European Voices


Finding yourself

“My experience at UCL has exceeded all of my expectations. Since day one, I’ve felt welcomed and supported.” - Alessia Di Camillo, Student Ambassador

Alessia Di Camillo, Student Ambassador

26 March 2021

Italian student Alessia Di Camillo is studying for a BA in Russian and German. She had always wanted to learn in a diverse and dynamic city, so London fitted the bill perfectly, and UCL stood out as her ideal university. “I knew it was perfect for me,” she says. “And I am a completely different person than I was when I first joined.” 

On arrival at UCL, Alessia had personal support from her tutor and professor to help her settle into the new environment. She lived in halls for her first year, surrounded by students going through the same experiences. She says: “I made friends quickly – by the end of the first week I was part of a group which is still going strong three years later. 

“I enjoyed my time in halls so much that I became an accommodation ambassador, helping freshers to have the same welcoming and exciting experience I had.” 

While originally attracted to UCL’s status as a leading institute, it was soon clear to Alessia that there was much more to discover than just her course.  

In her third year, she took up the chance to study at the Higher School of Economics University in Saint Petersburg as part of her placement abroad. She says: “Although I had been technically studying abroad for two years already, this was a completely different experience. I had the opportunity to explore a culture I was unfamiliar with and it taught me to be even more independent and step out of my comfort zone. I also travelled all around Russia and made incredible memories that I will cherish forever.” 

Alessia is also a firm advocate of enjoying the experiences UCL has to offer, a little closer to home. She says: “I would strongly recommend that any new UCL student find a club. I have been a member and a committee member of UCL Climate Action Society, UCL Cheerleading Club, UCL Italian Society and UCL WASH Society.”  

From national competitions with the Cheerleading Club to a home-from-home with the Italian Society, Alessia’s UCL time has been enriched by extra-curricular activities. Meanwhile, London itself has both inspired her and presented opportunities.  

Alessia says: “London gave me the chance to reinvent myself and to explore my interests, passions and aspirations without limits. In my country, one usually has to pursue a career relevant to their studies. In London, the requirements are more flexible, allowing me to get work experience in the business and corporate fields, despite being a language and culture student.” 

With over 5,600 students from EU countries and 30 European languages taught at UCL, our links with the continent will continue long into the future. And for students like Alessia who are ambitious and curious about the world, UCL can bring out the very best in you.  

She says: “Any student from Europe should seriously consider studying at UCL – they would not regret it. I learn and discover something new each day, either during classes, by participating in an event or just by talking to someone on campus, and I would encourage anyone to join this welcoming and stimulating environment.”