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Catalina Villanueva

Catalina Villanueva from Chile, studying MA in Drama and Theatre Education

“How I ended up at Warwick is a long story! I am an actress and wanted to find a course that would help me get into the educational side of theatre. MAs in this area did not exist in Chile, so I started looking abroad and I have always had a preference for the UK. At first I considered Australia as a destination, but then decided I would like to experience European culture. I like British culture and wanted to learn English, so that sealed it for me. I visited the British Council’s Education UK website and found a list of courses, and after speaking to a teacher decided that Warwick’s courses was the most appropriate, especially because of the practical elements (and of course the high rankings of Warwick!).

The UK is perceived as an expensive place to study in Latin America, but luckily there are plenty of scholarships to take advantage of. I was lucky enough to get the support of my parents, and a scholarship through Becas Chile. My department also put me forward for a Santander scholarship which the University offers to all Latin American students, and I got that too!

When I first arrived in the UK I was met at the airport by current Warwick students who organised transport to the campus. There is an orientation week put on at the University for international students, and the airport pick up is part of it.

The best thing about Warwick for me is the programme I am studying – I am so happy with it and it is exceeding my expectations. My class mates are like a family now, and this is because of the way the course is structured. The practical side of the course means that we worked really closely together and have built really strong bonds, which is fantastic. The facilities here make life really easy – for example the library is great and is open all the time and the campus is really relaxed. I love the nature that surrounds it.

I’m involved in a few activities outside my class. I take yoga and ‘Zumba’ classes at the sports centre and am also involved in Warwick Volunteers. This is a programme where students help others in all sorts of ways. I am teaching Spanish at local high schools to British kids and it is really rewarding. It will also be useful for me, as I hope to teach when I graduate.

During my time here I am going to do some travel, firstly to Greece to meet some friends over there, and then to Cairo as I think this may be my only chance in life to see the pyramids.

My advice to anyone that wants to come to Warwick is to prepare early and work hard to achieve your grades. You also need to prepare early if you want to get a scholarship as some of the deadlines are earlier than you think. Once you are here, believe me, it will be great!”