Since I was about six or seven, I knew I wanted to come to England to study one day. I loved the idea of the countryside and the nature across the county which is very different to where I grew up in Moscow, but most importantly I think that England has a much higher quality of education than in Russia.
Getting a degree from a top UK university will really open doors for me and help me to get to where I want to go in life, but I wanted to make sure I was well prepared for the demands of university study here and so made the decision to come to Bellerbys College in Brighton to study A-levels 2 years ago.
Coming to live in England without my friends and family was a bit of a culture shock at first but the teachers really help you to settle in and as an international college you know that everyone else in your class is feeling the same way. Moving to any new country is going to be difficult, especially when you are going to study in a language that is not your mother tongue, but having had two years to settle in and adjust to the education system here I feel better prepared to go on and do well at university.
For my A-levels I chose English Literature, History, Maths, French, German and Russian and will be going to study law at the London School of Economics in September. When I came to England I had an idea that I wanted to study law so my teachers provided the support and guidance which helped me figure out which university was best for me, what I needed to do to get there and how to make sense of the whole application process which is so important if you want to secure the place you want.
I chose to do English and History to help me develop my writing skills ready for my university course, and this is where I found one of the biggest differences in how we studied in Russia and how we do things here.
In Russia, when you are writing essays for a subject like history you just have to make sure you write lots! At A-level you have to be more selective about what you put in to make sure you answer a specific question and have a balanced argument. For Literature back home you don't go into the same depth of analysis of the texts that you are studying. Because of this I started out as one of the worst in our English class but I love the challenge of something new and now I have achieved A in English.
For me the best thing about coming to England to study A-levels has been the challenge, I have really pushed myself and was really happy to see the results of all the hard work! From a personal perspective another highlight of my time at Bellerbys has been meeting new people from so many different backgrounds and cultures, it really opens up your mind to new ideas and new ways of thinking which is something I would never have got in my previous school. Now I am looking forward to the next challenge of starting university in September and I can't wait!