or play bowling after.

Do you take part in any extracurricular activities?

UEA has over 200 societies which frequently organize socials and meetings. I, myself, am a member of the International Student Society and the president of the Arab Society. We also have a lot of sports clubs but I haven't joined one myself. If I were to join a sports group, I would probably join the Swim Team as we have an Olympic size pool on campus.  

Have you held a job while studying?

I have an on-campus part-time job, which is nice because you can choose the hours you want to work and they are generally understanding of your studies. After all, you are a student first. I also get to meet a lot of prospective students in my job, which I like a lot.

How has the University of East Anglia prepared you for life after college?

I have learned a lot of skills here that I think will help me in life, such as time management and stress reduction strategies. I also think the rigor of my course and the fact that it is accredited by the British Psychological Society will definitely open a lot of doors for me.

What would you say to international students who are considering studying at University of East Anglia?

I would tell them to definitely consider it seriously, as UEA is a wonderful place to be. I would say one of the university's strengths are the people and community. Everyone here is friendly and helpful, which is really good for your well-being, especially as an international student.  

If you want to find out more about University of East Anglia, click on its SchoolApply profile page for more information!