Studying in the UK is a truly unique experience that cannot be found elsewhere. With its rich history and diverse culture, the UK is an endlessly fascinating place full of charm and character. From scenic landscapes that take your breath away to cosmopolitan cities bustling with activities, there is no shortage of adventures waiting to be discovered.
All these along with a world-class education system, it is no wonder that many students see the UK as an ideal study destination. Two such students are Politics and Sociology student Iffah Adawiyah Azman, and Psychology and Music student, Veena Amudhan. They tell us about the motivations behind their decision to study in the UK and the rich experiences the UK has to offer.
Why did you choose to study in the UK?
Iffah Adawiyah Azman: The UK has a long-standing reputation for being an intellectual hub which offers a rigorous education system. I wanted to go to the UK to push myself beyond my comfort zone and experience being in a different culture. It is also a gateway to other European countries, so the prospect of being able to explore the region during breaks was enticing.
Veena Amudhan: I was first introduced to UK’s culture from reading Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton as a child. Since then, studying in the UK had always been a dream.
I knew that I wanted to study Music and Psychology, and some of the best schools in the world for those subjects are here. As I wanted to study the arts, I thought it would be best to study outside of Singapore, where I would be exposed to a wider range of culture and history. I am able to experience a much larger variety of music first-hand in the UK, and it is also easier for me to travel to other musical centres around Europe!
Iffah Adawiyah Azman
Bachelor of Arts in Politics and Sociology
University of Warwick
What do you like about your respective universities?
Iffah: The University of Warwick has a diverse community, so the prospect of studying with people from all over the world with varied backgrounds is exciting. It is a young, vibrant, and fast-paced university. The students are invested in shaping the school’s culture and people take pride in their societies and organising student-led events – like the annual ASEAN conference.
I have been awarded one of the two Friends of the University of Warwick in Singapore Scholarship, which is funded through the generosity of alumni and friends in Singapore. The scholarship has helped my family defray a significant part of my tuition fees.
Veena: Glasgow is a UNESCO City of Music with so much history and culture. Glasgow University itself is amazing – it is one of the oldest universities in the world, and where Hogwarts scenes were filmed! I was also awarded an Undergraduate Excellence Scholarship, which covered my four-year course fees. This definitely helped to seal the deal.
I also like that there is always something happening on campus to suit the varied interests of the student community. Music-wise, there are concerts held on campus every week.
Veena Rachel Amudhan
Master of Arts in Psychology and Music
University of Glasgow
What are some highlights from your time in the UK?
Iffah: The biggest standout has to be Charity Week – a week-long event organised by the Islamic Society on campus in conjunction with the charity organisation Islamic Relief. This year, we raised money for international projects that help needy children.
One of the events this year was a hike up Mount Snowden in Wales, which required each participant to raise £100 in a week. Raising the money without the usual support system I had back at home was initially daunting, but I managed to do it by promoting it to my friends via social media.
Veena: My whole experience has been great so far. Scotland’s culture is very special - the food, music, people, and language are quirky and idiosyncratic. The Scottish are very proud of their heritage, and want nothing more than to share it with you.
One of the highlights of my time here, would be the first time I attended a traditional Scottish dance known as ceilidh. The atmosphere is always laid-back and the main aim is to have fun, so it does not really matter if you cannot dance at all!
Do you have any advice for those who are considering an education in the UK?
Iffah: Keep an open mind. I find that people are often not entirely sure of what they actually want, or may realise what they thought they wanted, is not exactly what is best for them. My advice would be to seize all opportunities as they come, as you never know where life can take you.
Veena: Make sure you are as prepared as possible before you depart for the UK. For me, I attended both the British Council and the University of Glasgow’s pre-departure briefing, which helped me to better prepare for my time in the UK. I learnt about visa applications, things to pack from home and to purchase here, and places to find the best Singaporean food. These events also allowed me to meet and talk to students from Singapore who are studying in the UK!