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A GREAT PLACE TO STUDY, A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE As well as students from the Merseyside area and beyond, LJMU welcomes a host of international postgraduate students. For some, it’s a case of a year away from family and friends, for others, family relocate with them. Here MasterPlan meets two such students who are enjoying Liverpool life every bit as much as their studies.

A FAMILY AFFAIR Studying overseas can seem like a big step no matter what your age but, when you have a family to consider, a move to the UK can be a daunting prospect. For Malaysian PhD student Bahrom Mohd Isa, however, the move to Liverpool and John Moores University has been everything he could have wished for and more – not only for himself but also for his wife and two young children.

with a great mix of traditional and modern architecture. The people are lovely and there is always so much to do.” Sons Farrel, aged 8, and Fierasz, aged 7, are already feeling very much at home in the UK. “They couldn’t speak a word of English when they arrived but their schools have been amazing, their teachers really patient and kind and they came so far in just a month,” says the proud dad. “They are always asking me how to say things in English and are really keen to learn. This grounding will really serve them well for the future.”

“I decided to come to the UK, having been awarded four years’ funding by the Malaysian Government to undertake a PhD on special educational needs,” explains Bahrom. “I have a wife and two young children and I wanted them to be part of the experience so we decided to move as a family.”

And it isn’t just language skills that the boys have benefited from. “They have so many new friends to play with – we can’t believe it,” enthuses Bahrom. “There’s even been mention of a girlfriend or two!”

Bahrom travelled alone to the UK for the start of his studies. “I stayed with a friend whilst I settled in,” he says. “The University support services were great, helping me with all of the basics such as bank accounts and paperwork.”

So life is looking good for Bahrom and his family. “We will go back to Malaysia for a holiday and our family may come to visit us in Liverpool,” he says. “My parents are looking after our house whilst we are away so we know that everything is OK at home.”

Within no time, Bahrom started looking for accommodation. “Although the University services are great, we needed something a little different so I did a lot of google searches and a lot of walking,” he smiles. “I soon found exactly what I was looking for and signed the rental agreement.”

As for life in the UK, there’s never a dull moment. “We go shopping in Liverpool One, spend lots of time in the museums and get out and about to places like Formby – the boys love the red squirrels,” smiles Bahrom.

Bahrom’s family made the move to Liverpool early in 2015. His wife and sons found the weather somewhat of a challenge at first. “Perhaps winter wasn’t the right time to move,” he laughs. “It took them a few weeks to acclimatise.”

So would Bahrom recommend relocating with family to study. “Absolutely,” he says. “It is such an amazing thing for the boys to experience life in Europe at such an early age. We made the right decision when we moved to Liverpool. It is now our second home.”

In terms of the city, however, Liverpool was a massive hit from day one. “We all love it,” says Bahrom. “It is a beautiful city

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Masterplan magazine  

Preparing for postgraduate study at LJMU

Masterplan magazine  

Preparing for postgraduate study at LJMU