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Interview with a student of the University of Sussex from Moscow

EI: hi! Tell us a little about yourself (Where are you from? How old are you?). How is it that you were in England?

Hi! My name is Olya, I'm 19 years old and I am from Moscow. In the UK I came two years ago, right after graduation.
Until grade 11, I didn't plan, didn't even think about how to continue their studies abroad, only looked at Moscow Universities. Of course, the quality, the features and benefits of a British education, I was more than heard; moreover, at that time a good friend of mine studied at the University of Brighton and often told me about how his school days. As well as the University of Brighton is located close to the University of Sussex (The University of Sussex), sometimes he mentioned it.
In September 2013 at the exhibition of Moscow University, I came across a brochure about the foreign universities; there was a list of British universities, among which were University of Sussex. After discussing the issue with the parents, we decided that I would go to this University.
And so, after a great graduation and writing an admissions essay for a high score, I received an invitation to the University.

EI: In what year were you enrolled at the University of Sussex? Was it your first choice University or have you served somewhere else? Why University of Sussex? What attracted you to this University?

At the University of Sussex I did in 2014. It was my first and, so to speak, the basic choice. But since I applied for admission through UCAS to a British system, I have had the opportunity to send their data in four Universities, which I did. It was the University of Exeter, University of Leicester, University of Kent and University of Birmingham. In the first two universities I got rejected, as in international relations they don't have the space, and the last two sent me an invitation. Of course, I chose the University of Sussex, because, as already mentioned, it was my first choice, which I was most concentrated and which was most hoping for.
Why University of Sussex? Because it's one of the best universities not only in Britain but throughout the world. The University is 65E place in the ranking of European universities and 140е place in the ranking of universities around the world. Besides the University of Sussex is one of the oldest and most prestigious educational institutions in the direction of "International Relations", ranking in the top ten among UK Universities. I also want to note that on 10 December 2015 the field of "International Relations" University of Sussex “was” 50 years.

In addition to the quality of education, the University is also known for its convenient location: it is located in the suburbs (so to speak) of Brighton and is a separate campus. On campus there is everything you need – grocery store, post office, pharmacy, medical center, sports center, library, two bars, a café, even a Park, so little need to go into town to buy groceries or drink a Cup of coffee, no. Another feature and advantage of the University that he is literally surrounded by nature, but rather the vast green fields where you can see horses or sheep for local farmers. In addition, the campus also ample lawns on which day and night sitting rabbits and from tree to tree squirrels run across. Always feel an affinity and relationship with nature... isn't that Great?..

EI: How did you enter University? Tell us about your experience.

Because all my life I studied in an ordinary Moscow school, for admission in a British UNIVERSITY I had to pass the international English exam (IELTS), which would confirm my knowledge of the English language. By happy coincidence, I happened to pass it in 2012 and get the necessary income result.
In addition (again, due to the fact that I did not graduate from an international school), I had to do Foundation course. Foundation is a special one-year program that the University provides for international students. The main objective of this program is, literally, to teach students how to learn. During this time, students get acquainted with the British education system, learn the requirements for drafting and execution of works and also study certain objects that are necessary for their course.
To take Foundation, it is necessary to provide their school results (in my case it was the annual assessment for 9th, 10th and 11th grades), the result of the international examination in English (need to score a certain score to enroll in the course), as well as essays with a certain number of words explaining your choice of University and course, plans after graduation, brief description of personal characteristics, aims, etc. So Foundation is the bridge to the first year of a British University for those students who, for any reason, can't be there enrolled. It should also be noted that for the successful completion of the first year, you must complete the Foundation with defined results and feedback. Since I got one of the highest points of the subsequent problems with the receipt was not.

EI: if you are Faced with any difficulties when entering University as a foreign student? If so, tell us about it in more detail.

Difficulties with the admission I didn't have any. UCAS is quite convenient program; you can easily find all necessary information online, and if you follow the instructions on the submission of an application to the University abroad will not be a difficult and confusing task (at least, not as hard as many imagine it).
Visa problems also was not. I won't deny that the process of collecting and submitting documents for a visa for quite a long business, requiring strength, focus and alertness. But then again, if you do everything by the rules, then the result will not keep itself waiting. For example, my student visa was ready in a week after submitting the application (who is faced with the process of obtaining a UK visa of any kind knows that this is a pretty short period).

EI: does University of Sussex scholarships for foreign students? Do you know of students that have received scholarships?

Yes, University of Sussex provides various types of scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students.
I was awarded the Sussex Excellence Scholarship for excellent results the end of the Foundation course. This scholarship covers either the cost of accommodation if the student lives on campus or partially covers the cost of education.
Until that moment I was awarded the scholarship, I did not even imply that the University provides some financial support for international students, so for me it was a very unexpected and pleasant surprise.

EI: what program are you studying? What are your impressions of the program? If you have a favorite subject, teacher?

I study International Relations (major and dominant) and international Business (secondary area). I am very happy with the program and how the constructed process of learning. I'm also very glad that the University provides students with the opportunity to combine completely different direction. For example, in addition to International Relations, I was interested in international Business. Instead of having to agonize over what direction to choose, I had the opportunity to connect two different course and study them at the same time. It's more than just great! Besides, the University of Sussex offers students the opportunity to study one semester or a year at partner universities located around the world.
Favorite subject? Can't choose one particular, each module in its own interest. Also can't name a specific teacher, who liked me more than others. All teachers are highly qualified professionals who teach the subject well and is always ready to help with advice, if the student has any difficulties in the learning process.

EI: Who is learning with you in your program? A lot of foreigners, Russian-speaking students? 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?

University of Sussex is a very international University and there are students from all over the world. Specifically, my program has about half of British students and about half of the international students, including students from Japan, Africa, Canada, Norway, Finland, France, Portugal and other countries. Also have a pair of Russian-speaking students from Russia and Latvia.
At University to make friends very easily, especially when half of the students came from other countries, is in the same position as you, and shares your similar interests, goals and fears. So it's easier to find a common language with Russian and foreign students, however, the British students, even if you don't share similar interests or experiences, too, are always happy to help or just to chat, so they also always easy to establish friendly relations.

EI: What do you do in your free time at University? Are you in any student clubs? Tell us a little about it.

Even in their free time at the University do not have to miss: it is possible to join various clubs and societies, sports, writing articles for the University newspaper or be on the varsity team radio and/or television, learning foreign languages, and more. As for student clubs, the University of Sussex has about 200 different communities: from the fans of "Harry Potter" to camping enthusiasts; among this set of clubs everyone will find something interesting for yourself.
I am a member of the Committee of the Russian speaking community and are responsible for communication of members within the community, for communication of Russian-speaking community with other clubs, and the communication of our community with the stud. the Council as a whole. Our community consists of about 200 people from the University of Sussex and University of Brighton, including current students, graduate students, and graduates who remained in Brighton.
In addition I am also the representative of all international students at the University of Sussex (International Students’ Rep), which are part of the student Council at the University and in collaboration with other members of the Committee met on Student's Union Council, which decides various issues concerning the work of the student. Council. This is a very interesting post that gives an opportunity not only to understand how the whole system stud. Council, but also have a small effect on the structure of the educational process, taking into account the needs of international students.

EI: Tell us a bit about Brighton. What are the pros and cons you see for yourself? Easy to find housing, jobs, convenient transportation, and rich if night life?

Brighton is an amazing city! I'd say it's a city of contrasts... on the one hand, as Brighton accommodates two huge University, the city is a real "capital" of students who ask the city the rapid pace of life. On the other hand, the city preserves some spirit of antiquity and looks very cosy place thanks to its old Victorian houses and numerous small cafes where people love to spend time over a Cup of coffee, read the newspaper, or just chat with each other.
Brighton is an hour's drive from London, which, of course, a huge plus. As for housing, find a suitable room or small apartment is not difficult. The search can start either through the Internet, where you can find a lot of options for every taste and color, or through an Agency to find housing, which in Brighton very much.
Transport system is also a huge plus. Buses in all directions run quite often; the city also has a railway station, so the possibility to use the trains, too, is (as a rule, it is a quicker way to get to the destination).
In the city there are many shops and cafes that offer discounts to students, don't forget your student card.
In terms of nightlife, it more than just rich. The city has a huge number of bars, pubs and clubs to suit every taste, and, as a rule, they work every day, seven days a week, so the city never sleeps.
In conclusion, I want to say that Brighton is perhaps the best place to truly feel and experience the charm of student life.

EI: Tell us where you now work (eif they work), in what capacity? Do you think your education at the University of Sussex helped you obtain this job?

Now I only work as International Student Ambassador. This position involves representation of the University at the open house and conducting tours/excursions around the University campus for students who are thinking about enrolling in University of Sussex, and to the various delegations that visit the University. This work also involves the representation of the University of Sussex at various events, both within the University and at conferences across the country. In addition, the position provides the opportunity to work in the field of social media and to share with future students their experiences and opinions via the Internet.
At the moment I'm also looking for an internship for the summer, want to practice their knowledge and skills and to reinforce it all experience. As the University of Sussex provides assistance in finding any type of work, special problems with search does not occur. The University also provides special trainings on resume writing and interview preparation.
Speaking about the future, think of the difficulty of finding jobs there should not be; education at the University of Sussex is considered very prestigious and attracts employers.

EI: Thank you so much for this interview! What would you like to say in closing to our readers?

First and foremost, I hope that my story is a little dispelled fears and gave confidence to those who would like to study abroad, but I was afraid to let go. The main thing to remember is that nothing is for free and you have to put a lot of effort to achieve what really want.
Studying in the UK is not only the guarantee of quality education, but also the opportunity to meet closer to the country, to study its culture and understand the traditions and, of course, meet many interesting people. It is a wonderful experience and amazing opportunity that is only available once in a lifetime.
Speaking about the University of Sussex, for me it is not only the place where I get the education and experience, but also a place where you can find yourself where you can feel the connection with nature where you can do what you really like and nothing to be ashamed of, where, in the end, you can feel at home even at a distance of thousands of kilometers away from his family. It's a great place!
I wish you all continued success and good luck with the exams and enter the University!

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