Ewa Jankowska

Origin: Poland

Chosen University: National Center for Circus Arts

Field of study: Circus Arts

Year of Commencement: 2018

My name is Ewa Jankowska and I am 21 years old. At the beginning of last year, I decided to take a big step in my life, apply to a university in London. When it turned out that I got in, there were further doubts and challenges related to the move and the necessary documentation.

Of course, fear has a big problem. The whole process was neither complicated nor impossible to do. The edu4u organization, as well as my university, explained what steps should be taken and what to remember. They were always there to help.

I study at the National Center for Circus Arts in London. Yes, I am in a circus school and to your surprise, it is a full-fledged university with all the formalities related to it. Studying in England was one of the few options I was considering at the time. Quite quick recruitment results, a language that was already quite familiar to me then and a place in one of the best circus schools in Great Britain influenced my decision. Undoubtedly, London is an international city and therefore an international company, there are huge opportunities and connections here. Studying here and being in this "circus" family opens the door to a diverse and colourful artistic environment.

I'm in my first year. My course is only two years long and it is a Foundation Degree in Circus Arts.

Like most universities, the year is divided into three semesters and those into two halves.

School classes are held 5 days a week, on average 7 hours a day. Pretty intense, that's true, but this profession requires it. We need a properly equipped space, access to instruments and a huge amount of dedicated hours to achieve a high technical level, and after two years to be able to find ourselves in the art industry.

We are judged for our attitude and commitment, attendance and progress in a given discipline.

Numerous presentations and shows for outside audiences are part of our assessment. Written essays also appear, and they concern the history of modern dance and theatre, techniques and methods used to create and their analysis.

Let's say I'm lucky because I have a family that lives in London and it was they who offered me a safe start in the UK, providing food and accommodation before I started working and stood on my feet in a new environment. Thanks to their help, it was easier for me, I could focus on getting a job, apply for an Insurance Number, set up a British bank account, etc. A lot to think about the first time when you come to England.

Living in London is expensive, you pay much more for renting a room than outside of London, plus transport costs. This has to be taken into account and tactically approached, namely if the school is centrally located it is unlikely that as a student you will be able to find accommodation nearby that would not cost you over £ 1000 a month, but you can find a job near the school or in close to the place of residence, which will to some extent reduce the time spent on commuting and thus the costs. To reduce housing costs, you need to be ready to share a room with several people. I managed to find a job 10 minutes walk from my home, which is very comfortable. But I have to travel to school for about 45 minutes by bus, which is not the fastest solution, but the cheapest. Buses in comparison to trains and metro are twice cheaper. It's true, the journey takes longer, but why not give yourself extra minutes to listen to music, relax, watch the people and the neighbourhood. Of course, it is possible to apply for a life loan, i.e. the so-called maintenance loan, the application is quite simple and we gain a lot of money that will make our life in a big city easier. The entire loan application process is perfectly written on edu4u, so it's worth checking it out. I mentioned above that I work near home. I'm a waitress in a restaurant. Works only on weekends. For starters, I didn't get much because I started at £ 6.50 an hour and continued at this rate for the next 7 months. Tips were a big help to make my sum at the end of the month a bit positive, but if it wasn't for living with my family, I don't know if I would be able to support myself. Currently, I am at the stage of changing my job, for a better paid - 8.50 pounds per hour, and in a slightly better environment. Generally speaking, 8-10 pounds per hour is the standard salary for a student, so you have to work off your minimum work so that you can not worry about the next month.

The people at the university, from my friends to coaches and teachers, are definitely great! I feel at home when I go to school every day. The specificity of my university is based on a very small number of students, as there are maybe 60 of us in total. Everyone knows each other, they share the training and private space, because many of us live together and spend time outside the school. It feels great. As students, we have every possible form of support from our school staff. Being a student is associated with many privileges related to transport, events and social life. The school itself very often gets discounts on larger art shows, which allows us as students to participate in large events at much lower prices. Moving to England was one of the best decisions I've made in my life. The level of study and quality is completely different. Is it better? I don't know because I haven't studied in Poland anywhere, I can only rely on the opinions of my friends. I would recommend to anyone who is not afraid of challenges and wants to take a little more risk to try. It's always worth trying! If you are held back by the fear of dealing with formalities or the fact that you will be completely on your own on new ground, it is a completely normal feeling that our subconscious suggests to keep you away from changes and new challenges, and changes and challenges are only development towards your plans and dreams. There are online platforms that help in this situation, one of which I recommend is Edu4u.

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