International Students

PASSPORT TO THE FUTURE - Episode Three - Chasing a Motorsport Dream

PASSPORT TO THE FUTURE - Episode Three - Chasing a Motorsport Dream

Sliding into the seat before me, Terrance appears cool-headed.

His focused stare immediately directs me to fix my attention on the interview questions I have before me, and our conversation starts with no delay. We begin with a sportsman’s ultimate goal before us - to build a career in the Motorsports industry. And as Terrance describes his journey from India to the UK, I feel swept along into a fast-moving story of a young man ambitiously racing to attain his Motorsport dream.

Educational Consultants and Fairs in India

“When you’re in university, especially in undergrad.. in India..they always talk about jobs or doing higher studies. So when it’s jobs, it is straightaway placements. But when it is higher studies, your teachers guide you as to what you need to do.

If it’s something like engineering you can go to Britain, America or Europe. If it’s something like Business studies, you can go to Australia..Canada.

Apart from that, you have educational consultants who publish advertisements around the university. So you just approach them and it’s mostly free of charge. They ask you what you want to do and which country you want to go to. And depending on your profile, and the marks you get, they’ll give you a list of universities. Some consultants charge you for it but mostly they don’t.”

Students are also encouraged to attend educational fairs which give them a chance to interact with university experts and to ask them questions that cannot be answered by a website or prospectus.

“Every now and then, you get an educational fair and they’ll put up an ad for it. Most of the time, you have representatives attending those fairs so you can get an admission straightaway. Sometimes, they take your profile and they will contact you later on during the week to visit them in the office and they will go forward from there.

Mine was initially through a fair actually. My mindset was that as far as the university was higher in the rank, the standards are going to be good. The consultants helped me with the rest of the application process, mostly the visa application process”

UK: A Motorsport Hub

When Terrance travelled from India to the UK for his Masters in Coventry he certainly had not expected that he would be staying here for seven years, let alone be moving from Coventry to Cardiff and then to Derby. That being said, his decision to travel to the UK was mainly career-oriented and he believed that Britain was a good base for him to build his future in the automobile industry. Currently the 28-year old Fluid Mechanics doctoral student from the University of Derby. It did not matter that he had no family in Britain.

“Britain is the hub for motorsports and automobile. They also have good universities and some of the lecturers have been from big automobile and motorsports industries,”

Despite the fact that Britain has been lauded for making more motorsport innovations in the last 60 years than any other country, with 60 % of F1 companies based in the UK, finding a job as an international student in this industry is still a tough call.

“After coming to Britain, I realised that getting a job in this country was ridiculously tough. So, I thought let’s do a PhD,”

- elaborates Terrance, adding that a PhD would not just increase his chances of finding a career in the UK, but also in Europe. The high tuition fees though, interrupted his pursuit of a PhD, which first started at Cardiff university but had to end prematurely.

Financial Challenges of Studying in the UK

“I studied there for one and a half years but had to stop because the fees were way too expensive. In Derby, they gave me a scholarship so I thought I might as well go there.”

When asked about the general cost of education in the UK, he says,

“I think it’s too much considering what the home students pay for it. It’s way too expensive for the international students. Ridiculously expensive! It could be double but not triple!!”

Transportation seems to be a costly affair for Terrance too, particularly in Derby.

“It’s very very expensive to travel in England. I don’t understand why the ticket prices increase when you get closer to the date...especially aviation. Aviation is ridiculously expensive.

In some big towns, they have standard ticket prices for buses. Derby is way too expensive in those terms. We have a bus that travels from the town centre to the university for £1.50 but another company does it for £2.30 so it doesn’t really make sense. For a student, Derby is way too expensive. I cycle mostly everywhere I go,”

- says Terrance, who is also an accomplished sportsman in Inline Speed Skating, having won a Bronze medal in the British Championships in 2018.

As Terrance explains how he is ploughing through the demands of his final dissertation, I reflect on his successive student journey in the UK, and cannot help but feel assured that all will fall into place well for him; his focused composure will help him to attain his Motorsport Dream, and many other dreams beyond that.

Written by
Clarabelle Gerard

Clarabelle Gerard is a content writer and researcher based in Derbyshire. She is interested in issues affecting social mobility and equality of opportunity for students.