Meet Akua, Commonwealth scholar 2013-14 - MA International Relations and Politics
Hello Akua! Can you start by telling me what were you doing before you came to Keele?
“Before I came to Keele I was working in the insurance industry back home…Then I decided that it was time to move on to something else that I’d always wanted to do, so I thought of Graduate School, and here I am today!”
Why did you choose to study at Keele university?
“When I was thinking or considering grad school, what I was really looking at was the quality of education and the content of the programme or course that I wanted to do... I was particularly interested in Keele because of the MA programme – what really struck me about the MA International Relations was that they had this pathway there that I always wanted, or dreamt of: a Diplomatic Studies pathway… this was sort of tailored to exactly what I needed so I thought yes I have to go for Keele.”
Now you’re here, what is it that you like best about the university?
“What I love most about Keele is the library working hours, it’s like 24/7, it’s amazing. And also I like the fact that you can get everything in one place, you don’t have to move several miles away before you get hold of something, it’s sort of easy to move around. And I also like the quality of teaching, and the fact that you can go talk to a professor or lecturer anytime, provided that you email him about it, and the support is good. Everything you need, you have people who are always willing to help you, and I think it’s very good.”
What have been the main challenges during your time here?
“My main challenges have been with coursework – because for where I’m coming from I’m so used to going to classes, reading and writing exams, that’s it, that’s like the main studying culture. But over here you have to do a lot of research, you have to develop your writing skills and it was very challenging at first cause I wasn’t used to reading and writing in this way. I got used to it, it’s fine now and I can do any of these things!”
How has your scholarship made a difference to you?
“I wasn’t going to get into grad school without a scholarship cause I had no means of funding myself. And being here has given me a difference experience – the educational system is different to what I had back home, I think I’m a better person now. It’s actually given me good interpersonal relations, cause I’ve had to work with people from different backgrounds.”
What words would you choose to describe your Keele experience?
“It’s been ‘Simply Phenomenal’! Though it was challenging at first, I see myself as more confident now.”
Finally, do you have any advice that you would give to a new student from Ghana who was coming to study at Keele - what would you tell them?
“I just think, go for it! Come to Keele, you’ll make good friends, you get quality education and you’ll be a better person before you go back home.”