Reaction of International Students to the WorldStory Oral History Project
Sharing their story
The WorldStory archive is made up of stories from students from around the world. A number of students that have taken part in the project over the years have highlighted some of their thoughts about what it was like to take part and share their experiences.
Students who have taken part in WorldStory
Kiran Sharma, Malaysia
I am so glad that the University has such a fantastic project where it captures the stories of its students. It was wonderful talking to you about my family, childhood, school, university, and work and of course the cultural and religious impacts throughout my life.
Though I am no Mother Theresa or Tony Blair, I had always visualised someone writing my autobiography. Your fantastic project is akin to writing my autobiography and believe me, the interview gave me immense satisfaction of having 'achieved' this visual which has been lingering in my head for a long time. Thank you, thank you, thank you…
Thank you also for making the interview session most enjoyable. It felt like being interviewed by a Christiane Amanpour or Nick Robinson but in a very calm, comfortable and warm way - I like your style of making a person feel as if they are talking to an 'old friend'.
Naa Addo, Ghana
I truly enjoyed the interview. I felt appreciated as an international student and as a person. Contrary to what I expected, you did not read out generic questions to me from a sheet of paper. The interview just flowed like a good conversation. I appreciated that very much because it made me relax and feel at ease to express myself even better.
Apart from the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed myself, I believe I gained a little more of a sense of self worth and confidence after the interview. Just knowing that I was able to express myself well and not blank out or stutter was a good feeling. I had a couple of laughs during the interview as well. The mere act of telling my story, recounting and remembering how far I've come was good therapy.
As you might expect, my course sometimes gets pretty demanding and it seems hard to obtain that training contract that would eventually enable me to become a Solicitor. This is enough to get a person feel down and blue. However, after the interview I left feeling rather invigorated because I realised that by God's grace, I have come too far to feel like giving up.
Ashlesha Shukla, India
Life seems to be moving on in a fast-paced lane. Years have flashed through my eyes within seconds during the WorldStory interview. Memories never die.
Thank you WorldStory team for bring my golden memories back to life.
Polina Lukina, Kazakhstan
The most valuable aspect about the interview is that I was able to tell about my home country, Kazakhstan. Many people have never heard about that country. So I hope that my story will help to promote some knowledge about the culture of Kazakh and Russian people in our University!
I am very glad to participate in that kind of research as I think it will help people understand the issues and problems that international students face during their stay in the UK!
Megan Webber, Canada
The interview was a good opportunity to look back on how my life has changed, particularly in the year or so since I moved to the United Kingdom. When undergoing a big transition, you often don't take the time to step back and reflect on how that transition has altered your outlook and character.
As a PhD student, I also often think that I lead quite an uneventful life, but doing the interview has shown me that perhaps there is more interest in my life than I at first thought.
Triet Le, Vietnam
I would like to thank you and your team for giving me a chance to join your WorldStory programme. It was an interesting experience, a precious chance for me to think about my life in the past, now and even the future.
At first, I decided to join your programme just as a chance to improve my English communication skill. However, it helped me more than that and I truly appreciate it.
Leonardo Scazzocchio, Italy
Taking this interview helped me in re-analyzing all the things I've done before and after moving to the UK to start my new academic experience at the University of Hertfordshire.
I felt very comfortable in talking with the interviewer - he was always very accommodating and the questions were always stimulating. All of this made the interview itself both interesting and fun to take part in.
While being interviewed, and while talking about all the things the interview brought up, I realized there were so many things I wasn't sure of (regarding the story of my family, or some more social related issues regarding my country) and this really made me think about going back and researching all the stuff I wasn't sure of or that I didn't know at all.
Shivam Arora, India
It was a unique experience in the sense that I had never given much thought to my past, until I was asked to talk about my story and my life in India. It was refreshing to have had the chance to do this and discuss a range of topics - from family heritage, to how I came to study in UK, to my future plans.
The whole process gave me a sense of appreciation for my past and present and most importantly left me with a higher sense of self-worth and self-esteem.
Mira Sara Eskestrand, Norway
I really enjoyed being interviewed. It made me feel like people are interested in my story and that my story can help other students who feel the same way as I felt after I moved to UK. My interviewer was really nice and helped me whenever she saw that I was stuck. I am glad that I could contribute with my story.
Dennis Relojo, Philippines
It was my first time sharing so much about myself in an interview - I think it is somehow a unique and liberating experience. WorldStory is a great project, which is why I decided to take part in it.
Wei Hsuan Lin, Taiwan
I was blessed by this interview experience personally. At first, I wasn't so sure about what to talk about, but I just want more people to know about Taiwan, my home country, which is so unique and not known by many.
During our interview, I found that those questions and topics prepared by the team were very polite, but also meaningful to the interviewee as a person. For example, I remembered I was asked about what was the difference between education system and learning experience between UK and Taiwan. And after this rational analysis question, I started to think of lots of history which happened in my life... about learning English and my motivations since childhood. It was really meaningful to me. I remember that my interviewer told me she was very impressed by how far I've gone to actually be here at the University of Hertfordshire. It encourages me a lot and also gives me different perspectives for seeing myself and my journey of life. I appreciate it so much.