Little story of my Life: from Italy to London via Malaysia. Next? India!
Here I am! My first post, finally! Well I thought that the best start would be to present myself, let you know a little about who am I and what I am doing in here. Uh. Even if I study in the UK my English still is not the best in the world, so don’t border my mistakes please 😀
I am a 21 years old Italian girl, now in London, studying a BA in Development Studies and South Asian Studies (Hindi Pathway) … wired combination right?! Talking about it in an international contest is still o’ right but as soon as I explain what I do to some Italian, Oh Gosh! I think my father still hasn’t understood what I am doing …
However, before I explain a little about it, let me tell you my little story. Yah, little, simple. I am not the kind of typical SOASian which lived in Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Lybia for a while, with a French father and an American mother, has thousand amazing stories to tell and speaks already 6 languages. Mine is pretty simple, I come from the countryside of Venice, Italy, my parents are Venetians and I lived there almost my all life! The only crazy/interesting thing that I have to say is that when I was 16, I was – as usual – wasting my time on internet and I came across AFS, an exchange student association. Well, I did not wait for a second, I applied! I don’t know how I convinced my parents to let me go for a whole year … but I made it! Exchange student programs where not that common at the time!
Where did I want to go? Well, of course, INDIA!
Where did I want to go? Well, of course, INDIA! India was my goal, it had always been, I have always been obsessed with India, Hinduism and so on. I do not really know the reason behind it, but since I was a child, in the cartoons my favourite mermaid was the Indian on (Do you remember the Mermaid Melody?!)! Anyways…with AFS you cannot really choose where to go, you can give a list of 10 countries and if you are successful you will get a placement in one of these. Well, I did not get India, I got Malaysia. My second choice! Why I chose it? I looked at the world map… I wanted to go in Indonesia, but AFS was not operating there at the time or in Thailand – my mother did not let me choose it because there were some flooding going on that year – well Malaysia was just in the middle of them!!! I DID NOT HAVE A CLUE ABOUT IT, I DID NOT KNOW ANYTHING! Basically, after I got the placement I found out that the capital was Kuala Lumpur and that it was a multi-cultural country with Muslim majority! So I left, I spent the most self-developing / amazing / interesting / life changing year of my life. And yeah, after 365 exact days I came back! (Don’t worry many posts about what happened to me there will come J )
Back home I completed my high school under depression and fear of the unknown … What’s next? Everyone was choosing universities, applying here and there and studying for entry tests. My parents and everyone were keep on asking about me and what I was going to do and blab bla bla bla. I was back form the creasiest year of my life, I was still readapting to normality and, of course, I DID NOT HAVE A CLUE OF WHAT TO DO. I just knew I did not want to hear about Physics anymore and I wanted to travel. Best solution? A gap year. Yup, with no money and no plans I opted for a gap year. As soon as I completed school I flew back to Malaysia and came back to my world. There, in total peace of mind, I found my path.
My parents and everyone were keep on asking about me and what I was going to do and blab bla bla bla
I was on internet, I typed ‘’Asian Studies University’’ on Google and the first one that came out was SOAS. I FELL IN LOVE WITH IT FROM THE VERY FIRST TIME I SAW THE WEBSITE. THAT WAS MY PLACE, NO DISCUSSION. Clearly, there were many difficulties in getting there, from entry requirements to university fees, to the fact that was bloody expensive London! All these will come on my next posts!
Uh Yah! Why South Asian Studies and Development? South Asia was on my mind since always, and with the Hindi Pathway you could opt for a year abroad in India within your BA. Finally my India!!! Moreover, with the UK system you could combine two degrees. At the beginning I wanted to do International Relations but at the open day I came across the chance of doing Development as a BA. PERFECT! It sounded much more practical than Politics and it was leading to what I wanted: a life around the world aiming to change it a little bit!
So yah that’s pretty much all for my first post. As you can imagine I am pretty talkative. Just to finish this up, I want to get you a clue of what I want to write about. For sure some further posts about my stories will come: University life, what happened in Malaysia, travelling and so on … but other will be much more practical: how to get into an UK university, why being an exchange-student, getting jobs in London, surviving in London, getting into your first internship and, of course, travel tips about South East Asia!
I hope I didn’t bore you…
P.S: have a look at my Instagram if you like! ssara_manni
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