An interview with Vicky Christou– Residential Agent, Student
3rd year Greek Engineering Student, studying in the UK. Founder and president of the Hellenic Society in Swansea University. Part time resedeintial agent. And a member of the Kilo Micromouse robotics team. Say Hello to Vicky Christou!
Q:Vicky, could you please introduce yourself?
I am a 3rd-year student in Swansea University, studying Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Additionaly, I work as a Residential Assistant for Fresh student Living the past year. As well as, the founder and President of the Hellenic Society, in Swansea, since November 2013. I was born in South Africa, Johannesburg (09/07/1994), but was raised in Greece, Athens, till the age of 18 that I moved to Swansea, in order to get my degree. I consider myself a hard worker and a person that really is enthusiastic when involved in team work. Furthermore, I am capable of adjusting in most circumstances and working under pressure.
Q: What was your goal behind establishing the Hellenic society in Swansea?
My goal with the Hellenic Society, is to show non-Hellenes, our culture and history. Most people think Hellenes are all about Greek Tasty Food and Night Life. I can personally guarantee you, this is a 10% of our culture. An other reason is, that due to the fact that when I came over to Swansea there was no society and no communications between us Hellenes. I wanted people that are coming here, to find things a bit easier. At the very least they should be able speak to us so we can help them adjust. It is a support group for people that have never left the country before, and they are asked to live on there own in a foreign country at the age of 18.
Q:What does your work as a residential agent involve?
As a residential assistant, overall Responsibilities are to respond to fire alarm activations, noise complaints, out of hours emergency maintenance issues, out of hours emergencies relating to student welfare and building security. Fresh Student Living(FSL) is a service provider; providing a service to the clients whose properties they manage, and to the students who call those properties “home”. If I come to the think of it, also this job lets me help people adjust in the new life.
Q:Vicky, How do you manage your studies with a job? It sounds quite demanding.
I started working a year ago in FSL as an RAA, where I had more free time from the University, this year I am final year, so I just reduced my hours and try and arrange with the team which days are easier for me. I believe its good for a student to have a part-time job as well in order to get out of the student mode and slowly slowly welcome reality!
Q:Do you think that being a student gives you a slight edge in the student housing business?
Definitely yes. You have the management team and you have the RAA’s ( Residential Assistants). Off course a student will find it easier to speak to someone that can totally understand them (i.e. a student), than the manager for example, due to the fact that the management team most of the times handle the situations as business. On the other hand RAA will help out easier or from self experience or because can understand better the difficulty of the situation. Thus, the management team, in student accommodations, offer part time jobs to student.
Q:Any particular reason for choosing UK for your higher education?
No particular reason for choosing the UK. Actually how I ended up here is because I did not manage to get into the University I wanted back in Greece. So randomly I picked UK, mostly because I have heard that offers a really good quality of education and back home its popular. In the end, I wouldn’t change my experience studying in the UK.
Q:Do you have any tips to offer to international students looking to pursue higher education in UK?
I would highly recommend UK for studies to everyone. Due to the fact that you get the opportunity to live on your own and cope alone – always with your family support – in place where everyone in your (University) environment are “wearing the same shoes as you”. Moreover, UK is a multi-cultural country to live in and you have so many things to get from each one person that you meet during your student life.Thank you for talking to us Vicky
- On October 27, 2015