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The University of Southampton

Alexandra Christenson BSc International Relations, MSc Social Statistics (Research Methods pathway) 2018, Italian

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My decision to continue my studies here was made due to the engaging and talented lecturers, helpful staff, the great support the university offers its students and the layout of the course.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Southampton?

Southampton offered me everything I looked for in a university; a good international reputation, good links to London making it easy for me to travel home to Norway and the freedom to tailor my degree with modules I found interesting and challenging. My decision to continue my studies here was made due to the engaging and talented lecturers, helpful staff, the great support the university offers its students and the layout of the course.

What were your first impressions of the University of Southampton?

Highfield campus was a lot bigger than I expected, but also very green and friendly. It was fairly easy to navigate around campus (with a lot of help from the MySouthampton app) and I was pleasantly surprised by all the places to eat/drink – which have grown significantly since I started university.

What do you enjoy the most about living in Southampton?

I enjoy that Southampton is a vibrating city where there is always something going on and it doesn’t cost a fortune to go out for a meal or drink (unlike my native Norway). Southampton also has great travel links to the rest of the South Coast and London, which has been particularly nice for me as it has made it possible to see more of England. My favourite spots in the city are the many beautiful parks, the old town and the Common. Ennios, Mettricks and The Social are my favourite places to eat.

What is your favourite spot on campus?

The study space on the first floor in building 58. Building 58 is strategically close to Costa, Pret-a-Manger and The Arlott + it got a water fountain, which means you got everything you need for long days on campus.

What has been your proudest accomplishment while you were in Southampton? (This could be social or academic)

The whole accomplishment of finishing my degree; moving abroad without knowing anyone to the day I handed in my dissertation, got accepted into my Masters and Graduation Day. If I were to pick one specific moment it would be when my supervisor met my mum at my graduation. After months of doubting myself, it was nice to hear that my supervisor couldn’t have given me a better recommendation for further studies.

Would you recommend the University of Southampton to students from your home country? If so, why?

Southampton as a port and medium sized city has many similar traits to different Norwegian cities, making it feel like home. There is also a fairly big community of Norwegians/Scandinavians at both universities in the city so you will never feel alone - I know I have found a lot of support here whenever I have felt homesick. Heathrow and Gatwick are only a short train/bus ride away eliminating any excuses not to get a visit from home or go home for holidays.

What will you do with your degree after you have finished your studies?
I don’t think there has been a more interesting time to study International Relations and my undergraduate degree has given me a broad understanding of many topics, now that I am specializing in something from my undergraduate degree for postgraduate studies there will be many open doors for me when I graduate. I don’t have any specific dream career, but would like a job within consultancy or research, which I am certain I will be suitable and attractive for after finishing my studies.

Do you have any stories about your time in Southampton or a happy memory you want to share?

I went to a Saints game during my first year because you can’t live in Southampton and not go to at least one Premier League game. As I looked around where I was sat in the stadium I thought there was quite a few old people and didn’t really understand when people said that the atmosphere at a Premier League game was so unique. As soon as the match started I truly realised that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover – with all the elderly people around me shouting and cheering the atmosphere indeed was unique to any other football match I have ever been to. The match ended 0-0, but it was such an intense and fun experience I have loved watching the Premier League since.
Is there anything else you would like to say?

Deciding to come to Southampton has been beyond anything I expected and I am so proud and happy that I challenged myself to do it. It has without any doubt been the best decision so far in my life!

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