How has your journey at SOAS been? What obstacles have you overcome?
To be honest, my journey at SOAS has been a roller coaster – but an exciting and satisfying one. At first, as an international student, I had difficulty adapting to a new educational system I was not used to and had never dealt with before. It wasn’t easy, but time after time, I got inspired by my coursemates and professors and accepted the challenge. Additionally, the pandemic challenged me further, managing an intense one-and-a-half year of online learning. As an almost graduate, I can say that SOAS has played a crucial role in my academic and personal growth. The diversity of students’ backgrounds and experiences, the university’s approach and inclusivity and its challenging courses allowed me to grow both academically and personally.
How have you changed since you started uni? What have you learned about yourself?
As an international student – and a very insecure person, I entered SOAS feeling overwhelmed by my coursemates’ incredibly diverse backgrounds – my imposter syndrome was not helping at all. Before going to SOAS, I was not used to having a say on anything, so I had to learn how to express my opinion and develop critical thinking skills. Thanks to the pandemic, a year of online attendance and some time to work on myself, I managed to learn from my peers to give it a try and raise my voice. Now, three years on, I embrace myself, and I am grateful for having had the opportunity to study at such an incredible university, for the knowledge I acquired and for teaching me how valid my contribution is.
What is a memory of SOAS you’ll never forget?
Needless to say, one of my core memories of my time at SOAS is my first day at uni, when I registered and collected my ID. I remember the excitement of starting a new journey that would change me profoundly. Another special memory for me is the first time I went back to campus since the start of COVID-19. After a year and a half of online teaching, returning to campus felt so strange. But I finally got to meet my coursemates again and felt like I was eventually returning home.
What are your plans after graduating?
I plan to pursue a Master’s degree in London while joining internships and continue working as an English teacher and dog sitter.
Sum up SOAS in 3 words
Eye-opening, well-rounded, challenging.
Do you have any advice for new students starting this year?
I would advise prospective students to try to resist the urge to compare themselves with other students. We are all unique, and our contribution to SOAS is unique because of us and our experiences. Furthermore, I would suggest not fearing change – SOAS is a challenging and stimulating university that features students from diverse backgrounds. Therefore, it is likely that your core values and beliefs will be discussed, and that is okay. Embrace diversity!