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Adriana Peréz-Rodríguez (BA Politics and International Relations 2012)

Biography

I graduated in the summer of 2012 completing my undergraduate course in Politics & International Relations. I am currently doing my Masters’ course in Gender Studies in the National University of Colombia..

Why did you choose to study at the University of Reading?

When I started looking for universities, many people I knew thought highly of the University of Reading and suggested me to have a look and apply there. I really liked the course curriculum and felt I could learn a lot. Then I read the University is recognised for its strong multicultural community and that made me think I could feel at home there. After a few days searching for universities, I felt Reading was the strongest option.

What was the best bit about living and studying in Reading?

I really enjoyed studying in the University for many different reasons. Academically, it was the best experience I could have asked for: the knowledge transmitted by lecturers, their encouragement to start producing my own ideas and their support during my process are one of the best memories I keep. Socially speaking, I couldn’t have asked for a better place as I found such a vibrant student community.

Even though I always felt the UK was (and still is) home to me, sometimes as a foreign student things can get a bit overwhelming, so the fact that there were so many students from across the world made me feel very comfortable. Also, I met the best friends I currently have. 

What top tips would you give to students who are beginning their studies?

I would highly recommend international students to join different student societies not only to meet new people but to practice their English constantly in many different contexts.

I would also recommend them to join the society of their region so they can feel more at home and have an emotional support when needed. I personally didn’t feel so strongly about that as I always felt at home in the UK, but I can understand why some students would prefer to join them as a mechanism for dealing with the cultural clash and the distance from home.

What are you up to now? How did you get there?

I am now doing my Masters’ course in Gender Studies in a highly renowned Colombian university. I can honestly say I wouldn’t have been able to get there if it wasn’t because of all the academic preparation I got from the University.

How has the University of Reading and the Careers Centre helped in your chosen career path?

I am sure that the University gave me the right academic preparation to be able to fulfil my current university’s expectations. I am particularly grateful to a subject I had on my third year on introduction to feminist thought as it opened my mind to so many different ideas and authors.

What University activities are you still involved with and why do you volunteer?

I am currently participating in the international alumni ambassador scheme as the Colombian ambassador. Before this, I helped the University in an international universities fair here in Bogotá and I’ve also helped prospective students through chat.

The main reason I am still involved is because I had such a great time there, that I am very happy to make the University part of my present life.

What does the University mean to you and what is your favourite memory?

The University of Reading means home. I lived in the UK four years and three of them I spent them in Reading, so it became home to me. I used to travel on the weekends to a town in the south west, but every time I was back in Reading and entered the University on Monday mornings I felt I was properly back home. Also, not only the University gave me great academic and social experiences, but also helped me during a time of economic hardship, which made me have a stronger sense of belonging there.

It is hard to pick one favourite memory out of all the brilliant ones I have. I suppose the best one is that sense of belonging I always felt when I walked through the campus.  

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