My story

It’s always hard to leave places.

But it is especially hard if the place you’re leaving is your home.

As far back as I can remember myself, I always knew that I wanted to study in London. However, coming here implied that I had to leave my family and friends and, apparently, move to another country. Courageously breaking through all the obstacles and challenges, studying for both IELTS and the so called «Russian national examination» on my last year at high school, I was making my way to my dream 3 years ago from now.

The final year flew by so fast that I can even describe it in three words: studies, exams, the prom.

And that was it.

I packed my suitcase and took the plane to my new life.

Версия 2
(c) innahovan, 2015


I often hear students describe their life in London as «busy», «overwhelming» or even «hectic». Well, my first year in England wasn’t even close to being any of it.

I studied my foundation course in a college that is located in the area of Beckenham, zone 4. It was a completely different experience, calm, domestic, picturesque, yet no less exciting.

It was a beautiful year.

For the first time in my life I got to spend so much time in trains with such spectacular views.

Out of all the important lessons and rewarding experiences that I gained in one year of college life, three of them I consider to be the highlights:

  • I learnt how to draw

Having chosen Art as one of my foundation subjects, I’ve suddenly discovered a passion for drawing. I have started to look at everyday things from a different perspective, and by the end of the course I was able to express my inner self and develop my ideas in both images and words. Looking back at it, it was a real turning point in my life because I finally found enough courage to be creative.

Processed with Rookie Cam
From my personal photo archive, Art classes
  • I went to concerts and galleries

In fact, I went to so many that I lost count.

(c) innahovan, Tate Modern, 2016
(c) innahovan, O2 Brixton
  • I met people

Whoever said ‘variety is the spice of life’ was right. London, all brimming with its diverse cultures, is an ideal platform for international communication. Needless to say, I made friends from all over the world. Some of them turned out to be not only people to hang out with but true and loyal friends I can always rely on.

From my personal photo archive, prom

College was only a starting point in my UK academic journey. Moreover, my move to London and all the endless effort put into the successful completion of the course was only for the sake of studying at UAL. Frankly speaking, I’m really, really happy and blessed to be where I am right now because I wanted it more than anything I’ve ever wanted in my life up until this point.

I remember falling in love with UAL an hour after finding out about its existence. As soon as I read the description of the colleges, I knew that was the place for me. I also remember coming to the open day at LCC in November 2015, my first ever visit to the university, and thinking «well, this is exactly how I imagined it to be». My friend and I were so elated after the event, we couldn’t stop talking about it.

Almost a year after that, here I am, living and studying in the heart of the vibrant city of London.

From my personal photo archive, Nido Tower
From my personal photo archive, Nido tower, my room












The only feeling that I had then and still have to this day is a strong belief that this is the right choice for me.

I am finally feeling completely free and comfortable.

That was my story. Thank you for reading.


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