5 Minute Student Interview - Zlatina from Bulgaria
20 January 2016
Name: Zlatina Jekova
Course: BA in International Relations from QMUL, and now studying for Masters in International Business and Politics at QMUL
Academic Year: 2014 (BA), 2017 (Masters)
Home Country: Bulgaria
- Why did you choose QMUL?
I chose QMUL for my undergraduate mainly because it has a self-contained campus and I could find accommodation on campus. That was important to me because coming from a different country I wanted everything to be in the same place. Especially in London, because as a new student in the UK it can be quite scary as it’s such a huge city.
An important factor was QMUL’s ranking and reputation. Also not a lot of universities offered International Relations - most of them just offered International Politics, but I really wanted to study International Relations specifically so that was another thing that made me want to study at QMUL.
The third reason was that QMUL offered Russian. I studied Russian in High School and wanted to continue it here. Again, not many UK universities offered Russian. It was really good because the main tutors here were Russian, so I had a similar experience as to what I was used to back home. But what was even better was that they had a variety of other opportunities. I participated in a Russian play in my second-year, so I got to actually use the language - I’d never participated in a play before so that was fun!
- What have you enjoyed the most about your course?
I think I enjoyed the course in general because it focused on exactly what I wanted to study. When I came to university, I really wanted to learn about the relations between different states, for example political systems in different countries, globalisation – what it really means, and what impact it has on the world. After you complete the course you have a different way of looking at the world, because you start looking from a political perspective. You realise how many things are linked to the way states relate to one another.
- What is your favourite thing about studying in the UK?
It’s a lot more liberal than it would be in Bulgaria. Here, everyone is really friendly. All the tutors and Faculty are there to support you. You can always meet them, talk to them, even go for a coffee with them to discuss your assignments. In Bulgaria that’s not really an option. The tutors in Bulgaria are very strict, and not so friendly. So it’s really good that the tutors are there to support you in the UK.
Also, the UK lecture system allowed me to incorporate a part-time job in my schedule, as well as focusing on my studies.
- Where do you hope to see yourself in 5 years’ time?
That’s a difficult question and I’m not too sure! For the moment I’m looking to finish my Masters and decide where to go from there. I think I may end up working for a multinational company, but I also enjoy working in the education sector.
- Do you have any advice for incoming students from your country?
I would advise them not to just make friends with Bulgarian students at QMUL. I would encourage them to go and socialise with students from other nationalities too. What’s great about QMUL is that there are students from every country, so you can learn about new cultures, other countries, and be friends with people from all over the world. Go and meet new people, instead of staying in your own circle of people from your own country.
- Sum up your time at Queen Mary’s in one word!
Because during my time at QMUL I finished my undergraduate degree, I’m in a full-time job at QMUL (which is my first proper job), and now I am studying my Masters.
Interview by Dolly Garland, MA English Literature student at Queen Mary University of London.