Nadia Bhatti is a third year student of Politics and International Relations.
Why did you choose to study at Kent?
I had my heart set on coming here after my first Open Day. I really liked the campus. It’s very green and open – a lovely space. I also really liked the course. The way it was set out in the first year, you have introductory modules, which was helpful for me because I didn’t study politics at school.
How did you find the transition to university study?
The first year was introductory and set the foundations. There are a lot of new concepts you need to grasp so that’s really helpful. And it helps you to discover your interests.
What about the academic support?
You get so much help. There are the lecturers’ office hours and if you can’t make those, you can always email your tutors. Also, there are things like the skills hub, which can help you with your referencing, essay-writing skills and other study skills. The general Student Support team for the School are very hands-on; they have drop-in hours and you can always go and talk to them if you’re stressing. They’ll point you in the right direction.
How did your studies develop?
In the second year, it’s all about developing your interests: you have so much choice and so many options. I did modules on terrorism, Middle Eastern politics and a module on Arabic. I also really enjoyed conflict analysis because it’s hands-on – we did a lot of simulations and workshops. In my final year, I’m doing gender politics, conflict analysis and human rights – again, all the things I’m interested in.
How would you describe your fellow students?
There is no template for a Kent student; people come from many different countries and all over the UK. You may be in a seminar talking about Macron and then realise that there’s a French student sitting next to you. It’s lovely to have that breadth of opinion; it deepens your understanding, I think.
What about the facilities on campus?
We have a great sports centre and gym and I really like the restaurants and bars on campus. It’s a very nice social scene and the library is great.
What do you do in your spare time at Kent?
In my first and second year, I took up cheerleading – just something I’d never done before that looked good fun. By the second year, I was taking part in national competitions. I’m also a student ambassador for the School so I help at events, which is useful experience. And over the summer, I decided that journalism, marketing or public relations might be something I’d like to go into post-uni. So in my third year, I started to write for InQuire, the student newspaper. What better way to create a portfolio before I leave? It’s a great group of people; we do the paper and the website, but then there’s the social aspect of seeing each other with pizza nights and things like that.
How has your degree helped your career prospects?
The School runs a public speaker programme and sometimes our own graduates come in. One was working for the European Commission and he once studied the module that I’m doing at the moment. It’s really nice to see the possibilities, and sometimes your tutors can link you up with alumni who are in your chosen field. It’s not just about studying and knowing a lot; it’s about being employable, and the School of Politics is great at that. I’m definitely more confident now. I have a broad plan that I’d like to go into journalism, then eventually I’d like to go and do some humanitarian work.
What advice would you give to a prospective student?
Definitely come and look at the campus. That’s my best advice.