IFP alumna Adhishree Adulkar, who hails from Pune in India , is currently completing her BA in Comparative Literature at Queen Mary. As part of Queen Mary’s Study Abroad Programme she had the opportunity to spend the first semester of her second year at the University of Toronto in Canada, one of many top ranked universities around the globe which are possible Study Abroad destinations for Queen Mary students. Here she reflects on her experience.
The melting pot culture of Toronto can be experienced to its fullest at the University of Toronto. The university of Toronto provides a world class quality of academics. With its exceptional faculty, the experience of learning is highly stimulating. What I found most interesting, especially in relation to my course, was how the modules pushed conventional boundaries. An example of this, was a module called ‘Canons and Canonicity’ that I studied during my time there. Being a student of Comparative Literature, I have always been used to thinking of Literature within the boundaries of texts, such as, novels, short stories, poems. But in that particular module, we looked at how these boundaries can be pushed and how canon formation in art, sculpture, music, pop culture, can be studied alongside literature, how there can be a distinct spillover between the two, and the symbiotic relationship of how the two influence each other.
While it is undeniable that the experience of a foreign country and a new university is enriching, it can also be intimidating and difficult at first. Nevertheless, I do earnestly believe that the benefits outweigh the initial discomfort. The university of Toronto also has an exceptional student union body that conducts a variety of activities that one can get involved in. During my time there, I was involved in writing and directing a modernised adaptation of Pirandello’s play ‘Six Characters in Search of an Author’, which was an opportunity that I greatly appreciate.
The experience of studying abroad therefore, has made me more confident. It has also taught me to be able to think more deeply about some elements of my modules. And lastly, it has also given me exciting stories and memories surviving the extreme Canadian cold!
You can find out more about the varied opportunities offered by the Study Abroad Programme at Queen Mary here.
Congratulations to the QMUL IFP debate team, who emerged victorious from the tightly-contested annual debate against their King’s College IFP counterparts. The judges awarded the win to Queen Mary based on superior use of rhetoric, as they argued against the motion that Brexit and the election of Donald Trump show that democracy no longer functions in the Western world. Well done to Rafi, Kashef, Faris, and Isabela for representing Queen Mary and making us all proud.
Alice May from KCL introducing the two teams at the start of the debate.
The two teams posing before the judges’ verdict was announced. QMUL UCAS co-ordinator Will Hutton stands proudly in the middle of the IFP debate team.
IFP student Kasira Tippayarat (Pap) has really impressed us with her artistic ability this year. Pap comes from Thailand and says that drawing is her passion.
Pap’s welcome to the IFP at Queen Mary
Pap sketched the exterior of the Imperial War Museum while visiting for a History field trip
Illustration by Pap
I first met Abdullatif Ghazi while hunting for a place to sit in the Mile End Library during a busy lunch hour. It was pure coincidence that I sat down at the same table as him that day. After polite conversation, I found out that he was part of the 2016 International Foundation Programme cohort. Yet, the most astonishing fact was that he was a prodigy with the clarinet, having over a million views on YouTube.
I decided to grasp this opportunity to interview Abdullatif for the IFP Newsletter to reveal him as a gem hidden in the heart of QMUL. In an interview, and later, I found out more about this amazing person who is now a QMUL undergraduate in the Politics Programme.
Being a contestant who received the Golden Buzzer in the popular show, Arabs Got Talent, Abdullatif has nearly 2 million views on one of his videos on YouTube. In the interview, he disclosed that he was self-taught in the clarinet in the beginning and began playing the instrument about 7 years ago. From then he has given performances in various countries over the world such as Kuwait, Egypt, Morocco and UK to mention a few. He describes his music to be a mixture ranging from Turkish and Arabic music to jazz and even Eastern European style. Today apart from performing concerts, he has also has his heart set on a T.V show
His most music project was “Mother”. He dedicated this music to his family who supported him through thick and thin. They allowed him to be independent despite his disability, even allowing him to travel alone when he was merely 13 years old. He says due to his actions, he never felt as though he had a disability.
He says that balancing his love for music and performing and his school life is difficult. However, he believes that he will always choose his studies, although he is not sure what the future will behold.
This interview with his was heart-warming. It is important for everyone to be aware that if one have their heart set on something it is always achievable. Yet education and family should always be a priority but this does not mean one should give up on their dreams.
Written By: Kiki Hana
Illustration By: Pap
Abdullatif (far left) with fellow IFP students on a Geography field walk, and below appearing on Arabs Got Talent
Alexander Kristallis completed the IFP in July 2014 and then went on to read Law and Politics at Queen Mary, graduating with a 2:1 in July 2017. After four years in the UK, Alexander is now based in Washington DC, where he has just started a master’s degree at Georgetown University (pictured). Alexander found the IFP academically stimulating and personally rewarding and is still very much in touch with a wide range of friends from all over the world whom he first met on the IFP.
He is enjoying his studies at Georgtown although he has to admit ‘they have me very busy.’
You can read more about Alexander’s experiences on the IFP here.
The International Foundation programme was by far one of the best decisions I have made, for both academic and personal reasons.
[W]hen the short year is finished and you move on to further academic education, you begin to truly realise how valuable the programme was in shaping your career, interests, and friendships.
Joel Tan from Malaysia did the IFP in academic year 2012 to 2013 and has very fond memories of his time at Queen Mary. After the IFP, Joel completed an LLB at the University of Leeds, graduating with a 2:1 in July 2016. While an undergraduate at the University of Leeds, Joel also found time to work as a reading volunteer at a local primary school with Learning Partnerships. He then did his Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) – a postgraduate course for law graduates for aspiring barristers – at City, University of London. Joel is now halfway through his first semester on an LLM at London School of Economics.
I’m enjoying LSE so far! The course is intellectually stimulating and the lecturers are very passionate and helpful.
I must say the demographics of the course is extremely diverse. For e.g, one of my class had 14 students and all 14 came from different countries!
Joel is clear that Queen Mary’s IFP helped him develop the skills and confidence to achieve his goals. You can read more about his experience on the IFP here.
Twenty-nine IFP Alumni graduated from Queen Mary in July 2017 with four students achieving first class degrees and eighteen achieving a 2:1. These students completed the IFP in 2013-2014 and a number have taken the time to look back on their IFP experience here. Thevinth Sivagnanam from Italy recalls his time on the IFP as ‘one of the most crucial experiences of my life’ which gave him ‘the confidence and the skills to succeed.’
The thing that I liked the most is how friendly and helpful the whole IFP environment was, small classes where everyone was a friend with everyone and willing to help the others like a big multicultural family.
I still remember when I moved from Milan to London, I could barely speak and understand English. I used to nod to everyone who was speaking to me even if I could barely understand them, that’s how bad my English was.
Thevinth plans to find a job in the banking sector or with a hedge fund or in consultancy.
We have many talented students on the IFP, and it’s great to be able to share some of the excellent work that they produce for us. Our Business Management and Marketing lecturer Deborah was so impressed with this video submitted by John Choong that she wanted to share it as a model for future students to aspire to. Business students had the choice of submitting this particular piece of work as a written report or as a video. John is a keen film-maker (as his excellent Youtube channel attests) and jumped at the chance to communicate his understanding of supply chains through the medium of video. Enjoy.
QMUL IFP students choose to do a wide range of exciting degree programmes after their foundation year at QMUL. Iris Mauricio completed the IFP in 2015 and used her foundation certificate to get onto a very well-regarded Creative Writing degree at Brunel University London. Now in her second year at Brunel, Iris has recently become the British Council’s undergraduate Student Ambassador for the Philippines. Within this role, Iris is writing a series of posts for the British Council website about her experience of studying in the UK. Iris is a talented writer, so please do read her posts, which you can find here. You can also see footage that Iris shot as an IFP student being used in this video re-edited by Mark Bell for the QMUL Youtube channel.
Ilyada Coruk, from Turkey, completed the IFP in 2015 before progressing to a degree in Politics with Business Management here at QMUL. She was an excellent student on the IFP and made a significant contribution to the programme, not least as course rep. Ilyada is a great example of an individual who enhances her studies (and no doubt her experience of life in the UK) by engaging in personal development opportunities outside of the classroom. Ilyada is currently at the end of the second year of her QMUL degree, and she is also doing a marketing internship with a software company called ProFinda in London.
Ilyada is a wine enthusiast, and managed to turn her passion into an opportunity to learn and develop transferable skills last September with an internship at Castello di Roncade in the North East of Italy. Ilyada wrote a fascinating account of her internship, which can be found here via Linkedin. The article was originally featured, along with the photograph above in Castello di Roncade November issue 2016.