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The University of Southampton

Poonyawatee Rye Ramdhonee MSc English Language Teaching

Poonyawatee Rye Ramdhonee's Photo

Meet Poonyawatee Rye Ramdhonee (Anjali) a Chevening Scholar from Mauritius studying MSc English Language Teaching

I highly recommend the University of Southampton to all but especially to those who seek a sense of community, who believe in networking, who love nature and green spaces, who want to have a lifetime of reading the best books in the astounding Hartley library, and to those who simply want to have the best learning experience whilst learning and discovering themselves at the same time.

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

The University of Southampton has excellent reviews in the field of education and is one of the few universities offering English Language Teaching at master’s level which made it stand out as a solid choice for me. Moreover, it was love at first sight when I saw the pictures online with the lush green spaces which offers a conducive and relaxing atmosphere necessary for students’ wellbeing far from the hustle and bustle of city life. Moreover, with the recent COVID 19, the university became my secret garden where I could meditate, relax, jog, be one with nature whilst being able to concentrate in my studies.

What do you enjoy the most about living in Southampton or Winchester?

The first place I made sure to visit was the Stonehenge which has been on my bucket list since so long. While many might believe that Southampton is a quiet place with lesser places of interest, I discovered that it is rich in terms of English cultural heritage. Southampton has a spirit of its own which just makes you feel belongingness, and not one day did I feel that I was away from my country. People of Southampton are always smiling, and this is indeed very welcoming. The maritime heritage is breath taking and mesmerising, and I made sure to visit the Sea city museum which fascinated me and touched me to the core, not to forget about Titanic’s take off from Southampton.

My favourite shopping places have been WestQuay shopping malls with famous brand shops and food courts. The SUSU shop and Monday markets were especially joyful moments in my life as a student as these places were where we always go to with friends to shop together in University spirit.

Have you undertaken any work placements, collaborations with industry, internships or volunteering? How has this enhanced your experience?

Not taking any work placement has been a voluntary choice as Chevening stipends are enough for day to day expenses. This has enabled me to focus on my studies and enjoy the lush green spaces of Highfields.

Have you undertaken any extracurricular activities? How have they enhanced your experience?

Student societies are interesting aspects again as there are groups for everyone to feel at home with. While there was a Hindu society, I did not join it as I wanted to experience other cultures and so, most often I found myself with fellow friends and Cheveners of the Spanish, French and African communities where I learnt so much and enjoyed so much in terms of good company and food and fruitful chats.

What do you think you have gained from your degree that you wouldn’t have developed without it?

My lecturers were always my first point of contact whenever I needed to seek advice. The course I enrolled for has developed my skills as an experienced teacher where I have learnt to be more analytical and I got the knowhow, strategies and skills of how to blend online learning with traditional teaching which is indeed a must in our society.

What are you most proud of from your time at the University of Southampton so far?

I can say for sure that I have honed my writing skills and presentations in class have helped me to discover more about oratory skills. I have made friends not only in the student community but with Chevening events, I got to meet wonderful people from the International Office Team of the University who were there to make me feel at home and check on my wellbeing even during the times of COVID. So, the University of Southampton indeed has that person factor which makes you feel cared for.

What has been the hardest aspect of studying in another country? How has the University helped you overcome the challenges?

The hardest aspect was realising the importance of family and the tiny things we usually take for granted in life such as the food cooked by my mother, the advice given by my dad and family time. However, the university helps with the many student communities and shared kitchens become a blessing where you make cooking mistakes with friends in laughter whilst learning from it.

In terms of academic life, teaching methods are different and I needed some adaptation time but again, I was lucky to have good friends who made me feel at home. Studying for an MA in English Language Teaching at the University of Southampton is unparalleled with the university’s high research in the field of education and English in all its forms.

How have the people you have met at Southampton changed your life?

Community building has been an important aspect. I am usually not outgoing and more reserved. However, with the spirit at Southampton with my friends who are always smiling and by just being there helped me to become more outgoing. For me, the wow factor is again the International Office Team who not only did their jobs but who are groups of people who go out of their way to make you feel comfortable and welcomed. I still remember how one member helped me with all the paperwork on time even when I was still in Mauritius so that I could be here on time. Help is always given at the University of Southampton and for this, I am forever grateful.

What will you do with your degree after you have finished your studies?

I certainly want to use the knowledge I gained in the field of education and starting with changing the way I teach in a more communicative manner and by blending online learning.

Can you sum up your University of Southampton experience in three words?

Uplifting, lifechanging, unparalleled.

Is there anything else you would like to say?

I highly recommend the University of Southampton to all but especially to those who seek a sense of community, who believe in networking, who love nature and green spaces, who want to have a lifetime of reading the best books in the astounding Hartley library, and to those who simply want to have the best learning experience whilst learning and discovering themselves at the same time.

What is the name of the scholarship or bursary you have received?

Chevening Scholarship funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth and Foreign office

How has the funding enhanced your experience as a student at the University of Southampton?

Being a Chevener has boosted my self confidence in inexplicable ways and this has made me a better version of myself. The Chevening community has helped me in attending workshops which have helped me holistically. Meeting likeminded people and young professionals from all corners of the world would have been impossible had it not been for this prestigious scholarship. Being part of this network where the talent of young people is recognised and celebrated is again one which would have been impossible without scholarships like Chevening. So yes, I am Chevener for life and being Chevener means being able to lift yourself up again no matter how many times you have to do it.

What advice do you have for future applicants who may wish to apply for this scholarship or bursary?

Dedication for a year, belief in one’s self and one’s capacity and setting proper goals, clear aims and objectives, knowing what we want to achieve in our professional life are the stepping stones in being a winner for the Chevening award.

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