Student Stories

My journey to Linguistics at the University of Westminster

The first time I was introduced to Linguistics I was already in too deep and before I knew it, I was applying to do a postgraduate course in this subject.

Low Jia Jen
Studied in University of Westminster Bachelor’s degree in TESL

The first time I was introduced to Linguistics I was already in too deep and before I knew it, I was applying to do a postgraduate course in this subject.

After completing my Bachelor’s degree in TESL, I went on a job spree, applying and hunting for teaching positions which landed in me in my first role at a home school.

While I did enjoy my days as a teacher to a small class of 10 students, I realised my lack of satisfaction in personal growth and development inhibits me from pursuing a teaching career further. Additionally, something was missing. Something we often refer to as passion, interest or calling. That was it, my passion did not lie in teaching English anymore, instead, it was analysing and researching English.

I decided to seek for opportunities to further my studies and look for a path that I truly enjoy and find challenging at the same time. To study abroad has always been a goal of mine and this time, I decided to give myself the chance and try to achieve that goal.

I started googling for scholarships, listing them down and circling those that seem a good fit. The University of Westminster’s international full scholarship was one of the top options on my list.

While I may have checked the criteria boxes of the scholarship, it was my confidence that held me back at times. I would think, what could the chances be? There would be so many more qualified candidates applying, what do I have that makes me stand out?

Looking back, I realise how normal it is to have those doubts and feelings of uncertainty. Despite harbouring these moments of self-doubt, I went through it and apply for the scholarship. Along the way, I received help and encouragement from various people and resources. My then employers were truly encouraging and graduates that I connected with gave valuable advice. I enlisted the help of education counsellors in submitting my application as well.

It was the combination of these little moments and kindness that supported me throughout the application process that may seem daunting at first (especially if it’s your first time applying, like me!), but it is not as complicated as it seems.

Westminster and I

Studying at the University of Westminster is one of my happiest and memorable times. I joined the January intake and arrived at the beginning of winter. One day while cosying up in one of the libraries, I saw snow for the first time through the window. I dashed out and built a snowman with a couple of students and just like me, it was their first time seeing snow. This is one of the beauties of the University of Westminster, besides being in central London —my campus was at Regent’s Street, just next to the famous Oxford Street — the university is also ranked highly for international outlook. I met friends from every corner of the world and it was such an amazing experience to think that our goals in education brought us together in this city, this university.

I would like to encourage students that aspire to further their studies whether locally or overseas to just go for it. Cheesy as the saying may sound, “where there’s a will, there’s a way,” there is truth in the saying. Regardless of your qualifications, financial state or any factors that you may feel not good enough or holds you back, seek for help, seek for solutions, have a little patience with yourself and know that every effort that you give is gradually leading you to your goals.

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