Hi! My name is Ajda, I am from a beautiful country in central Europe, Slovenia. I’m in my second year of studying Cognitive Science (MA) at University of Edinburgh and enjoying it very much. Let me tell you my story of getting here and hopefully inspire you to be brave in achieving your dreams!
The idea of studying abroad came to mind at the end of primary school: in Slovenia that’s when you are about 14 years old. Starting the International Baccalaureate Diploma programme, I was encouraged to apply to universities abroad. I also got more confident that I could study in English.
Another decision I had to make was what to study. During my high school years there was a lot of discussions about that. Most of my classmates were leaning towards the natural sciences and medicine-related degrees because they are “more useful”, and “it is easier to find a job” etc.
At the time, Slovenia was in an economic crisis and so humanities and social sciences were not regarded very well. But when I looked past the situation in my country I found that it is not like that everywhere. I discovered the Cognitive Science degree which sounded exactly like what I wanted to study.
It’s quite expensive to study abroad! Scholarships from the Slovenian government are mainly offered for natural science and technology. That is why I applied to study biological sciences at 4 of the 5 UCAS choices.
I didn’t want to close my options so my 5th choice was Cognitive Science at Edinburgh. I loved the city and the programme so much when I came to visit for open days. When I got the offer, I simply couldn’t resist! I would hate myself if I would go study something just because the society thinks it’s better and because I would get a scholarship. I accepted the offer and faced the doubts from my family.
Planning the finances, arranging accommodation, tuition fees, transport and everything else that comes with it is a lot of work. But if you want it enough everything works out! I am here now, my family is supporting me because they know that this is what I want to do. The Slovenian government have given me a social scholarship, whilst my grandparents and my parents help me with some of the living expenses. Working as a harp tutor and as a student social media ambassador during term time and a summer job also helps and I am having the time of my life 😊