It has been exactly 23 days since I arrived in London and more than one year of preparation for beginning my studies at the University of Roehampton. I have so much to say about my country of origin, my studies for combined Creative Writing and English Literature here in London, and my experiences as a student in a different country. I think it’s best to start with my journey so far…
I happened to learn about the University of Roehampton and the possibility of studying in England by searching for a famous British actor on the internet – it was basically a coincidence. Last year, I finished school in Germany, graduating and obtaining the Abitur, which is equivalent to A levels in the UK. I didn’t really know what to do or where to go. I always knew I wanted to write and deal with literature but finding the right course in Germany was not easy at all. I looked through the websites of various universities for weeks, not finding a course that made me say: that’s it. My sister and I went to the cinema and when I came back home, I searched the main actor on the internet. It turned out that he is originally from south-west London. I searched for the area on Google Maps and suddenly, the campus of Roehampton caught my eye.
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Our library had its official formal opening this week 🎀📚🏫 Scroll right ➡️ to see Professor Dame Jacqueline Wilson unveiling the new plaque (and revealing her plans to use the library to write 👀). The library will resume 24 hour opening hours on Monday 23 April ⏲️ #WeAreUR
From that moment on, I was checking out the University website every single day for months, and when I read about Creative Writing and English Literature, I knew it was the course I had been searching for for all that time. Leaving your family and friends at home, studying abroad for 3 years and living in a foreign country can be a little bit daunting and I worried that everything might not work out. At the same time, I had never been more certain about anything in my life. It’s what I wanted and I wanted to try my best to get in.
I started writing down facts I needed to know in order to study in England. I read every article on UCAS and created my account. I searched for ways to finance my studies. I started working on my application and my personal statement. I asked my former English teacher to write a letter of recommendation for me (I don’t think I would be where I am now without him. He inspired me a lot in my last 2 years of school and told us to go out there and take on the world.). I studied and studied and studied for the IELTS, an English certificate for international students attempting to study in an English-speaking country. The University of Roehampton did not require the IELTS for my studies, because my English Abitur was adequate, but many other universities do. I started working in a café in my town to earn money ready for University, while finishing my application. In January this year, I submitted it and a week later I got an offer from Roehampton.
It seemed surreal. To be honest, I was even a little bit intimidated by it. Is this really happening? I’m moving to London? Studying my dream course? In the next few months, I thought a lot about my decision. Maybe I overthought it. I started having doubts and concerns and even looked for universities in Germany again as a reaction to my fear. But what was I scared of? Failure? Leaving home? Feeling homesick? To realise that after more than one year of planning it, that it’s not what I wanted?
I don’t remember exactly when I stopped thinking about what could go wrong, I just remember why I did. I was at my favorite bookstore in Munich, listening to music while strolling along endless bookshelves. That’s when I realized I hadn’t read a book in a while and I started reading again. Finally. I read a classic, I read a teen fiction book that I first read when I was 14, I read a German bestseller, I read Jane Austen, I read Shakespeare and I then knew what I had to do. I accepted the offer from Roehampton.
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Fiona Razvi, Festival Director of @wimbookfest , said: "We are delighted to be building so significantly on a relationship that has reaped so much for the Festival already in terms of speakers, partnership on education projects and student involvement. Education is at the heart of the festival's work and the University are a key driver on this. The confirmation of a 5 year partnership with University of Roehampton will significantly enhance Wimbledon BookFest both in our content and audience reach. This represents a very exciting time ahead for Wimbledon BookFest." Link in our bio for more details 🔗 #WeAreUR
I couldn’t be 100% sure if going to London and studying Creative Writing and English Literature was the right thing to do. Nevertheless, I had to go and see. One thing I know for sure is that I would not want to look back in a few years wishing I gave it a try at least. Maybe after 6 months, I will want to go back home. Maybe, I will never want to leave.
To be honest, the first 2 weeks were scary. There was so much I had to figure out and there is still a lot of work to do. All I can say right now is that I have never felt more independent and motivated in my life. I can’t wait to see how Roehampton is going to change me and to what extent I’m going to change Roehampton. I will keep you updated.
You can follow my time at Roehampton on Instagram.