After completing our International Foundation Programme, Olesya Dovgalyuk progressed to a University of Bristol degree. She will graduate from BSc Politics and International Relations in 2018.
Did you find the International Foundation Programme helpful?
The advantage it gave me concerns academic writing, because we practised a lot of essay writing – learning how to format and reference in the right way.
My IELTS was already high enough for a UK undergraduate course. However, the programme did enlarge my vocabulary and get me used to speaking.
What were the teaching staff like?
Partly because of the small group size, the staff had a more personalised approach. They were always open to helping, although I like to discover things myself too.
How was the transition to an undergraduate degree?
It didn’t feel like a very drastic change, because during the International Foundation Programme I tried to engage with the University. Also because I am usually quite independent in these things. It was a pretty smooth transition.
What made you choose Bristol?
One of the main reasons I came was because I liked the city and the University as a whole. In terms of rankings, student satisfaction and other criteria, the universities I was looking at were quite similar. So I just based my choice on my perception of Bristol when I visited.
I find Bristol vibrant, and it is a good city for students. It feels like a community, like a lot is going on.
What do you do outside of your studies?
This summer, I volunteered in Romania for an education project. I am also a library volunteer on the SS Great Britain museum ship.
I am an undergraduate representative for my course, a peer mentor and part of the Bristol Futures advisory board. While on the International Foundation Programme, I was a representative for my class.
What are your ambitions for the future?
After participating in an Model United Nations conference in November, I became more interested in international law. I have since co-authored an article, which was published in Bologna in January.
All this together feeds into my ambitions. First, I want to get a master's in international law and security, or international law and dispute resolution. Later, I want to be involved in this field on a multilateral level.
What advice would you give new students?
To seek opportunities within and beyond University. Look for conferences, events and roles, because it all contributes to the experience. I’d tell them to make the most of it and not get stuck in a cultural bubble.