Tips and Comments from Alumni

HMC Projects Scholar from Ukraine (2015), Tettenhall College

A message to scholars

Dear scholars,

First of all – please, let me congratulate you on receiving such a prestigious award! You and your family should be extremely proud of you, as you really deserve it!

I remember being put in your place three years ago and my heart fills in with such joy just by thinking about this fantastic experience. However, I also remember wondering where would this journey take me and what potential difficulties should I expect, so I will try to make it easier for you and not to let your worries ruin all the eagerness you are experiencing right now.

Getting visa is already a very serious and important step on your way to the UK, so make sure that all the right documents are submitted, but don’t worry – HMC Projects is always there to help you with your preparations. Make sure to book your appointments as early as possible, as a waiting list for them could be quite long in the summer – this will also assure that you have plenty of time to re-apply for your visa if you would have to.

The first serious problem you might have to deal with in UK is understanding of spoken English, as there would be a lot of different accents (as you would expect from such an international community). However, the most complicated accent for me to understand was Birmingham accent, which is prevailing in the area of Wolverhampton (and Tettenhall). The cure to that is to get familiar with it beforehand by watching some YouTube videos and if you are into British series – watch “Peaky Blinders”.

Tettenhall College is indeed very welcoming and all the staff/students make sure that you are feeling like at home. You will have multiple activities that will help your integration into a school community. Therefore, go out there and do not be afraid “not to fit in” – in TC there is a place for everybody!

When in Rome, do as the Romans do” – one of my Chinese partners has shared this saying with me and I have been living by it since then. Hence, my advice would be to get in to all the activities, that are very popular among English students, but not very popular with other international students – for example: musicals, clubs, plays, sports, etc. This will not only help you to become more interesting and confident person, but also to gain respect from all the staff.

Do ask questions! – My ability and confidence to ask any question has helped me in achieving my fluency in English, as well as securing admirable grades in all my subjects.

After my studies I have had a fantastic opportunity to work with an English Summer Camp and still am continuing my co-operation with it – as for now, I am representing this camp in China for 6 weeks and teaching Chinese students (the referee for my job application was one of the members of staff of Tettenhall College, so another piece of advice would be to keep yourself open for any opportunities).

Such an opportunity was granted by my university – University WSB in Poland, which has allowed me to study distantly while I am away for this trip. This university has also provided me with a scholarship (which covers all the costs associated with my stay in Poland) last October for the whole duration of my studies (3 years), so now I study “International Business” in English there.

In conclusion, I would like to promise you that you will have the time of your life in Tettenhall College, just like I had, no matter your age, background or interests.

Best regards

HMC Projects Scholar from Ukraine (2013), Seaford College

Going to study to the UK was truly life changing experience for me. Thanks to HMC Projects I got to spend 2 years at Seaford College in West Sussex, with its welcoming and caring community. Education system in the UK is completely different to the one in Ukraine. As part of my A-level studies I was able to choose 4 subjects that truly interested me and focus on studying what I enjoy. Classes were small and full of discussions, prompting students to express their own opinions and learning how to defend your point of view. Skills I learned as a result of such educational system, have helped me a lot not just in further studies, but in life in general.

Of course, moving to a different country with a different language and culture has its own difficulties. The biggest struggle for me turned out to be the language. It took me two or three months before I could fully express myself as freely as I would do it in my native language and this was particularly difficult for me, as a person who values communication with people a lot. But thanks to wonderful people around me I overcame this problem with ease. While preparing for the trip it is important to be ready for changes, they will be everywhere: in your way of life, in your way of thinking and even in your mentality! I would also recommend to explore and embrace the novelty and take the most out of it, the time will pass so quickly, but the memories will stay forever, so it is important to go and create your memories!

Nowadays I am studying dual degree in International Relations at university in Warsaw, Poland in partnership with Coventry University. At the same time I work at Accenture corporation and continue to be an active student participating and organising conferences and educational events for students. I am also a member of a student NGO and helping to launch and maintain Women In International Security Project.

I cannot stop thanking HMC Projects for such a truly unique and life changing opportunity to study at the UK and hope that it keeps prospering and helping young bright students to discover new world and new self. Thank you!