Discover Jelka's journey at Warwick and what led them to apply for BA Theatre and Performance Studies.
How did you find out about Warwick?
I heard about Warwick for the first time, when someone came into our Sixth Form to talk about universities. They mentioned Warwick as one of the universities that offer a course in Theatre and Performance Studies, which is why I did some further research at home.
Did you consider studying anywhere else? What made you choose Warwick?
I chose to look at universities in the UK, because I wanted to study a theatre related subject that combined theory and practice. German universities do not offer anything like the Theatre and Performance Studies courses here in the UK and after finding out about the opportunities in this country, I could no longer picture myself doing any other further education.
Although I looked at league tables when I was choosing the universities to apply to, my final decision after I got my offers was not based on rankings at all. For the Theatre and Performance Studies course, we had an applicant day, which included several talks, workshops and an interview with an admissions officer. I knew I would be assessed, so I was not particularly looking forward to this day. But on the day itself, I completely forget about it. The student ambassadors and staff were so genuine and seemed to be very happy about being at Warwick. The atmosphere created on the applicant day (even though everything was online) was both welcoming and exciting. I couldn’t stop myself from smiling throughout all the different activities and just knew that Warwick would be the right place for me.
How did you feel to be awarded a scholarship?
At first, it was just a huge relief. I started crying, because I had wanted to go to Warwick so badly and knew that this dream would now come true.When I calmed down a little, I just felt proud and like all the hard work of the last two years of school, my final exams, IELTS exams, learning English in the first place, applying to university and for this scholarship had finally paid off.
Who was the first person you told when you received the news about your scholarship and how did they react?
My younger sister was the only person at home with me when I got the email, which is why I told her first. I was still crying when I ran downstairs to tell her, so she was a little perplex at first. But when she realised what I was saying, she was really happy for me and we were both super excited!
How did you apply and did anyone help you with your application form and visa application?
I applied online and was asked to answer four questions on an application form. I asked a friend and some family members to read my answers to make sure that they are an accurate representation of the person I am. But it was more of a reassurance for me, because I knew I would have to write what feels right to me and not what someone else would write.My visa application was pretty straightforward, because I was able to apply online and got a response within two weeks.
What was your first impression of Warwick when you first walked around campus?
The first time I got to walk around campus was with my parents on arrival day. I immediately loved the buzzing atmosphere around the Piazza on the one hand and the calmness of Tocil Woods and the general area around Tocil and Arthur Vick on the other hands.I was also impressed by the new Faculty of Arts building which is much larger and closer to my accommodation than I expected it to be!
What is the best thing about Warwick?
Honestly, I would say the people and everyone looking out for each other is the best thing about Warwick. I just feel like it’s a place where everyone is welcome to be the way there are and can meet like-minded people.I absolutely love my flat mates and we have already had such a good time together! In the first couple of weeks, we have already done trips to Leamington and Birmingham together, went to events during Welcome Week, cooked to together or just stayed in for movie nights! The Residential Life Team did a great job at matching us up and I am beyond grateful that I got to meet these wonderful people. The same goes for the other students on my course and the staff (in the department as well as cleaners and caretakers), who are all lovely.
What is the worst thing?
Personally, I have not had any particularly bad experiences yet, but I know that some people have difficulties with Warwick being a campus university and therefore being a bit closed off from everything else. It may make you feel a little constricted to always walk the same paths and mostly see students around. But I found that it helps to get out for a while by taking a short trip to Leamington, Coventry or even Birmingham, which is only a 20 minute train ride away! After walking through a busy shopping centre for a few hours, you can appreciate the calming atmosphere on campus again.
How is your accommodation?
I’m staying in Tocil and as mentioned before, I really love my flat mates, which I think is the most important thing. Getting along with the people you are going to live with for at least a year is just essential. The accommodation itself is a good budget option.The only thing that we would really love to have is a living room area, because it is quite inconvenient to always have to be in the kitchen or someone’s room when you want to spend some time together. But apart from that, there is nothing to complain about! I have a tall chestnut tree in front of my window, which looks beautiful, with some plants and fairy lights, the rooms can look really pretty, sharing bathrooms is not a problem at all and cleaners, caretakers and maintenance workers are all very kind and always helpful!
Are you a member of any societies?
I am a member of the Warwick Devils, which is the Gymnastics and Cheerleading society at Warwick. I had never done cheerleading before coming to university, this the society caters to all abilities and no one pushes you to try anything you don’t feel safe to do! I am on the Large Stunt Level 1 team and we train three times a week. Apart from training sessions there are monthly fixtures and different socials. I am excited to try circling next week and we are going to have a Welcome Dinner this week, so that we can all get to know each other.
What are your plans when you graduate?
One career path I could envision to choose after my time at university, is to go on to work as an actress in a German or British theatre. At this moment, physical and immersive theatre is what fascinates me most, so I could also imagine working in a theatre company that focuses on one of these kinds of performances or to conduct further research in one of these fields.In addition, I would like to carry out community theatre projects. I strongly believe that performing can be beneficial for society as a whole, as well as for personal development. I would like to engage dialogues, encourage people to simply be themselves and make everyone feel like they have a place in this world. However, I can also imagine that, during my time at Warwick, I might discover another area that I am particularly interested in and just have not considered yet.
What would you say to someone considering applying for an Undergraduate Global Excellence scholarship at Warwick, what would it be?
My first piece of advice for someone considering applying for a Global Excellence Scholarship is, to actually apply for it. The worst thing that could happen is that you won’t get the scholarship. People tend to think less of themselves and their achievements than others do, so I would strongly advise anyone to put their best foot forward and just see what happens.The second think would be to be yourself. I believe that people can tell when someone gives genuine answers and really puts their heart into it. No one wants to read perfectly constructed answers without the ‘you’ in it. Your personality and what drives you should come across, because I would reckon that everyone who applies has good grades and is smart. So, why you? What makes you special? What makes you get out of bed in the morning?
What one thing makes you happy about Warwick?
Warwick inspires me.Our discussions in seminars give me a new perspective on theatre and performance. Seeing other people study motivates me to get my reading done as well. Cheering with my team mates makes me feel like I am part of a community. Walking through Tocil Woods gives me new energy that I can use to do my assignments. Watching performances at the Arts Centre makes me want to get up on stage myself. Chatting with my flat mates brings me joy. All of this makes me feel at home while challenging me.
BA Theatre and Performance Studies nurtures generations of new talent. You'll be continually engaging with, watching and producing theatre, within the classroom and beyond. There are many student performance societies to get involved in, and you'll benefit from having Warwick Arts Centre located at the heart of our campus.
The Complete University Guide 2021 ranks Warwick's course as third in the UK (Drama, Dance and Cinematics category).