Maria Alekseeva told about how she managed to get a grant Program "Global education", and shared his impressions from studying in King's College London for master's programs MA Education Management.
EI: hi! Tell us a little about yourself. How is it that you were in the UK?
Hi! My name is Maria Alekseeva, I am 29 years old and I'm from Yaroslavl. At the moment I'm studying in the UK master's programme in Management in education (MA Education Management) at the University of King's College London.
EI: In what year were you admitted to King's College? Was it your first choice University or have you served somewhere else? What attracted you to this University?
In the University I applied in 2016. Not being familiar with the procedure of consideration of documents, I applied to 5 universities (Bristol, Southampton, Leeds, Newcastle, Kings College), say, "just in case". I must say that I have received "offers" of all the universities, but the priority from the start was at King's College London. I chose the UNIVERSITY primarily focusing on program and modules offered in the study. I liked that the King's program included only one mandatory module and the remaining "credits" could be gained by selecting items that I really interesting and useful for their future career.
EI: How did you enter University? Tell us about your experience.
My arrival began with a global search, downloaded – of universities and programs, and of requirements for admission. It was probably the most difficult stage. A lot of information had to find and organize. Then there was the stage of collecting documents, writing a cover letter and advice. The last stage was the stage of application. I want to focus on the format of the statement and to say that some questions, even question led me into confusion due to the difference in education systems. (For example, my diploma has no analogues in the Western system and, moreover, the type of "diploma" in the Western system is correlated with some kind of secondary special education or vocational courses).
EI: were there any difficulties when applying to University? If so, tell us about it in more detail.
The most difficult, in my opinion, was the IELTS exam (assessment System for English language skills on a scale from 0 to 9). Each University has its own requirements for scores on this exam. In most English universities require that grade point average was not less than 6.5 and not less than 6 in each component. My University imposes higher requirements (average score of 7, with 6.5 in components). I won't go into details, but I will say that in order to successfully pass the exam, you need to understand its structure and requirements, and train in accordance with these requirements. In my experience, this exam checks your more real knowledge, and how well are you “trained” and know how to do a particular task successfully. Therefore, if the student is not very high language skills, they can be corrected and a bit improved by training.
EI: Tell us more about the experience of the grant Programme "Global Education"? When you filed for the grant? Was it difficult to get a grant?
About the Programme "Global education" I learned before the start of the Program. At that moment I was not very confident in my knowledge of English, as well as the prospect of receiving funding seemed exorbitant. The second time I came to this program already in December 2015, when it received a recommendation from the Agency. At the time I was looking for the possibility of obtaining scholarships for study abroad. I applied for participation in April 2016. In July 2016 I learnt that became the winner and will go to study in the UK! About the procedure for filing documents and receiving the scholarship I will say that this process was not as complex as I thought initially. Especially when responsive to the Program coordinators are ready to help you with every emerging issue: to agree on a programme or to verify documents, etc. in retrospect, the scholarship could be more difficult without the help and support of the coordinators of the "Global education".
EI: what program are you studying? What are your impressions of the program? Do you have a favorite subject, teacher?
I'm learning on the programme "Education Management". In the fall semester I have two module - Recent Development in Education Management and Issues in Teaching & Learning Modern Foreign Languages. If the first module is more theoretical, the second practical-oriented. Being not only a teacher, but a student, I find the second module very useful. He reveals key aspects of forming communicative-oriented approach, and teaches strategies for learning and (self)motivation.
EI: were you Able to have close friends, and who they are – Russian-speaking foreigners, the British? With whom it is easier to find a common language?
Find friends at the University – quite simply, people come here from all countries and with the same aspirations, desires, problems and fears as you, so at least a few topics for discussion is always! Most foreigners are quite friendly people. For me was the opening of the students from Indonesia: very positive, communicative and kind people. I must say that the life of students "integrado" (undergraduate) is different from the students 'life"postgrado" (postgraduate). Masters students spend more time in libraries, laboratories, and time to party, participate in a variety of communities is usually not enough. Of course, someone might find it boring, but I can assure you that on campus there are many interesting things for the students- "postgrado" (mentoring programs, participation in discussion clubs and seminars, sporting events, etc.).
EI: What do you do in your free time at University? Are you in any student clubs?
Free time, in fact, not very much. Try to travel more, to walk around the town, chat with new friends. With regard to participation in societies, then I'm in a Community of Russian-speaking students, where I also teach Russian as a foreign language. Along with this, I try to attend various debates and discussion clubs for personal self-development, critical thinking development and, of course, language.
EI: Tell us a little bit about the city. What are the pros and cons you see for yourself? Easy to find housing, jobs, convenient transportation, and rich if night life?
London is a fantastic city with great opportunities and, of course, with its own rules, which need to adapt. London is a city where every day there are a million events and you can always find something free or for a very nominal fee (concerts of classical/rock music, city events, film screenings, performances...) as for the things that you want to adjust is the rhythm of big city life. At first it was very difficult to adapt to this rhythm, constantly had the feeling that there is not enough time for anything. The solution was daily planning daily routine. In London I live in student apartments to International Students House in the heart of the city, near the beautiful Regent's Park. The location is very convenient, but the area is privileged, so the prices for housing and food are higher than in less Central areas.
EI: do you have a company that you will work at the end of the program?
No company has yet been chosen. I think that we need first to determine the direction of development. But in order to understand what is interesting to me, you need to first understand what the goal of my program. I hope I will be able to understand after the first semester.
EI: Thank you so much for this interview! What would you like to say in closing to our readers?
You're very welcome! I want to say that the experience of studying in a foreign University, especially in the UK University is an invaluable experience from different angles. First, a completely different education system fosters skills of independent work, management and control of their learning process. Second, the United Kingdom, especially London, is probably the most international platform in the world to explore the culture of different countries, peoples, and therefore a great opportunity to learn and understand people, to expand their horizons. And finally I want to say that the foreign University is not a monster with two pairs of eyes, breathing fire is a very real possibility. So, do not be afraid and go boldly forward!