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Death at Easter

Death is still a taboo topic in many cultures.
A recent study indicated that the majority of people in the UK still avoid talking about death and making plans for after they die. Similarly, the Confucius’ comment - “We do not yet understand life, how could we understand death?” - reveals that he treats death as an unknown and would rather not talk about it.
In my view, dying is one of the few certainties of life. If we do not understand death, we don’t know how to live. But we tend not to talk about it because we fear the unknowns ahead. What will happen when we are dying? Is there an after-life? Does death mean the end of everything? These unknowns make death even more mysterious and scary. To conquer fear, we first have to understand what death is all about.

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"I was surprised by how the lecturers and local students interacted"

When I first started my postgraduate study I was surprised by how the lecturers and local students interacted. Students were talking to the lecturers like friends or peers!
They would argue any point if they disagreed, or interrupt anytime they wished. Lecturers would not be offended but appeared to be relaxed and sometimes excited about subsequent discussions. This is the first time I felt that personal opinions actually matter, even when faced by the “experts”. 

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“Because of them, I felt at home in the UK for the very first time.”

In 2014 I was living in a private accommodation with four other students. It was at this time that my room was broken in to and my laptops were taken. (If you want to know about my horrifying experience, click here.)
After this burglary, I did not feel safe staying in the same house so I was asking around to see whether I could move out as soon as possible.

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Saying goodbye happens so often for us international students!

The day I said goodbye to Nico, my husband, at the airport I couldn’t help crying silent tears. He went from the UK to the US to attend an academic conference for only a week, but I already felt emotional because it reminded me of the many goodbyes I have said since I came to the UK.
I think one of the biggest challenges for international students is to deal with permanent or temporary separations from loved ones, no matter whether we are the ones to leave or remain.
The tightening of visa requirements for postgraduates in the UK makes it more difficult to stay after studying, so most of my international classmates returned to their home countries after just knowing them for one year. I remember the extremely heart-breaking moment I had to say farewell to my Japanese friend, who was also my bridesmaid, without knowing when we will meet again. Although we kept email contact for a while after she was gone, the friendship stops growing at some point.

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