Haydar completed his studies at RNC in 2015.
Hello I’m Haydar, I am originally from Cergy, Valdoise, France. When I moved to Manchester from France in 2010 I didn’t speak English at all and I was put into a mainstream school. There was a room called the VI Base with lots of equipment but classes were taught for sighted students. I had to ask teachers to send me work in advance so I could adapt everything. It was difficult; it was a tough time for me.
Applying to RNC
An assistant at my school told me there was a college I could go to, the Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) in Hereford. When I visited, I was encouraged by being able to study at Level 3 along with the independent residential provision.
The main problem was funding – it can be difficult as a non-UK citizen, but I got a lot of help from my Connexions advisor. I was initially told that there isn’t enough money for everybody to get funding, but I finally got the news that mine had been approved.
I felt I had two choices. I could improve myself or I could stay as I was. So I came to RNC. It was a challenge, but I don’t like to lose a challenge.
My courses at RNC
In my first year I attained qualifications in GCSE Maths, A Level French and BTEC Level 3 Braille.
In my second year I am studying BTEC Level 3 Business Studies, BTEC Level 3 IT and GCSE English
My eye condition
I was born with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), a disease which can mean that you are born blind or become blind as a child or an adult. I became blind when I was nine years old. My older brother helped me through this time as he lost his sight when he was aged four or five. Mothers are normally the carriers of RP; however there is nothing on my mum’s side of the family to show this to be true for me.
My overall thoughts about RNC
The College has lived up to my expectations – there are good courses available. A friend convinced me to try Business Studies and now I have changed my mind about studying Law at university. I feel the College has given me good preparation for the way of working required at university.
There are good activities and there is always something organised for students to do, even on weekends. I am studying two BTEC courses so there are a lot of assignments for me to complete. It’s busy, but I like to be busy. I feel active, I know what I’m doing and I like my timetable.
My plans after RNC
I am planning to go to Manchester Metropolitan University in 2015 to study Business Management with a year in industry. I want to build upon my experience as Marketing Director of iAGames, RNC’s 2013/14 Young Enterprise company and my work experience in the College’s Marketing department by utilising a good opportunity to work for an organisation during my degree. Marketing is addictive! I have been able to match up my work experience with the relevant units in the Business Studies course.
My advice to any new students
It’s a big change; you’re away from your parents and family and you have to adjust. Always be confident and don’t give up, be positive. It’s hard, but you’ve got the right to funding so fight for it. I’ve been able to do so many things here, my favourite sport being Goalball. There are lots of opportunities so I recommend every student should give new things a go. After a few weeks, when you’ve met people, it feels like home.