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Student Profile: Kleopatra Efstathiou

The academic departments, SU, and all societies always make sure to inform students of academic and leisure opportunities. These can help us both career-wise (some look really great on a CV!), but also in discovering new interests, and making our University experience as rewarding as possible.

Discover Kleopatra's journey at Warwick and what led them to apply for BA Politics and International Studies.

How did you find out about Warwick?

I heard about Warwick through the Deputy Headmistress of my school, who is also the guidance counsellor for students, giving them advice about higher education. She suggested that I look into the University of Warwick when I first told her that I intended to pursue Politics and International Studies, knowing that it has consistently been a top University in this field especially.

Did you consider studying anywhere else? What made you choose Warwick?

I chose Warwick over other UK universities largely because of the course content. Looking at the modules available in all 3 years, I was excited to discover that Warwick offers uniquely interesting modules, that are not just a continuation or repetition of A-level Politics, as taught to me in high school. There are many different modules students can choose from, in order to mould their degree into the perfect shape for the learning experience that best suits them. Speaking to older students was definitely a contributing factor too, with the vast majority of people I spoke to only praising the University and the PAIS department for their commitment to accommodating students by listening to their needs, and actively helping them excel. The fact that Warwick is a campus university also drew me to it significantly, since I was really attracted to the sense of community and belonging such a setting can provide. At the same time, the campus is located very close to both Coventry and Leamington Spa, so I knew I would have access to more 'cosmopolitan' services whenever I wanted, while avoiding the hassle of going to a city University, which can be distracting. Of course, I knew that Warwick has consistently been top University for Politics in the UK, which was also a factor in me choosing it. Owing to Brexit, I had applied to other Universities around the world too, but I knew I would prefer to attend a UK university in the end, since I believe Politics is best taught in the UK; UK curriculum provides an insight into the interdisciplinary nature of Politics, as the course content is taught through many perspectives, like the philosophical, economic, sociological and international point of view among others- while other countries tend to focus on their own national Politics. The combination of the UK traditional curriculum, as well as Warwick's fantastic course content and overall levels of student satisfaction were the deciding factors for me when it came to which University to attend.

How did you feel to be awarded a scholarship?

Being awarded a Scholarship was a relief, and a surge of pride! For many Europeans like me that had always expected to have Home Fee status, Brexit was indeed a big shock! I was very thankful when the University announced the Global Excellence Scholarship scheme, and immediately wanted to apply for it. I was also excited for the opportunity to become an Ambassador for the University- I've always enjoyed being involved in such positions, and I love doing the most to help fellow students as much as I can! When I received my Scholarship letter, I felt extremely proud, as I knew my hard work had paid off. In my scholarship application, I had talked about my future aspirations in length, and being awarded the scholarship felt like a confirmation that someone out there shared my vision for re-building a better world.

Who was the first person you told when you received the news about your scholarship and how did they react?

When I received the news about the scholarship, I immediately called my parents. They were overjoyed and vey proud- my mom even cried when I told her! They knew that I was finally on my path to creating my future, starting off in a victorious way.

How did you apply and did anyone help you with your application form and visa application?

My school's guidance counsellor helped me with my scholarship application by reviewing the content, mostly to make sure that everything was grammatically correct and made sense, in a similar way that one prepares a personal statement; however the content itself was entirely my own. The visa application was a bit stressful. As Cyprus is a member of the European Union, Cypriot citizens did not need to get a Student Visa up until this year. So, there was very little help I could have access to within my own country, simply because this was new territory. However, I did get in touch with people from the University's team, and attended live chats that were very helpful in providing valuable information for the visa process. Once everything was put together, it only took a week for my visa to be issued. It's only a matter of getting the timing the your documents right- but don't hesitate to contact the University with any questions you might have, their help was invaluable.

What was your first impression of Warwick when you first walked around campus?

When I first walked around campus I was really impressed by the nature! I'm a nature-lover myself, so it was a pleasure to see how well preserved and protected the flora and fauna is around campus.

What is the best thing about Warwick?

You get a very strong sense of community. There is always someone willing to help you and everyone is super friendly, from your personal tutor, to the residential life team, to the post-room staff! There are smiling faces everywhere.Also, Rolf the campus cat, and the geese!

What is the worst thing?

The phone service isn't great in some parts of campus- but that's about it, really!

How is your accommodation?

I really love my accommodation! I live in Cryfield Townhouses, which is an on-campus, en-suite accommodation. The buildings are very modern, I am only a 5-minute walk from the SU, and the fact that it's enclosed by nature makes it even more beautiful. The rooms and the kitchen are spacious and cosy, and make for good socialising with my flatmates! I also really enjoy the residential hub, where the laundrettes are, because it has many other services like a cinema room, small study rooms, and even a music room, which I use quite frequently to practice the violin!

Are you a member of any societies?

I am a member of the Symphony Orchestra, the Cypriot and Hellenic Society, the Politics Society, International Relations, and Warwick Women's Careers! The Symphony Orchestra practices every Tuesday, and we are preparing for our end-of-term concert. It was really important to me that I joined the University orchestra as I love playing the violin, and since the pandemic last year meant that orchestra practices were suspended all around the world, I had really missed playing in large groups! The Cypriot and Hellenic Society was extremely helpful before coming to the UK, providing much needed information and meet-and-greet opportunities back at home, and has been supporting freshers and organising fun activities ever since, like our first Greek Night, and even a paintball session! The Politics Society provides valuable seminars with tutors from the department that give advice on the course, which is really helpful for new students.

What are your plans when you graduate?

I value academia greatly, so when I graduate I intend to do a Postgraduate degree in a related field, like War Studies or International Security. Later, I would like to work for an International organisation like the UN or the EU, where I can hopefully be a building block for the 'common good' of the world. Ideally, I would love to eventually establish an NGO focused on providing children of all backgrounds all around the world with personalised support to help them achieve their greatest potential, ranging from the provision of necessities, to mental health support, abiding by the idea of equity rather than equality.

What would you say to someone considering applying for an Undergraduate Global Excellence scholarship at Warwick, what would it be?

Be bold, but be you! In this type of application it is easy for one to get carried away trying to sound impressive, rather than focusing on what is actually impressive about them! We all have different talents, passions and interests- you should showcase those as much as possible on your application! People assessing your application can sense when you're writing about something that doesn't actually excite you only to sound impressive, the same why one can tell a politician is only giving empty promises to the electorate. Make sure that your application reflects your potential, and, really, just enjoy writing about what you love!

What one thing about Warwick makes you happy?

The endless opportunities! The academic departments, SU, and all societies always make sure to inform students of academic and leisure opportunities. These can help us both career-wise (some look really great on a CV!), but also in discovering new interests, and making our University experience as rewarding as possible.

Kleopatra's course:

BA Politics and International Studies puts an emphasis on the international dimensions of politics. While political theory provides the core of the degree, you can tailor your course to focus on your main interests within International Studies.

Does democracy bring greater stability to societies? Why do states use violence? If these questions fascinate you, this degree could be the right fit for you. Learn about politics at a national and international level. Gain valuable skills in theoretical analysis, qualitative and quantitative research, and written and verbal communication.

Find out more about the BA Politics and International Studies course at Warwick