Alexander Gorbachev shared their experiences of the grant Programme "Global education" and experiences from studying at the University of East Anglia in the graduate program MSc Environment and International Development.
EI: hi! Tell us a little about yourself (Where are you from? How old are you?). How is it that you were in the UK?
Hello! My name is Sasha, I'm 28 years old, I'm from Bryansk. I am currently in graduate school at the University of East Anglia on the Environment and International Development. Studying in the UK has always been a dream of mine, which could be implemented thanks to a grant of the Program "Global education."
EI: what year did you enter University? Was it your first choice University or have you served somewhere else? What attracted you to this University?
To prepare the package of documents I started with November 2015. Conditional offer (in the beginning I was not put IELTS) I got in January 2016. In addition to UEA, I reviewed four universities, but in the end opted for it, since that is where I liked the program where I study. International Development – considered to be one of the strongest areas of the University. For example, in QS, in this direction the University of East Anglia ranks 12th in the world, with tuition much lower than other universities. Another big plus of my program is a choice: you can either write a master's thesis or internship for 8-10 weeks and gain valuable hands-on experience for the future.
EI: How did you enter University? Tell us about your experience.
I think, like most potential students, University admission abroad may seem complicated and not possible. In fact, it has appeared, what not all so is terrible. I really liked the supply system in the British universities, the applications can be submitted between October-November and even if you don't have all documents on hand. For example, I applied without IELTS. Some of the exams I take don't have, I filled out the online form on the University website, which included several essays, put two letters of recommendation and certified copies of diplomas. The most difficult was to write a good essay on them I worked for about two weeks. In General, the process of preparing all the documents took me 3-4 weeks.
EI: were there any difficulties when applying to University? If so, tell us about it in more detail.
Any difficulties with the admission process was not. After my hands have had a conditional offer and I met with representatives of the University in Moscow (which I recommend!). Subsequently, if you encounter any issues I could always turn to International Office UEA and received answers to all my questions within 1-2 days. I think that many are worried about obtaining a British visa. Obtaining any visas – this is a responsible job. I will give two pieces of advice: read carefully the information on the website of the Embassy and submit your documents in advance. Throughout the process of admission for me, probably the most difficult was to find a grant to cover the cost of tuition and accommodation in the UK. And here I was very lucky because I was able to get a grant Program "Global education".
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?
First of all I want to say that I am very proud that in Russia there was such a Program as "Global education". I was always a little jealous guys from other countries, for example, from Kazakhstan, who could go to study abroad on programs of state support. "Global education" I found out in late 2015, when accidentally fell on one of the webinars about studying abroad. First, I am very suspicious about this program because of previous experience applying for grants in Russia, I expected that I would be required to bid with a very long list of documents (50-100 pages). But when I looked at the application process on the website and clarified a number of questions from the Operator of the Program was that much easier. And most importantly at the beginning you load all of documents in electronic form, and the originals provide for signing of the agreement and receipt of the grant. Your documents I sent in early may 2016, and already a month later I received acknowledgement of receipt of the grant.
EI: what program are you studying? What are your impressions of the program? Do you have a favorite subject, teacher?
In English, my mA program sounds like "the environment and international development." Probably, in many ways, this interdisciplinary combination of natural and social Sciences makes my program very interesting. It is difficult to identify any subject or the teacher, the modules I have read several teachers, each of whom specializiruetsya on a specific area. Like other master program, my program requires a large independent training, so most of my time is spent in the library or preparing for essays.
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?
Probably, in my Department the wide variety of students from different countries. Russian guys are not so much the curator of my course told me at the meeting that I am the first Russian who trained under this program. I believe that the main advantage of studying abroad is meeting new people. Friends there as Russian-speaking and other countries. I was equally easy to communicate with all you guys as it is always interesting to learn something new about other cultures and to share their knowledge about Russia.
EI: What do you do in your free time at University? Are you in any student clubs? Tell us a little about it.
As I said, free time at me not so much, but I try to spend it usefully. I'm a member of three student clubs: the Japanese community and the two communities related to environmental protection and sustainable development. I also travel around the UK and Europe. When you live in England, that distance is much less, and you can always get somewhere for 2-3 days.
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?
Norwich is in the top twenty safest cities in the world. If You want to experience a traditional English atmosphere, Norwich is an excellent choice. I really like living here, the main advantage that did not distract from the learning (like in London). On the other hand, to London always can be reached in 2-3 hours by train or bus, which is very convenient. The question of finding accommodation for me was not since I live in a College campus. UEA offers a variety of accommodation options that fit for people with different financial capabilities. The job of the student to find very easily, the University has a job center and student Council, which always offer jobs for students. The University campus is well connected with the city centre bus routes, so it does not require any special effort. In the city centre has many Nightclubs, even though the campus student parties are held regularly and have your College bar.
EI: do you have a company that you will work at the end of the program?
While I have not yet decided on a company, so I started my training just over a month ago. Of course, I would like after graduation to work in the UN agencies in Russia, working on issues of environment and development, such as UNEP or UNDP.
EI: Thank you so much for this interview! What would you like to say in closing to our readers?
Most importantly, I would like to wish those who have not yet decided whether to apply for a study or, for example, grant "Global education", don't hesitate. Try and Get lucky. Sometimes life gives us only one chance and they should be sure to use it!