Making the most of my scholarship to pursue a path to Business
Viktorija, from Croatia, is currently completing the Advanced Level Foundation with us in London after winning a scholarship. Here, she tells us about this life-changing experience so far, and shares her hopes for where it will lead her.
Hi Viktorija. Which course are you studying at Kings? Which subjects?
I am studying the Advanced Level Foundation and my subjects are Mathematics, Business Studies, Economics, CSS and Data.
What is your favourite subject and why do you like it?
Currently my favourite subject is Economics. For me, it’s really interesting — I like the way the teacher teaches us through real world examples. He is one of my favourite teachers! I love the way he teaches, and the topics are very interesting, although I will actually study Business Management at university.
How would you describe the community at Kings London?
"The atmosphere is really friendly. I like all the students — they’re really nice and talkative and engaging with each other. With the teachers, I was really surprised as they are so nice!"
When I came here for the first time I saw how nice the teachers are; it was surprising for me that we could call them by their first names. They’re so welcoming and nice and will really go out of their way to help you. They really want you to get better. If you put in the work, they will appreciate that and they will remember that.
What is the teaching style like at Kings London?
It’s really casual and open — you’re not put under stress. Except maybe in Mathematics… I can get a bit stressed then!
My Business teacher really provides us with lots and lots of articles, research and videos that we can look at so we can develop a better understanding.
My Economics teacher pushes us to read more and to be curious and educate ourselves.
Our Maths teacher is really helpful and — even though he is really busy — he will take the time to help you with your subject and help you improve. He is really encouraging — he encourages and motivates you to be better.
With my CSS teacher I have such a good relationship! We have so much fun in his class and you are able to be yourself and make jokes. It’s such a nice class, I love having CSS because it’s always fun!
In my Data class the teacher is also really helpful. He will take time out of his weekend so he can talk to you and help you understand the stuff that you don’t.
The teachers really go out of their way to help you.
Have you started your university applications yet? How is it going? Which universities are you applying to?
I have applied to all of my universities, and I got all 5 conditional offers.
Congratulations! Did your offers come back quite quickly or did you have a long wait?
They all came back within the first month. I applied for Business Management at City University London, Queen Mary University London, Brunel University, University of Westminster, and Royal Holloway University of London. I’m not sure which offer to accept!
How will you make that final decision?
For me, it’s about which one is the best for Business because I really want to be in the business world in future. I know it will be hard to be a woman in business, and since I’m going to be a woman in business, I better have a good educational background.
"My goal is to choose a university that is really good at business so I can get the best positions when I start work."
I know that City University is very good for Business, so I think I’m aiming to get in there but their standards are very high so I will have to work hard to achieve the percentage.
Have you taken part in many social activities or clubs during your time at Kings?
I am a member of the Kings Enterprise Club. It’s such an interesting club for me because it’s about business and management, and I asked the teacher whether we could work on business management related cases. I really am learning a lot through practical, real-life situations and about things like leading a company, managing people and things like that.
Did you stay in the UK since you started your course? How was your experience of studying online?
For the first term, from September – December, I was in London, but I went home for the holidays in December and just returned to London at the start of March. I think it was the 3rd of March, as I missed the first day of class because I had to quarantine! For 3 months, I was back in my country.
How was the experience of online learning?
It was okay, but during those times, the big earthquakes hit Croatia. Every day there was another earthquake or a couple of them a day, so it was really stressful when you had to run under cover.
The teachers really tried to engage with us, but when you’re online, it’s harder to pay attention in class. I got quite distracted and it’s difficult to wake up early at home for lessons.
I prefer it when we are here [at school] because I can be more productive and manage my time better.
Why did you choose to study at Kings London?
I was awarded a scholarship to study at Kings London. My agent suggested this school to me. A big earthquake hit Croatia at the beginning of 2020 and my old school was completely ruined, so I have to move to a new school. My mum had always wanted me to go outside of Croatia to study, so this gave her even more of a push.
Knowing that Kings is an international college with a lot of people going through the same things as me and trying to adapt to change, I thought it would be more comfortable. If I went to a normal school that is not for international students, I would have no one to relate to about things like feeling homesick.
How have you found the experience of living away from home for the first time?
In the beginning — during the first term — I wasn’t coping so well as I was focusing too much on school and not really looking after myself. I wasn’t used to working so hard and I was also homesick as it was the first time I was separated from my family.
However, when I went back home for 3 months, I did a lot of thinking and was comparing how I was and how it affected me, and now that I am back I am dealing with things in a much healthier way and taking care of myself. I don’t let things overwhelm me like I did before. When I was in Croatia, I was wanting to come back to London so badly!
Would you recommend Kings London to a friend who was thinking about studying here?
I really would.
"For me, this has been a life-changing experience and I have grown as a person. I have become more responsible and more hardworking — I didn’t even know I could be this hard working!"
I would recommend it as I think here, you can have a better future.