Our student Veronika Vauchko got into one of the most prestigious London universities – King’s College London – to read philosophy. Getting into a humanities course of a prestigious British university is a challenging task even for British students, and we are very happy that Veronika managed to do that.
Veronika started her studies in the UK at the age of 14. With the help of UK Study Centre, she got into Year 10 at a prestigious all-girls school, Badminton. Having successfully completed her GCSEs, Veronika continued her studies at the same school for A Levels.
— Veronika, you studied at a British school for four years. Do you think your parents’ decision to send you to a boarding school at the age of 14 was the correct one, or should they have sent you here earlier or later?
I think everything depends on the child’s level of English. As I had had a solid foundation in English, I believe that going to a British school in Year 10 was the right time for me.
— Did you find studying at Badminton challenging? Which subjects were easier for you?
At the beginning, there were some challenges, of course – they were chiefly caused by the essential differences between the Russian and the British education systems. But I got used to that quite quickly. As I enjoy writing, I have always preferred the humanities, although my teachers managed to interest me in Maths, so I took it at A Level.
— Do you think you would have been able to do humanities subjects at A Level if you had started studying in the UK later? Would you have been able to read your chosen subject at university in that case?
Of course, studying humanities and any other academic subjects at A Level is significantly easier having done a GCSE course, as A Levels are quite deep. Thus, I think that reading a humanities subject at university would have been almost impossible for me if I hadn’t done a GCSE course. One of the most important skills, required for humanities subjects in the UK, is a very high level of English, and that skills can be acquired during a GCSE program.
— How quickly did you adapt to living at a boarding school? What did you like and dislike about it?
I really enjoyed mingling with people from different countries – I now have friends from all over the world. At first, it was difficult to get used to living by strict rules and timetables, but I found it very academically stimulating.
— What sort of recommendations would you give to perspective students? What should one do to smoothly become a part of a British school and make friends?
It sounds really cliché, but I would advise people to focus, to spend less time on leisure activities and more on studies. In terms of friends, a school is like one big family, finding friends is not an issue — they
will find you themselves.