Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi! My name is Swathy and I’m an international student here at Southampton. I’ve just completed my final-year pursuing a degree in law with psychology. My hobbies include writing (explains the degree choice) and training in Indian classical dance. Originally from India, I’m based in the United Arab Emirates.
What is your experience being an international student in Southampton?
Being an international student has helped me add to the rich cultural mix here at Southampton! Not only have I learnt so much about different cultures and lifestyles, but I’ve also been able to contribute to that learning. I’ve had the opportunity to connect with people from various parts of the world with different backgrounds and learn a lot about people. The University of Southampton is a melting pot and everyone here benefits from the influx of different, and important, perspectives.
What opportunities have you made use of during your time at Southampton?
I’ve had so many opportunities come my way over the past three years, it’s been amazing! During my first year I was part of Showstoppers, the musical theatre society here at university. This was my first true experience being part of a group here at university and I enjoyed every bit of it, from auditioning and meeting so many first-year students with a passion for singing, dancing and theatre, to performing at the freshers’ show (which, by the way, ran for four nights!). I also joined the India Society, made a couple of life-long friends, and performed an Indian dance routine at the World Travel Market 2017 in London. My second year at Southampton was even more fun; I’d been super ambitious and took on key roles in three societies (I know, what was I thinking). The year ended up being one of the biggest learning curves for me so far; I’d managed to juggle so much simultaneously and thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it! During my final year, I decided to get involved with academic representation, as I’d gained a lot of first-hand experience of the systems in place, and I undertook the role of Joint Honours Officer this year. Alongside this, I also took part in various events organised by the Law Society and Inns of Court. Towards the end of the academic year, I applied for an Excel Internship with the University’s International Office, and I’m currently Global Engagement Intern here.
Tell us more about your internship with the UoS International Office!
As Global Engagement Intern, I get to work with the Partnerships and Student Recruitment teams at the International Office and so far, it has been very interesting. I’ve been able to witness first-hand, and contribute to, the efforts that go into making Southampton a university with truly global reach. The collaborative efforts undertaken for academic research and exchanging ideas is immense, and it certainly reflects in the quality of the systems in place.
My role was initially based around the Worldwide Universities Network and the AGM that took place in Dublin this year in May. I was required to take part as a delegate in the Student Forum, and discuss key issues such as student mental health, consent education and sustainability. My internship was based around collating information regarding the work done at UoS around these topics and exchanging best practices with student delegates from various universities across the globe. Back here in Southampton now I’ll be helping with disseminating these ideas, and it feels great – to be able to contribute to the progress of a community that has contributed immensely to mine.
What are your plans for the future?
I am an aspiring commercial solicitor. I enjoy finding solutions and hope to be able to contribute to a flourishing society. Ultimately however, I am very keen on getting into the education sector, perhaps in the capacity of being able to aid international collaboration to improve quality and systems of education, just as the International Office here at Southampton does!