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Student Profile: Kenza Oulammou

To my mind, university is about having new experiences and meeting new people, and learning about all the opportunities I would have to do so in Warwick finished to convince me that this would be a place where I could thrive.

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

How did you find out about Warwick?

I first heard about Warwick through university rankings. I was looking for the best UK universities, specifically in my chosen field of study, Politics and International Relations, and it didn’t take me long to realize that Warwick was among the top universities in every ranking. After that, taking a look at the course overview and the teaching methods on the university website convinced me that Warwick would indeed be a great choice for my education. Finally, I heard of Warwick through a friend who was already studying there and who informed me that the social life there was as good as academics.

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

As said earlier, learning about Warwick’s reputation for high quality teaching and about their fascinating Politics and International Studies course played an important role in my decision. However, a good social life seemed like an important thing to look for in a good university as well. To my mind, university is also about having new experiences and meeting new people, and learning about all the opportunities I would have to do so in Warwick finished to convince me that this would be a place where I could thrive. Finally, I chose Warwick over other universities around the world because I thought studying in a different language than my native one and in a different academic system would be intellectually challenging and stimulating, and therefore a great opportunity for me.

How did you feel to be awarded a scholarship?

As one would expect, it was very rewarding! Although I had put a lot of effort into my application, I was almost sure I wouldn’t obtain the award, so imagine my surprise when I did. It was also a relief, because I knew that, without the scholarship, I wouldn’t be able to attend Warwick without my family making financial sacrifices.

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

The first person I told when receiving the scholarship was my father, who was seating right next to me. He was very proud and happy for me, as he knew that I had worked a lot for this outcome, and this made the news even more rewarding!

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

I applied through UCAS, and although I didn’t get any help with choosing which universities to apply to or with writing my personal statement, I did get some help with maneuvering the platform, which made the whole operation way easier. When it comes to the personal statement (which I know for sure seems like the most stressful part of the application process), let me reassure you: it’s not as difficult as it seems. The best advice that I could give would be to have a small plan of what you would like to mention and then to write it as you go. I think you will be far more satisfied with the result than you would expect it! Finally, I also got some help with my visa application, and therefore the whole process went really smoothly, and I didn’t encounter any technical problems.

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

The first thing that really came to mind was: “This is not a campus, this is a city!”. The campus is honestly huge, and I think it would probably take a whole day to visit it. I was also really excited when I discovered how vibrant the campus was. The Piazza, which is the very heart of the campus, is always filled with music and students having a meal or a coffee in one of the shops. In addition to this, there is always an event or an activity taking place somewhere on the campus, and the Arts Centre hosts a variety of performances every week. Finally, I also loved to discover the quieter places of the campus, like the impressive library or the park and its lake. Overall, I was impressed and very excited to start my life here.

What is the best thing about Warwick?

The sense of community. Indeed, within my very first days at Warwick, I really felt like I was becoming part of a community. All the students are welcoming, and the profusion of society makes it hard to not find your place here. The staff also do their best to make you feel welcome in your department and to make the transition go as smoothly as possible. Overall, it is very easy to feel like being a part of something at Warwick.

What is the worst thing?

It’s really hard to come up with an answer, but right now the worst thing is unfortunately related to the pandemic: there are still no study spaces that are open 24/7, which is difficult for students who have a habit of studying early or have to work late because of an assignment.

How is your accommodation?

I live on campus, in new Rootes, which is (in my very humble opinion) the best residence hall on campus. My flatmates and I really get along and I don’t know anyone in Rootes who doesn’t have the same thing to say about their flatmates. It’s very lively as well and there’s always something happening here. I was really worried about having to share common spaces with several other people, but as long as you can agree on an organization with your flatmates, everything should go smoothly.

Are you a member of any societies?

So far, I have only joined the Warwick UN society, with which I have participated in mock UN debates. It’s been very interesting as it has enabled me to practice my English speaking while discussing fascinating topics such as the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and discovering how debates take place at the UN. I’m also hoping to get to be a delegate at the Warwick Model United Nations conference. In addition to this, I’m thinking of joining the EQHO dance society. I already have taken a few classes with them and think it’s a really good way to have fun and meet some new people while improving my dancing skills.

What are your plans when you graduate?

After graduating, I am thinking of going on to further study and do a master's in International Relations or International Security. I think I would like to do so abroad, in order to discover another culture and widen my horizon, but I also really like it here in the UK. I hope such an education will enable me to work in an international organization in the domain of conflict resolution or international security. Working at the United Nations would mean achieving my greatest ambition, but I also have my eyes set on organizations such as Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International.

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

First, don’t hesitate! There’s nothing to lose in trying, and you never know what the outcome will be. As I said, I really didn’t think I would get the award, but I ended up obtaining it. In addition to this, the process is not as hard as it seems. The essay questions only require you to be honest (I know this is the advice we’re always given, but it is a really useful one!). Moreover, I can assure you that even if you think you have nothing interesting to say about yourself, it is not the case. Through the process, I really surprised myself and discovered parts of my identity that made me feel that I could maybe be an interesting applicant. Actually, I would say that maybe a good starting point would be to think of the application’s goal as convincing yourself that you deserve the award.

What one thing makes you happy about Warwick?

There are a lot of answers that come to my mind, but one of the main things that stands out is the broad range of opportunities that comes with studying here. Attending Warwick means not only having access to fascinating and challenging academic but having so many new experiences through joining a society, engaging in leadership responsibilities as a course representative for instance or by signing up to an employability skills workshop, and the Student Opportunity service is organizing events every week.

Kenza'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