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Aiming for a Psychology degree in the UK

9 May, 2016

Looking back I don’t think I would be able to go straight to university from high school – it would be too much so this year has been perfect.

I recommend it 100%. It’s tough though – if you think here you’ll be here just partying and doing nothing, that’s not the case! You have to work really hard.

Sofia Rodriguez from Venezuela shares the highlights of studying at Kings Oxford, and her plans for university in the UK.

What course are you doing here at Kings?
I’m doing the Advanced Level Foundation course, with Art and Design, Business and Maths as my elective modules.

Do you know yet what course you’d like to do at university?
Yes, I’d like to do Psychology and Criminology.

And have you made your application through UCAS?
Yes, I’ve already got three offers – from Nottingham, Goldsmiths and Royal Holloway.

What made you want to come to Kings?
My brother, who is seven years older than me, came to the UK too when he graduated high school. He came to Oxford too, but to a different school. I also chose Oxford because one of my best friends moved here about 4 years ago with her family.

Had you been to the UK before?
Yes, my mother was born in Oxford so I have a British passport, I’ve been coming here for summer camps etc for many years. My mum always wanted us to come here rather than the United States.

How has your experience been here?
I love it! At first I was kind of forced to come here, I didn’t want to leave my country but as things are really tough there my mum said, Sofia, you have to go. She knew that eventually I would like it. The second day I was already with friends! Everybody is going through the same thing so you don’t feel alone and you can really rely on each other.

Have you found studying in an international environment here an enriching experience?
Yes of course, I prefer international schools.

How does this compare to your school back in Venezuela?
It’s totally different! There we were around 40 of us in one class… and only 9 of us were girls, it was basically a boys’ school. The way they teach, the relationship with teachers is totally different.

At my school back home our teachers were friends with us on Facebook and when we meet we can hang out, here it is more professional, the relationship. They are different experiences but I like both of them.

Do you feel like this experience is preparing you well for university?
Yes, looking back I don’t think I would be able to go straight to university from high school – it would be too much so this year has been perfect.

Initially I wanted to do just an English course, but then I heard about this course and I thought I'll do this in case I want to stay – I wasn’t sure at that point if I’d go to university here or not. This way I have English and academic preparation.

Did you have help in researching which universities to apply to?
Yes – it was really shocking because in my country there are around 5 universities, whilst here there are 100! I actually decided what I wanted to study whilst I was here. I knew I wanted to study something related to crime, then I figured out that Psychology existed here so I started to go through papers and spent a while weekend researching unis. It was tough making a decision when you have so many options!

Have you done many enrichment activities here?
Yes, the first term I chose Zumba – I’m also in the Student Council. This term I’m doing Photography.

What did the Student Council involve?
I was in charge of the charity group, and organised events to raise money. This last month we made and sold Valentine’s cards to raise money on Valentine’s Day and delivered chocolate too…

If you were talking to someone back in Venezuela who was considering coming to Kings, what would you say?
I’d say come! I recommend it 100%. It’s tough though – if you think here you’ll be here just partying and doing nothing, that’s not the case! You have to work really hard and it’s really intensive.