My name is Alicia, I am a second-year student currently studying Modern Languages and English Language at University of Essex. I am here to tell you about my own experience applying to university and how the process was for me.

I am originally from Perú, but I finished my IGCSES and A-levels in Zambia. Once I finished my IGCSES I was quite rushed into choosing my A-levels. To be honest, I did not have much time to think about what I enjoyed doing and what I did not like. My head was all over the place. I went from choosing Mathematics, to dropping it, then changing to French and dropping that too, as I wasn’t sure what I truly enjoyed learning. Consequently, when it came to choosing a university it was a hard and confusing time for me.

I knew I wanted to continue studying English and pursue languages; in this case French and Italian, so I wanted to combine them into one degree. I started browsing through UCAS. Every university gave me similar options; “Applied Linguistics with French”, “Business with Italian”; but none of them offered what I truly wanted. That was until I came across Essex. I applied and they gave me a conditional offer.

As I did not have the A-levels that were required (because I had changed subjects so many times), the university gave me the offer under the condition that I complete a Social Sciences foundation course at University of Essex International College. This was a perfect solution. The course had such a varied range of modules and a great system for international students. The teachers were also more than accommodating to any questions or doubts, as silly as you think they may sound!

It is such a great way to adapt to life in England, and university life in general. I got to know loads of people through the University of Essex International College, including one of my best friends. You meet people from all over the world that are going through the exact same situation as you. And if you are worried about accommodation, where to go for grocery shopping, what to do for fun, or even transport, everyone will be more than happy to guide you and give you advice on anything you need to know.

Now I work as a Social Media and Marketing Ambassador for University of Essex while studying Modern Languages and English Language and I can honestly say it was meant to be. University of Essex provided me with the career that I wanted to pursue in the future. Other universities came close, but in the end, Essex won by far!