Q: Hi Manaswi, how are you enjoying university life in the UK?
A: Currently, I’m loving my life in UK. It’s exciting to live independently and be responsible for your decisions. I also feel like I have had a very balanced life , with fewer things to focus on compared to the IBDP.
Q: What has been most challenging with your move to the UK and starting university?
A: Being an international student, coming to the UK alone for the first time was initially a challenge. I wasn’t scared, rather I was extremely excited but equally nervous. The first few weeks here went by mostly in homesickness too, however, I was lucky that in my first week itself I made some really good friends which helped a lot to tackle that feeling. I chose Computer Science as my major but when I came here I had a lot of doubts about that too. Overcoming those doubts was itself a challenge.
Q: What do you feel has been the highlight of your first year at university?
A: Settling into my life here is definitely one of my highlights. If I could turn back time, I would definitely tell myself before graduation that I will figure everything out in time. Other than that, since I have arrived here, I have met some amazing people, they may be my friends, mentors, lecturers, etc. There is a lot I have learnt from these incredible people. Furthermore, I’m taking opportunities here which I never thought would be possible in my first year, helping me discover myself.
Q: How easy has it been to settle in the UK?
A: It did not take me very long to settle in the UK if I’m honest. I was lucky to have great flatmates, and meet amazing people. Obviously, there was a long period of time when I felt homesick but I don’t believe that is something that will ever end, for that feeling still resides in me. However, considering the fact that everyone I knew were sailing in the same boat as me, and that university was a brand new experience for everyone, I believe that helped me fit in. Secondly, I met my brother in the UK after a very long time, which was definitely very helpful!
Q: Do you feel that your university has been supportive?
A: There are many facilities at my university to support students in any form, be it mental, financial, physical, social, etc. They are very kind and quick to reach out to you. Moreover, because it is a campus university, it is very easy to reach out to people for support and to help you feel like you belong here.
Q: Are you happy with the course you chose?
A: Choosing Computer Science as a major was initially a very tough decision for me. I would say that it has been very challenging because I did not do Computer Science or IT related subjects during the IBDP. There were times in the beginning when I doubted my decision and maybe having chosen Mathematics instead. However, with time I believe I have learnt a lot to realise that this will be a learning experience for me. And despite whatever I choose to do career wise, Computer Science will give me skills that I can use for a lot of things in the future. Moreover, learning more about it has only increased my interest in it.
Q: How did the IBDP and DCIS prepare you for university life?
A: I often have a lot of coursework to do and extra-curricular things at university too. However, I feel like I have a very balanced life which is why I don’t feel the pressure as much. The IBDP at Dover Court definitely prepared me a lot in terms of time management, how I should handle my workload, etc. Sometimes when I feel like I have a lot to do at university, I tell myself that I have been in more stressed situations during the IBDP. In fact coming out of IBDP has motivated me to have a balanced life.
Q: Deciding where you would like to study is a big decision. Do you have any advice for choosing a course and university?
A: If there is any advice I would give to someone else regarding choosing their major at university, I would definitely suggest them to not worry, because there are many opportunities for you to pivot from your course once you are at university. If you choose something you have never done then definitely try to learn a little about it during the long summer break you will have before you move to university. It will be very helpful! Moreover, don’t stress out too much about what you want to do in life while choosing your major. This is something I did during IBDP which put me at a very bad place. I wish I realised earlier that there are a lot of directions your life can take in the future, and the course you choose is just a snippet of it.