"Moreover, the flexibility offered by my department to study and research areas I am specifically interested in made the overall experience enjoyable socially and academically."
I read my undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey and thoroughly enjoyed my experience. My primary rationale for moving from London to Surrey was to enjoy being part of the campus atmosphere. The University of Surrey offered the opportunity to meet new people and integrate into a close-knit university community.
University can often be a daunting experience for many, but all the individuals I engaged with made the transition into university life seamless. The staff and students were incredibly welcoming and hospitable. Furthermore, the campus is beautifully maintained and serene – especially during the summer.
Rising to the challenge
I have grown up with a profound interest in Middle Eastern politics and foreign policy. By recognising relatives' struggles through turbulence and conflict, I continuously sought to understand the reason for events unfolding the way they did, triggering my passion for the subject, Politics.
Whilst carrying out my undergraduate degree at Surrey, I became highly interested in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and international trade. The postgraduate course offered at Surrey integrated several modules which focussed on political economy through collaboration with other departments in the University, such as Law. Furthermore, the module director of the MSc course was admiringly supportive throughout my previous years at Surrey, which further motivated me to pursue an MSc course.
I thoroughly enjoyed the seminars, which would often allow me to debate various topics and explore different students' perspectives on controversial political events, such as Brexit, the fight against ISIS, and Trump’s foreign policy on the Middle East, North Korea and Russia.
The academic staff are incredibly attentive and supportive. The staff within the department also specialise in a variety of different fields in politics making the environment stimulating and engaging.
Life at Surrey
During the first year of my undergraduate degree, I lived in Manor Park. Like many, it was my first time living away from home, which can often be a daunting, nonetheless exciting period in one's journey to adulthood. Living in Manor Park was incredibly enjoyable; it was a melting pot of different cultures and nationalities, which proved to be an unexpected but fantastic learning experience.
The best thing about university accommodation was your exposure to new students. University accommodation almost acts as an ice-breaker when meeting new people.
Several aspects made life in Surrey enjoyable, ranging from the state-of-the-art sports park facilities to the beautifully landscaped university campus or the selection of local coffee shops on the high street. Surrey offered a peaceful lifestyle whilst only being 30 minutes away from London.
I felt supported at university - our academic tutors always made an abundance of time to assist us during adverse periods.
Surrey has been an integral part of my self-development, from enhancing my communication and networking skills to strengthening my academic abilities. The University has provided me with a platform to nurture and grow critical skills which I will continue to utilise in the future.
My best moment at Surrey was building lasting friendships with other students, who remain close friends. Moreover, the flexibility offered by my department to study and research areas I am specifically interested in made the overall experience enjoyable socially and academically.
My postgraduate degree integrated a placement programme which was vital in assisting my transition to the working world.
I firmly believe being an alumnus of the University of Surrey holds considerable weight on my CV. I firmly believe that the University's reputation, alongside one's determination and hard work, will provide individuals with several opportunities within their desired industry or academia.
Since graduating from the University of Surrey, I have worked in various fields ranging from government to the private sector on exciting projects. I aim to establish my career in government-to-government funding and international trade.
In particular, I must offer my sincere appreciation to all of the academic staff within my department for their continued support. Notably, Dr Malte Kaeding, the Programme Director, who supported me throughout my educational journey and my journey into the working world.
My advice for students thinking about a postgraduate study would be to identify how their chosen area of study will benefit their future careers. More importantly, I would urge prospective postgraduate students to study something they are passionate about and enjoy. I would advise prospective students to examine the module guide and determine whether the course's modules align with their interests.
"Surrey has been an integral part of my self-development, from enhancing my communication and networking skills to strengthening my academic abilities. Surrey has provided me with a platform to nurture and grow critical skills which I will continue to utilise in the future."