Heya! I am Antara Srivastava from ‘the city beautiful’, Chandigarh, India. I am pursuing Masters in Information Security here at the University of Surrey. It has been 76 days in Guildford and believe me, I fell in love with the campus and the town on the very day I moved here. I always wanted to move to the United Kingdom because of its beautiful history and the fact that most of the things from back then are still intact. Wherever you go, even if for a short stroll around the town, you find yourself surrounded by the thousands of years of history along with that, I have always been fascinated with ‘the Royals’- the castles, weddings, the royal kids and the Crown (YES! I have watched it on Netflix).
One of major things that connects me to this country is its music. I have grown up listening to Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Beatles, Ed Sheeran, Adele, Sam Smith, Oasis (Oh! I have the list) but there is a special place in my heart for Coldplay, so much so that one of the first things I wanted to do post moving here was to attend their concert but unfortunately, the country is still battling Pandemic so the concerts are cancelled.
If you talk about Britain, football is the second thing that comes to one’s mind after the Royals. I am a Liverpool fan (Yeah, you’ll never walk alone – walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart and you’ll never walk alone), and I can’t wait to visit Anfield. Some of the places which are in my bucket list apart from Anfield are Edinburgh, Bath, Cardiff, Cambridge, Windsor and Cornwall!!!!
UK was always one of the countries I wanted to visit or get settled in but my interest grew stronger when I was associated with a UK based organization for almost 2 years during my tenure at Infosys Ltd. I made a lot of friends in the UK and got to know about the country in depth and believe me, I was so intrigued by their work-life balance (which most of us lack back in India) and the fact there are up to eight bank holidays (which are not even a part of the Annual working allowance. Exciting, right? Lucky Brits). 😛
Coming back to the University, you know the best thing about the University of Surrey is that it is situated in the countryside and all of us know about the British countryside- Lust green fields, picturesque villages, paved streets, and huts with thatched roofs (just like how we used to draw when we were kids- more like a dream house), clear skies and unpredictable weather. London being just 45 mins away from Guildford, makes it so easy for a Sherlock fan like me to visit 221B Baker St, London (The Sherlock Holmes Museum) which is still closed because of the lockdown but it is on my to-do list.
Many people ask me WHY SURREY? Why not any other University?
When I started searching for the University, I not only wanted a decent course but also the best one too. Post researching about the various courses in multiple Universities, I got to know how prestigious the University of Surrey is, that it not just provides an extremely vibrant cultural heritage but is also ranked as the highest quality university in the UK and when it comes to my course, Information Security, the course is accredited by GCHQ. The University has its internal Indeed.com for you 😉 (we call it Surrey Pathfinder). The University is so beautiful that I can’t put into words and you do not get such a campus if you study in any University situated in the metro cities.
I know how overwhelming it is to leave your comfort zone, your people and move to an entirely new place but trust me, by the time you move here, you already know a lot of people from India and neighboring countries through WhatsApp groups, Facebook pages and interaction with the students who are currently studying here, that you feel at home within a few days of shifting here. If you’re planning to come in the September batch, you’re gonna love the snow, the rain and early sunsets (mostly 4ish) and if you’re planning for February intake, get ready to enjoy Spring, bbq by the lake (Yes, we have a lake on campus) and sunsets post 8 PM (thanks to BST :D)!