Eleni Papadopoulou, BA Digital Media Communications, has benefited from the supportive community at Royal Holloway
Why did you choose Royal Holloway?
I chose to come here because it’s one of the few universities that offers this course, and at the time it was a very new course. I was looking for a university with a campus life. I’m from Jordan and I’m away from my family for three to four months at a time so I wanted an environment that would be comfortable for me with everything close by and was safe – that was important for me and my parents.
What do you like about the Department of Media Arts?
The academic staff are fantastic and extremely supportive. Some people think the professors are just here to do a teaching job but they are so much more. They hold student/staff social events which you never get to do at school. You get to have a chance to chat and share a pizza with a professor and they are so encouraging and look out for you. For example, I had a hard time with the computer science part of my course at first but I’ve able to speak to my professor and he was able to connect me to two PhD students. The extra help has helped me catch up. The academic staff really push you forwards as well as teaching you.
What is your favourite thing about being a student at Royal Holloway?
One of the best things about this university is you really feel everyone, from the academics in your department to the students’ union, is there for you. I was concerned at first about being an international student. I was worried I wasn’t going to fit in because I was from a different background but I was pleasantly surprised at how many international students go here and how easy it was to fit in. What really helps me stay involved are the emails that keep me up to date with everything that’s going on. In the first week there was lots of information about how to get involved and there’s plenty more on the student intranet and social media too.
It’s been easy to join in with a lot of different activities and events. There are societies to accommodate everyone. I joined the Middle East Society, Amnesty, Media Arts Society and the Computing Society. I’m also a student ambassador and a course rep. It’s meant I’ve been able to meet lots of other students, home and EU as well as international.
What is the student life like?
The societies and the staff have really helped me settle in really well. I can still do what I like to do outside of my studies and find people who come from similar backgrounds as well as meet lots of new people who I’ve got connections to in other ways. It’s been really supportive.
We are here to study but there’s support for life in general at Royal Holloway to help you succeed. It can be hard being so far away from my parents but the staff have been so supportive it’s like they act as your family.