Three contenders from Kingston found themselves with a special highlight to write home about after being shortlisted for the inaugural British Council International Student Awards.
Business undergraduates Krishna Premdjy and Yan Huang and law postgraduate Chun Yu Lung made it through to the competition finals after demonstrating how much they were getting out of their time in Britain.
The trio outlined their experiences by writing letters describing their new lives. Judges were particularly keen to hear how students had developed interests, overcome challenges or achieved personal ambitions since leaving home. More than 1700 entries were received from students from 300 institutions.
After finding out that she had been shortlisted, Chinese-born Yan received a further boost when her letter was one of a select few entries to be highly commended. In her letter, Yan, who hopes to specialise in business law, told of the challenge she faced bridging the cultural gap between her homeland and the United Kingdom. â€œMy letter was different from many other entries because it focused on how Iâ€™ve adapted to life away from my studies. I wrote about how I have settled into a new culture by building a network of friends from different backgrounds and origins. Studying at Kingston has helped me feel at home in England because the atmosphere around the University is really friendly and staff are always supportive,â€ she said.
International marketing manager Soon Lee said the trioâ€™s entries showed how international students could benefit from their time at the University. â€œStudying abroad is not just about gaining a qualification in another country, itâ€™s a whole new life experience,â€ she said. â€œGetting an insight into another culture can actually help each student become a better person and contribute to their community when they return home.â€