The University of Southampton, established in 1952, is famous for its research intensity. Aditya Kulkarni, an MA Design: Advertising Design Management student at Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, talks about the university and the life in the UK.
Q: Why did you choose MA Design?
A: My bachelor’s degree is in advertising itself. So for my masters, I wanted more in-depth knowledge of i -t- more of the management side of advertising. I have studied the creative part of it in my bachelors. When I was looking for course, I short-listed the ones that were more management oriented. Out of all of them, I found this course in the University of Southampton best suitable to me because it is a perfect blend of theoretical plus practical knowledge regarding the field. I was not only able to understand the managerial environment but was also able to take decisions and work in real environment. The other reason was the choice of optional modules. I always wanted to learn marketing on a global level and I got that as my optional module here.
Q: Why did you choose University of Southampton for your higher studies?
A: One of the reasons for choosing this university is that it is a part of the prestigious Russell group. Then my campus, Winchester School of Art, is amongst the top 10 art schools in the UK ranking. The other reason is that (may sound strange) but I was really attracted by the way the international officers kept in touch with the prospective students and communicated with them on a regular basis making sure all their queries are solved. We had pre-departure sessions where I could meet all other students from city (both past and present) and get to know more about this beautiful place. Yes, public relations matter and this university is best in that field.
Q: Can you please share your experience at the university?
A: I had a lifetime of experience here. Can’t believe I only have three more months here. I remember we had an icebreaker session for our class where we all introduced each other, shared our backgrounds, interests and in a creative way. After that session I realised I am not just in between a group of 50 students like them. All the people/students around me were from such varied background and carried so much of different knowledge; I have not just learned the management aspect of advertising but have also grasped knowledge and information about so many different things from my fellow classmates or flat mates or friends over here. I have grown as an individual in different ways.
The next thing I would like to share is winning the international cultural night. That was the best so far. I felt so proud to be an Indian that day holding the trophy. All the chaotic sleepless nights of practice, juggling between assignments and rehearsals, everything paid off when India was declared as the winner. I realised I am in a different country in between multiple cultures but I am still so much of an Indian from inside.
Another experience is about the good staff this university has. And it’s not just professors or people at high positions; even the helpers and workers here are so humble.
Q: Did you face any difficulties in settling in Southampton? Did you have any initial fears?
A: Yes quite a few at the beginning. It was difficult to adjust to all the 'silence' around me. This city is so silent and being from Mumbai I am not used to it. Mumbai is so loud and active all the time. The next was the climate. Luckily it was not that bad this year. My initial fear was about food. I am a vegetarian and a minority over here. So initially I was unsure if I would get any good vegetarian food in restaurants and cafÃ©'s here. But then I learned how to cook and the problem was solved. And as mentioned earlier, the pre-departure sessions helped me get in touch with few students who came here with me. So we always stayed as group so whenever I was stuck in something I knew they were here to help me out.
Q: Are you part of any club in the university?
A: Unfortunately no. But I am a part of the India Society.
Q: What are your plans after completing the course?
A: Well, after I finish my course, I wish to travel around Europe. After that I will hunt for jobs here. Yes, it is quite difficult to secure a job here for international candidates, but since I have three more months before my visa expires I would definitely look for job opportunities.
Q: What are the major factors that make you recommend the University of Southampton to the study abroad aspirants?
The number of Indians in the university. You will never feel away from home.
Plethora of extra curricular activities to enjoy.
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