Life at UCB through the eyes of our student bloggers

Meet the UCBloggers

Our current bloggers…

Amber Soames

Digital Marketing

Hi, my name is Amber. Growing up in a small village in Bedfordshire, I always knew I wanted to move to Birmingham. The nightlife and social scene were exactly what I wanted for my uni experience. After looking into University College Birmingham, I knew it was the uni for me.

I’m going to be blogging about what I get up to in this great city and about my final year as a Digital Marketing student. You can usually find me in the club or hanging out with my mates in Spoons! Please feel free to comment on my blogs if you need any tips or advice. 🙂

Nadia Demurtas

Food and Nutrition

Hello! My name is Nadia, and I am a second year Food and Nutrition student. I am passionate about food and eating well, and I like to explore food from different cultures.

I love reading books, climbing, hiking, learning new languages and a thousand other things, but there are too many to list! I hope you enjoy my posts!

Killoran Wills

Professional Chef

Hi, my name is Killoran – yes, I know it is a bit of a mouthful, but don’t blame me, blame my parents! It is also the name of a town in Ireland and Scotland, however I am a Brummie born and bred and proud of it.  Apparently, my parents named me after a boat – I just hope it wasn’t some tugboat on the Thames but rather a majestic sailing ship in full rig.

A mature student on the FdA Professional Chef course, I spend a lot of my time in the kitchen, but I love the great outdoors too and like nothing better than going for a hike in the Peak District. I have undertaken several long distance walks – the South West Coastal Path, Great Highland Way and the Coast to Coast, but the hardest walk was undoubtedly the Moon Walk marathon, even if it was just for 9 hours. My body believes it should be asleep at 3am in the morning, not pounding the streets of London. However, I am beginning to get itchy feet again and can feel the Camino calling…

While I am a city girl, I have lived in the country for longer than I care to mention, with sheep and cows for neighbours. I also have four dogs, some hens (when the fox hasn’t had them), two daughters, two granddaughters and a husband. And we have just finished building a house, which was a real experience (especially living in a caravan for two years) but it has given me the chance to indulge my passion for interior design.

I am something of a sports fan and also enjoy going to art exhibitions and historic places and houses. I belong to a racing syndicate and like nothing better than a day at the races. As the saying goes, put yourself in the best company and your horses in the worst. Well at University College Birmingham, I feel I am certainly in the best company.

Our past bloggers…

Joshua Bailey

Food Development and Innovation

Born in Coventry and now living and studying in Birmingham. Can usually be found eating something delicious and sitting in a beautiful location. Blogging about my life here and in my final year studying Food Development and Innovation BSc (Hons) at University College Birmingham.


Charley Fowler

Aviation and Airport Management

Hi, my name is Charley Fowler and I study the Aviation and Airport Management BA (Hons) degree at UCB. I live half an hour away from Birmingham and have always lived there. My favourite things are travelling, flying, animals (I have a cat and a dog), photography and walking or being around nature and sunshine.

A random fact about me is that I used to visit Mallorca every year as a child. The lovely lady who we rented the villa from is now a very good friend of mine and she has inspired me to become a pilot.

To sum myself up I would say that I love a good laugh, love food and love travelling. What I love about studying at UCB is the fact that I get to travel abroad once a year as part of my course.

Ema Lalovic

Events Management

Hey everyone, my name is Ema Lalovic and I am a third year Events Management BA (Hons) student at University College Birmingham. I finished my work placement year in August which I spent in Milton Keynes, and I have now moved back to Birmingham where I will end my university journey. I originally come from Croatia and I’m 21 years old.

Alex Carvalho

Hospitality & Tourism Management

Hey u lot! 😊 My name is Alex and I’m a 4th year Hospitality and Tourism Management BA (Hons) student. I have always enjoyed writing and sharing my stories, hence why I stepped up and decided to become a UCBlogger. I hope you enjoy reading my blog and hopefully find some tips and guidance within my posts! 😌

Amelia Smallwood

Bakery and Patisserie Technology

Hi, I’m Amelia, but everyone calls me Millie! I’m about to start my 5th and final year at University College Birmingham, studying Bakery and Patisserie Technology BSc (Hons). I started at UCB in 2016 and have progressed through college and now university. I live in Bromsgrove, which is about half an hour from Birmingham, so I only have a short commute to the university.

Cláudio Gonçalves

Culinary Arts Management

Hello, I’m Claudio! I’m 23 and I’m Portuguese. I study Culinary Arts Management and am currently on my work placement for the second year of my course.

I was born in South Africa (Johannesburg) and grew up in Portugal (Madeira Island). A random fact about me is that I have a black belt in judo.

What I love about studying at UCB is the eagerness of the University to help you succeed and the student diversity. Some of my favorite things are travelling, martial arts and trying new dishes as well as learning how to cook them.

Rocio Aldorino

Childhood Studies

Helloooo everyone!!! My name is Rocio, but you can call me Rosie if you prefer. I am 20 years old, and I am currently in my second year of BA Childhood Studies. I come from Gibraltar, which is located in the southern tip of Spain, but is a British territory. As I am so close to Spain, I can speak both Spanish and English, which makes me bilingual.

The things that interest me most are spending time with children, entertaining them and teaching them new exciting things, horse riding in the nice fresh mornings, watching romantic comedies with friends, arts and crafts and cooking. All of these are things I truly enjoy, they help me relax and keep me motivated and determined.

One more thing you need to know about me is that I am crazy about Disney movies – I love the characters and stories and it reminds me about my childhood. I believe that even though you grow there is always a small child in us and I believe that we always need to remember to see life with the eyes of a child, in order to avoid getting into the boring usual routines that everyone gets tired of.

What I love most about studying at UCB is how everyone makes you feel welcome – no matter what your race, culture or gender, everyone is happy to help. Another thing I love is the ease of meeting new friends – I am staying in The Maltings, one of the UCB student accommodation buildings, and I must say it has been a lovely experience as you don’t stop meeting new people and taking part in different activities such as Zumba, yoga or even watching different movies in the common area.

If anyone needs some help settling down, meeting new friends, finding their way around Birmingham or UCB or any other query, I’m always happy to help!

Sam Bowen-Smith

Supporting Teaching and Learning Level 3

Hello everyone, my name is Sam Bowen-Smith. I’ve just completed my first year at UCB, studying Supporting Teaching and Learning.

I can honestly say my journey at UCB has been great. Whenever I’m there, I feel at ease and that means everything when you’re studying. It’s nice to be surrounded by friends that share similar experiences and my assessors have been extremely supportive.

I don’t have to travel far to attend UCB as I was born and raised in Brum town (Birmingham) so I’m very familiar with city life. I do love a good (sensible) shopping spree in the city, it really is therapy for me – aside from finding inspiration in the endless variety in fashion, shopping helps me to take my mind off everyday stuff. I try not to take my eyes off my expenses while I’m out shopping but I have to admit the temptation is there especially in the sales – I love a good bargain!

I love to travel at any time of the year. I’ve been to Turkey, New York, Minehead in Somerset and of course the capital, lovely London. I enjoy seeing different sights, meeting new people and taking pictures to capture beautiful moments, embracing differences in cultures and trying different foods (although I’m not always that adventurous with this one). A holiday abroad or just a simple short city or country break is enough to satisfy my appetite for travel.

My family and my Christian faith are everything. I love spending time with friends and family – if there’s a BBQ, I’m there, or film night, I’m there (as long as there’s popcorn) – and my church is so vibrant, the two-step works for a lot of the gospel songs lol. All jokes aside, you know those moments of tension in life where you just need something to believe in?!

So anyway, I’ll be blogging for a while so pleeeeaaaase look out for my posts!

Mischke Fredericks

Food and Nutrition

Hello, I’m Mischke, a 27 year old Food and Nutrition student going into my second year at UCB. My course is honestly one of my favourite things and what I love most about studying at UCB is just how varied my course is. One day we’ll have a guest speaker demonstrating recipes, the nest we’ll be at a dairy farm and the next we’ll be making pancakes to test sugar alternatives… and that’s just in one module! The lectures are passionate and always expose us to new opportunities, which is perfect in helping to identify what is best for me once I finish my degree and head out into the big bad world.

Aside from my studies I love cooking, dining, volunteering (Food Cycle) and attending the odd gym class to balance out all the eating. I’ve been described as a bit of an ‘everything person’ as I tend to throw myself at (and enjoy) new and random situations, which had led to making new friends, finding great opportunities and learning a lot.

Maria Santos

International Tourism Management

Heyyy everyone, my name is Maria Santos and I’m studying International Tourism Management at UCB! I travelled from Lisbon to Birmingham a year ago to start an adventure studying what I love in a new country, in a totally different language.

I completely loooove to travel; and it doesn’t have to be far away. The simple fact of getting on a train to a nearby city that I never visited before just makes me happy. And, if by chance that city has a good gastronomy, you can be sure I am definitely going to try it out, as food (not exactly cooking it, just eating and try new things) is another one of my passions.

Running is my strategy to relieve stress, especially when deadlines are close, and I love to be active and practice sports; but at the same time, I am really lazy and sometimes I just like to lie down on my sofa watching some British crime drama. I would say that I’m a pretty positive person about life and I have big dreams; my little secret is that I want to be a flight attendant in the future, but although I completely love to fly, I get really scared of being up there as well.

My time at UCB so far has been more than amazing. I completely love my course (I actually enjoy doing my assignments. I didn’t even know that was possible!). But honestly, what I love the most about studying here are the people – from my classmates to my lecturers. They are all so friendly and always there for you if you ever need any help. I have met some truly fantastic people that I want to keep in my life, and I’m sure the year ahead will be even better than the one before.

Jessica Watt

Events Management

I’m Jessica Watt, I am a 19 year old student studying BA (Hons) Events Management. I am from a village called Portchester, which is in Portsmouth and is right on the coast.  With the sea only four doors down and a beautiful castle just a minute’s walk away, you could say I am somewhat of an outdoor girl. My favourite thing to do is hanging out with friends, which includes going to the beach, watching movies and of course shopping; I am a bit of shopaholic!

My all-time favourite movie is Bride Wars and has been for a few years now. I was after falling in love with this movie that I also fell for the idea of weddings and the planning that goes into them.  After becoming a Saturday girl for a wedding company when I was 16, I knew this was what I wanted to do.  Then I discovered UCB and the Events Management course. Since moving to the city and starting my studies at UCB I have never looked back.  I have loved every second of uni life and can’t wait to see where the next few years take me.

Rebecca Bourne

Professional Cookery Level 3

Hellooo again UCB, I’m Becky and I’m one of the UCBloggers! Just to state a few things about myself to begin with….

I am 18 years old and, starting in September, I will be living in the UCB Maltings accommodation (so come say hi, I’m friendly!). You will always find me in the centre of Birmingham as there is so much to do, see and get involved in. I have actually been at UCB for the past two years completing both my NVQ Level 2 and 3 in professional cookery and am now moving onto the degree. I was the FE college blogger last year, so this year, I get to be one of the HE bloggers, which is exciting as I get to carry on this amazing job!

I am studying the FDA Professional Cookery degree this year and I am so excited to build upon the skills I’ve learnt in my first two years, as well as taking part in a more academic course. If you don’t find me in the kitchen, you’ll probably find me shopping, in a restaurant, travelling, clubbing, watching a movie or on the netball court. This year, I’m super exited to be going on to university, as well as carrying on blogging as I’ve now written more than 40 posts! Hopefully over the next year, I’ll have lots more to write about.

I am fully ready to dive into university life and have the best student experience, however messy it might get. I want to have lots of fun and make a lot of university memories (it’s supposed to be the best years of my life right?). Overall, I’m just a generally enthusiastic, loud and troublesome teenager who will be sharing some, hopefully (fingers crossed), useful tips and insights into life as a teenager and student at UCB in the city of Birmingham.

I am very excited about another year of blogging to come!

Jade Bird

Business Enterprise

Hi! My name is Jade and I am a Business Enterprise student at UCB. And yes, I am one of those rare human beings that absolutely love being at university. I truly believe that my choice of university has allowed me to have such a good uni experience. Of course there are tough times with deadlines etc., but for the most part I am thoroughly enjoying my experience. This blog will give you an insight into my life during university, and hopefully give you some advice to make your university experience the best it possibly can be.

Ellie Smith

Bakery and Patisserie Technology

Hi everyone, my name is Ellie Smith and I am a final year student at UCB studying BSc (Hons) Bakery and Patisserie Technology. I am from a little village in Hertfordshire called Redbourn, and live in Birmingham during term time. I was first introduced to baking when my mum would let me help her in the kitchen when I was very young and have grown up baking at home. I took Food Technology at both GCSE and A-level and when it came time to decide what I wanted to do with my life, I decided to pursue what I loved – which is how I ended up at UCB.

I could have taken a more academic route (English Literature was my other favourite subject), as I did enjoy school and was a bright student but chose to be cheesy and follow my heart. I chose UCB because I loved the variety the course provided. We have practical lectures in both the bakery and science labs and get to do other theory modules like nutrition, business, food science and technology. UCB also has great links with the industry and lecturers with many years of experience.

Outside of uni I am an avid reader; Harry Potter is my favourite series of all time. I also enjoy going to the theatre, particularly musical theatre as well as spending as much time as possible with my family and friends.

Luke Axten

Digital Marketing

Hi, I’m Luke.

I have recently finished my third year of university at UCB, gaining a first class honours in Digital Marketing which is probably my greatest achievement to date. I was previously awarded with a foundation degree in Business Management at another university. I enjoyed my year at UCB so much that i’ve decided to stay a little longer.

I was presented with the opportunity to intern whilst completing a masters degree in Enterprise Management at the University so naturally I decided to stay and i’m sat here blogging about my experiences. I hope you find the blog interesting and valuable at the same time.

Helina Turbel

 Marketing with Events Management

I’m a 21-year-old student from a beautiful sea side town in Estonia, studying Marketing with Events Management at University College Birmingham (and loving it)! I am here to share my thoughts, experiences and much more of being an international student at UCB. I am very excited to be a UCBlogger and hopefully you will enjoy my posts as much as I enjoy writing them!

Studying in England has always been a dream of mine and I cannot tell you how happy I am that it’s now a reality. I went to a grammar school where I studied 6 different languages:Estonian, Spanish, French, German, Latin and English. That is where my love of different cultures and languages started – English being my favourite. I decided to travel and visit countries like Ireland, Turkey, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Austria, Lithuania, Latvia, Finland and Sweden. My goal is to travel the world!

Debby McAllister

International Tourism Business Management

I’m Debby, a 25 year old student at University College Birmingham, studying the subject I love most in the world – International Tourism Business Management. I’m excited to be part of the UCBloggers team, where each week I will be sharing my thoughts, tips and advice about all things UCB, my tourism degree and of course lots of travel fuelled posts to ignite your own wanderlust! Not forgetting enjoying student life here in Birmingham.

My favourite thing to do in the world is to travel. There is nothing I love more than exploring new places, seeing the sights and meeting people from lots of different cultures. I have a huge passion for animals and marine life – my favourites are orca whales, great white sharks, donkeys and elephants! Aside from travelling I love active sports such as cycling, indoor rock climbing and when I can, surfing. I’m never far from a cup of tea or my camera but probably not at the same time, since I’m quite clumsy.

Emilia Loraine

Specialist Hair & Media Make-up

I’m Emilia, I am 20 years old and I study Specialist Hair & Media Makeup BA Hons at University College Birmingham. However, I am originally from a small town in Yorkshire called, Huddersfield. Yorkshire is my favourite place in the world and it broke my heart to move away  on the other hand, every cloud has a silver lining and moving away made me appreciate my home more. Birmingham is a really cool place to live, completely different to what I am used to but its has enabled me to explore and create a little home away from home. I am a creative person and I love art and makeup that passion is what pushed me out of my comforts and into student life in Birmingham.

In my spare time I like to keep up with YouTube videos, specifically makeup and fashion videos, and watching Netflix. I also love Beyoncé so I listen to her music most days usually when I go to the gym or when I’m cleaning, I am a neat freak! And if I’m not doing any of those things you can usually find me drinking a cup of Yorkshire tea and eating a bag of cookies, any brand will do!