Fin Stanbridge is studying an MA in Russian Studies at SSEES. Here, we find out what student life is like at UCL.
Why did you choose to study at UCL SSEES?
I chose to study at SSEES because of its reputation as one of the leading schools for Russian Studies in the UK. I also wanted to experience studying in London as I studied for my undergraduate degree elsewhere.
What are you studying and what attracted you to this particular course?
I am studying Russian Studies, and I became interested in it because of the opportunity to learn a new language and to research more on Soviet history. The course offers me a wide variety of modules that suit my niche interests.
How is your course going? Any favourite modules so far?
I am really enjoying my course, particularly the beginner’s Russian language module. It is exciting to have the opportunity to learn a new language at postgraduate level, as I did not know this was possible before.
How does postgraduate study differ from undergraduate study?
Postgraduate study allows you more independence as a student and offers a more close-knit community. My course is small but sociable. You have more choice in what you want to study and pursue further research in.
How would you describe the academic staff at SSEES? What is the support like?
The academic staff are lovely and really supportive. They are all experts in their field and are fountains of knowledge. Their support is easily accessible, and they are quick to respond if you are ever struggling with your workload.
What are the facilities like at SSEES and the UCL campus generally?
SSEES offers fantastic facilities, such as a huge research library with a variety of resources and a specialist careers adviser. The UCL campus is state of the art and offers plenty of study and social spaces.
What about the social life?
The course is friendly and inviting, with plenty of social trips to the pub. There are students from all backgrounds, some having just left undergraduate, others having returned to university after a career. It is really interesting to meet such a variety of people.
Do you have a mentor/role model who has inspired you?
I had a curator mentor who inspired me to research more about women’s stories and voices. I took this passion and applied it to my own speciality of Soviet Russia.
What are your future plans/aspirations?
In the future, I am interested in potentially furthering my academic career by completing a PhD. I would like to research more on the role of women within the Soviet Union.
Any advice for those thinking about taking this course?
Take the opportunity to pick up a new language, even if it seems scary. It can be beneficial to your studies and your personal development.