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Student Profile: Nadine Hilman

I really love how international Warwick's campus is and as an international student myself, I felt very welcome here. I like how the diverse student population provides us with the opportunity to immerse ourselves in different cultures and ways of thinking.

Discover Nadine's journey at Warwick and what led them to apply for Biochemistry.

How did you find out about Warwick?

I heard about Warwick through a university fair at my school.

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

Well, Warwick's School of Life Sciences is highly ranked in the UK and the course syllabus for my degree, biochemistry, had a lot of modules related to my area of interest, such as 'Enzymology' and 'Neuropharmacology'. More importantly, unlike most UK universities, Warwick had a fantastic scholarship scheme available for Indonesian undergraduates, which was honestly the determining factor in my decision to firm Warwick. I believe that through this scholarship, Warwick has made a lot of international students, especially those facing financial struggles, feel all the more welcome at their institution. Without it I probably wouldn't even have ended up in the UK -- Words can't explain how grateful I am for the generosity of this institution.

How did you feel to be awarded a scholarship?

Receiving the WUGES scholarship felt like a huge weight was taken off my shoulders, as I had a lot of anxiety about how my tuition fees would be burdening my parents financially and because I was at a crossroads on where I'd end up for the next 4 years. I vividly remember the day I received a notification about my scholarship because of how cathartic it felt. In a pool of happy tears, receiving that email felt like a liberating release from the worries that'd been holding me down in recent months. It gave me a very much needed sense of direction for my future and was a fulfilling reminder that the hard work I exerted in my last 2 years of high school came to a very fruitful result. In essence, I feel very grateful, fortunate and honoured to have received this scholarship.

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 about my scholarship was my mom. While I know my parents have always been willing to sacrifice a lot for my education, I also know that my university tuition has been a source of stress for their finances. So when I came to my mom with the good news, suffice to say she was very thrilled -- practically jumping up and down, brimming with glee.

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

I applied independently through the link for the application portal that was provided to my email. A difficulty I faced was trying to condense my answers to fit the word count. When it comes to questions with many answers, such as "What has influenced your decisions to study your chosen subject?", it's definitely challenging to communicate everything you feel into a couple of sentences.

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

"Wow. This is so much better than I expected!" was the first thing that came to mind when I arrived on campus. I was quite impressed by how homey campus felt, and how everything you need as a student -- like the library, supermarket etc -- is conveniently located within a close walking distance. In addition to that, all the nature on campus was a beautiful sight too -- from the trees lining the walk up to Gibbet Hill campus, to all the ducks splashing in the lake behind Tocil. Coming from a country that's hot all year round, I especially loved seeing the vibrant fall leaves.

What is the best thing about Warwick?

It's hard to choose one thing, but I really love how international Warwick's campus is and as an international student myself, I felt very welcome here. I like how the diverse student population provides us with the opportunity to immerse ourselves in different cultures and ways of thinking.

What is the worst thing?

This is going to sound silly, but probably the lack of dining places, as we only have a couple restaurants/cafes to hang out at.

How is your accommodation?

I stay on campus, at Tocil. While Tocil wasn't my first choice on the accommodation application, it has honestly exceeded my expectations so much, and I'm really glad I got allocated to Tocil. I think the most notable thing about Tocil is the nature surrounding the area, alongside it's convenient location near Central and Tesco!

Are you a member of any societies?

I'm a member of a couple societies, but by far my best experiences have been with the Bio Society because I always manage to meet such great people at their socials, many of which have become my close friends now. I've been on their Gibbet Hill campus tour, BioFamily meet, mentee-mentor drop in, STEM social, BioFamily dinner and pumpkin carving night.

What are your plans when you graduate?

While I'm keeping an open mind about where my future takes me, at the moment I envision myself working in the field of biotech or biopharma. Areas like drug discovery/development, protein engineering, medical technology and etc are particularly interesting to me, so I hope to be able to gain some experience there. At the same time, I'm also welcoming the possibility of going into academia, as research has always been interesting to me.

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

Aside from maintaining a strong academic record, when being asked questions about why you chose to study your course at Warwick, be genuine with your response -- showcase a keen interest in your course; demonstrate knowledge on what Warwick has to offer and how this aligns with your goals; and show (not tell!) how you are a suitable candidate. For example, throughout my application, I talked about areas of biochemistry that I'm interested in to demonstrate further reading, skills I gained from my extracurriculars that I would carry with me into university and what I hope to gain from specific modules in my course.

What one thing makes you happy about Warwick?

Definitely the friends I've made. In just over a month, I've met tons of amazing people and enjoyed the social aspect of university so much more than what I expected. I love how convenient it is to hang out with friends here, as we live only minutes apart, also how open minded and welcoming the environment tends to be.

Nadine's course:

BSc Biochemistry is about understanding life on its smallest scale – the molecules and cells that make up organisms - and is one of four degree courses taught by the School of Life Sciences. This course will appeal to those who enjoy both biology and chemistry. You will study the structure and function of proteins and nucleic acids, how gene expression is controlled, how membranes, antibodies and hormones work, and how cells function within multicellular organisms.

Find out more about BSc Biochemistry.