What’s it like being an RNC student?

Photo taken from the back of the room with rows of people sitting on chairs. Charlotte, Laura, Guide Dog Willis and Maisy are sitting at the front of the room with Learning Director Nicola Smith is beside them and Student Recruitment Manager Tim Broome

As a national college, at RNC (Royal National College for the Blind) the majority of our students live in our halls of residence and are away from home for the first time. They need to learn to adapt to being in a new environment, being away from friends and family. Last week we held an open day for over 20 professionals from all over the country to visit us and tour our campus. We closed the day with three of our current students talking about their experiences of being a student at RNC.


RNC’s Learning Director Nicola Smith said “I was so impressed with how articulate the girls were in front of a room of professionals; not everyone would have the confidence to speak in front of a big audience and I thought they spoke ever so well.” The video at the bottom of this article shows the girls talking openly about how their friendships have helped them, how RNC has built up their confidence, developed their independence and prepared them for both Higher Education and independent living.


Third year student Maisy McAdam from Cornwall described the tools and support she had been given to live independently including self-catering and managing a budget. She explained “Once I acquired my disability it was assumed that I could only do so much… I was exactly the same as I was before, I just couldn’t see very well.”


Second year student Laura Wilmot from County Durham talked about her experiences before coming to RNC “I had a lot of confidence knocked out of me… so my first year at RNC was about building up my confidence and getting settled… being able to access education.”


16 year old Charlotte Milburn from County Durham talked about the massive step it was moving to a college five and a half hours from home “I can honestly say it was the best decision to come here.” After only starting at RNC in September 2016, Charlotte said “We become so independent; we’re living away from home so we have to learn to do everything by ourselves.”


One Teaching Assistant who attended the open day said “I thought the 15 year old girl I worked with was confident, then I saw these girls speak and wow!”

If you are working with a young person who has sight loss, come to our next open day on 29 March 2017.


To find out more about studying at RNC, call the student enquiries line on 01432 376 621 or email info@rnc.ac.uk


Watch the video below to hear the girls speaking at RNC’s open day;

Article written by Bik Lee, Digital Media Officer at RNC


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