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Olympia Halikiopoulou (BSc Psychology 2010)

Olympia is currently our International Alumni Ambassador in Thessaloniki, Greece

Biography

I have just finished my Masters specialisation from the University of Leiden, the Netherlands in Clinical Neuropsychology and currently discovering my next steps in the Clinical Psychology field. 

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

I applied to Reading based on the curriculum programme. Reading provided a wide range of Psychology issues and modules balanced out with research modules and practicals. My personal reasons were the neuroscience, cognition and pharmacology modules. 

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

Reading was small enough to feel cosy and home-like but big enough to accommodate everyone’s taste of living and fun activities. Being Greek, the weather is always an important factor so I was happy to discover that in Reading the sun frequently graced us with its presence. The best part about studying in Reading would definitely be how comfortable everyone made me feel during my studies. I never felt like an International student, it was as if it was a detail for paperwork. Every problem was solved in a fair manner and everyone came together to provide guidance and assistance wherever needed. 

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

The same tips I would give myself if I could meet my 20-year –old self today: Try not to get anxious and stressed, but prioritise and organise your time wisely. Do not miss out on opportunities to socialise because of leaving work to last minute, but work hard to play hard. Most importantly: there are so many opportunities given by Reading University for experience and voluntary work so make sure you absorb every single experience to the best of your ability.

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

I have just graduated from my MSc course which I actually found out about after a seminar in Reading concerning Masters Degrees. I am currently in my hometown finishing my training on First Aid and Rescuing by the Samaritans from the Hellenic Red Cross.  

How has the University helped you in your career ?

A very important aspect was that the programme is accredited by the British Psychological Society and graduates are eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered membership, which means that the programme is set at high standards enabling students to study Psychology at a breadth and depth which provides them with the knowledge needed before proceeding to postgraduate degrees or work positions. 

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

I give back to the University as an International Alumni Ambassador and my participation will hopefully help future students overcome any fears they face concerning leaving their home countries to study. 

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

The University of Reading will always be dear to my heart because my time there definitely helped to shape my personality and enhanced personal growth. It is through my studies at Reading where I really realised what it means to act and study professionally and how to co-exist in a team while having my voice heard. I essentially became a young adult in Reading and my time there was truly a great, positive, experience. My favourite memory? Walks with my friends under the sun after examinations and Monday nights at the Purple Turtle.   

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