It’s funny how many things can happen in only one year of your life. This time last year I was in high school thinking about my future. I was convinced I would stay in my country, Poland, and I would continue learning there. Now, one year later I am studying psychology and criminology at Aberystwyth – far away from my home. Coming to Aber was a big step in my life and not an easy decision, but I don’t regret it! It is an amazing opportunity for me to get involved with so many different opportunities while gaining independence and living in a new part of the world. I was so nervous about coming to Aber, especially one with a different language and culture; it has been challenging at times, but I have had so much support while settling in to university life and enjoyed every minute of my degree so far.
I chose psychology and criminology because I thought it was an interesting connection between two topics I was curious about. I came to university with an aspiration to work in a court as a psychologist, but wasn’t sure this dream could ever become reality. Having a degree that enabled me to gain knowledge on both the psychological and criminological aspects of life has massively improved my confidence and made me believe that my aspirations are achievable. The staff are always teaching us in stimulating ways to make a topic more exciting, whether it is using the departments experiment rooms or doing practicals. This motivates me even more to learn about the topics and do my best in assignments.
I sometimes struggle because I don’t always understand much because English is not my first language. It can knock your confidence a lot when you cannot pick things up as fast as native speakers, but at Aberystwyth they offer a lot of support for students who struggle with the English language. It is great to know you are not the only one who might struggle and that there are classes on essay planning, proof-reading and more that can help you improve.
The contents of the modules you do in psychology and criminology are really interesting and cover so many subjects you are bound to find ones that interest you. My favourite topic was Memory, I had to write an essay on this and had so much to say it was a lot easier to write. Psychology became my best friend and I finally found something which I wanted to learn more about.
There are also loads more opportunities to get involved with the department. I was an ambassador for the psychology department, which gave me a great opportunity to improve my English and meet new people. Aberystwyth has given me so many possibilities to learn and be involved in new things. Even when I am struggling with uni work or life there is always someone there to support me, whether it be a lecturer or one of my course friends.
My tutor said on our first meeting that Aberystwyth will be a second home for me. I couldn’t believe it at first but I have become really attached to this town and university. I would recommend studying abroad to any student as long as they love to be challenged, and I cannot think of another course I would rather be doing or university I would rather be at. Life here is always exciting and I always feel welcome in our community.