An ant can carry 20 times more than its own weight. Ants are one of the smallest creatures that inhabit our planet. They are great workers who… follow each other. They don’t see other ways. What would happen if one of the ants rebelled and went her own path?
I am Ola Mrówka – ‘Mrówka’ in my language means an ant – I am here to share my story as a graduate from St Mary’s University. Proud to be one.
Five years ago I felt exactly like the rebel ant. I finished high school and despite of the expectations of the whole family and all my friends instead of continuing studying in my own country, I decided to leave and become (as they say) a Londoner.
London has opened my eyes – it is indeed a land of opportunities. My first year on the British land I was an au pair and worked the whole year which helped me settle in and gain more confidence. What if I start my education here? – I thought to myself. I started to attend various seminars: "How to achieve success", "How to reach your goals” and Public Speaking workshops. I learnt a lot and consequently it gave me the courage to apply to universities here.
I decided to study Psychology at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. St Mary’s is an amazing university surrounded by wonderful nature and parks. It is a bit further from busy central London and it is not a big campus. I feel that I could reach more educational support there because it is not a big place and you can get to know people easier.
I have always been interested in psychology and I knew I wanted to pursue a degree in a field that I am passionate about. I was very satisfied with my course – it was such a varied and diverse field, with many interesting topics involved, meaning there was always something new to learn. The lectures were very practical and gave me the possibility of working on my own as well as part of a team. Which was difficult at times, but mostly rewarding and challenging in a good way.
There were obviously moments of homesickness and I think it is a part of being human to experience them. Fortunately London is such a multicultural place so if you ever feel homesick it is not difficult to meet people from your own country which I indeed did. What is more, St Mary’s is a welcoming place with many societies to get involved, sport clubs, amazing well-being service team and of course the lovely international department always there to help J.
It has been an amazing three years of my life – alongside my studies I managed to work two days a week at the Westminister Kingsway College for the past two and a half years. It's possible to combine studies with work as usually students need to be at university around three-to-four days.
What's more, the university help you find paid (or not paid) positions during your studies. In my third year I had the chance to do a placement as an intern at the International Department of the university as part of my module. It was a great experience letting me understand how important and amazing it is to have as many internationals at the uni as possible. It has been an intense time of studying and working at the same time but definitely manageable. With the right attitude and good organizational skills everything was possible.
Being an ‘ant’ and going your own path would be my answer to a question whether anyone should study in a different country and I would definitely recommend St Mary’s University.
Ola (St Mary’s Psychology graduate from Poland)