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Madagascar - Harinelina Lovatiana Rakotoniaina

Course:Harinelina

MSc Diabetes (Paediatrics)

How did you find out about Warwick?

I heard about the University of Warwick when I did online research for a Diabetes master course across the UK.

Did you consider studying anywhere else? What were the main reasons you chose Warwick?

Among UK universities, I also considered the University College London due to its wide variety of medical master programmes relevant to my area of interest. Outside the UK, Kyoto University in Japan was also an interesting option due to its high ranking as an advanced research institution.

My choice was first focused on the course, as Warwick was the one of the only universities that delivered a Master in Paediatric Diabetes across the UK at the time. Warwick is among the ten best UK universities and is gaining widespread recognition all around the world. Both aspects influenced my final decision when choosing my preferred academic institution.

How did you apply? Did you encounter any difficulties?

I applied online. I faced some difficulties with the application system. However, Warwick was really supportive and quick to respond to my queries.

Did you receive any funding?

I was awarded the Chevening Scholarship, which is sponsored by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to allow international leaders to pursue their postgraduate studies in the UK.

Was your arrival and orientation okay? What were your first impressions/highlights?

I was welcomed by the student ambassadors on my arrival at the airport. It was my first time in a foreign country and I felt warmly received by the team. The orientation week was amazing. The central campus was alive. People at each stand were friendly and enthusiastic when explaining about the facilities and services at the university. It was very exciting to attend different fairs every day and discover more about all the opportunities I had on campus.

What is the best thing about Warwick?

The best thing would be innovation. You are breathing innovation and growth at Warwick. There is always a new building to be constructed, another one to be renovated. This university is reinventing itself every day, and this stimulated my need for personal growth. Indeed, I had the opportunity to participate in several personal development activities such as the Warwick Skills Portfolio Award and the Sprint Program.

What was the worst thing about Warwick?

My experience at Warwick was totally positive.

What was your accommodation like?

I stayed in on-campus accommodation. I felt lucky as I lived on central campus and our accommodation had a cleaner who came twice a week, all of that for a good price. Additionally, its location was convenient as the main buildings such as the library, Senate House, health centre and sports centre were nearby. Additionally, I was close to the Piazza where most of the SU events were held.

Did you get involved with any societies?

I’m a member of Warwick Chaplaincy on campus. I had the opportunity to enjoy some quiet days with other members that allowed me to chill out away from the stress and academic pressure.

Have you travelled to the UK/Europe?

I have travelled all around the UK and the most memorable cities I visited were Belfast and Edinburgh. Coventry is in central England, which allowed me to do some day trips to some of my favourite locations like London, Oxford and Cambridge.

What do you hope to do when you graduate?

I have several dreams that I would like to comply when I graduate. The first would be to work for public or private diabetes healthcare institutions in my home country. I also plan to pursue my academic journey and get involved in coaching or mentoring programmes. Finally, I would like to be part of some social entrepreneurship.

What one thing makes you happy about Warwick?

Well-being activities especially sports classes are what really makes me happy. I attended yoga and fitness classes for free every week.

What advice would you give to someone considering studying at Warwick?

Make the most of everything and try to keep your life balanced. Academic success should always be a priority; however, you should also take some time to explore yourself while at the university and find out what really drives you.

Warwick is full of opportunities. From career fairs at each term, well-being activities, language exchange, career advice and different art performance events, whatever you are into, there will be something for you. Try to interact with students out of your field and expand your vision. Make the most of everything from activities, free courses and opportunities as you may end up with a new passion or maybe a new pathway.

Just follow the wave of innovation that this university is willing to provide.