La Sheika Campbell, our first year student from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines talks about herself and shares her IBS experience with us.
Where are you from and how did you learn about IBS?
I am from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, from the West Indies, in the Caribbean. It is rather far; it took me 24 hours to get to Hungary. I heard about IBS from my former colleagues, actually at a beach party. I wanted to come to Europe, and my colleagues said I should check out IBS, it is a good business school. So I did. I also tried other universities in my region, the University of the West Indies among them but I wanted to come out of my bubble and try something different.
How was the application process?
I applied online, I sent a letter, and within a week I was contacted by IBS, I was requested for more information. The process was very nice, the people I got connected with were very helpful. I had to scan all of my materials and send them online. The course that I was interested the most was Management with Diplomacy, so I got into contact with Mr. László Várkonyi. He was very nice, we had an interview in skype.
How did you find the visa or the residence permit process?
The Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Hon. Dr. Ralph E. Gonsalves signed an Agreement between the European Union and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on the short-stay visa waiver, which allowed me to travel visa free. So, when I was already in Hungary I had to go to the immigration office here in Budapest. Everything was organised by IBS. I had to wait for my residence permit about a month. The reason why it took so long was that they could not find my island, Saint Vincent, and made a mistake with my nationality.
How was your adjustment?
My first reaction was, “I don’t like it here.” It was cold, everyone was looking at me, I was looking at everyone, and I was like, what is going on here… After a while, I got used to it. What made the process easier was that one of my friends, who is half German half Saint Vincent, came to visit me in Budapest, we were going out with her but when she left, I was like, I am not going anywhere, I stayed in my apartment, I did not go anywhere, I was only at home and at school. But when I came to school I met some other foreign students. Meeting people from other countries was fun, sometimes from countries that I have never heard of. After getting used to the people, the culture, the temperature, which is cooler, it was getting easier. We went out to several places, we took boat trips to Szentendre, and I must say that Budapest is really beautiful at night.
How about the party life?
Party life is ok. But my cultural background is different, my music is different, so I am getting used to the music here.
What do you find the most difficult here?
The language barriers. But that is manageable as many people speak English. Then the climate. This is my first time in a cold region. I also have to step out more often from my comfort zone. I need to go out more.
Does the school meet your expectations?
For me, it is not the first time being in the British teaching system. The teachers here are highly experienced. I am now in the common first year, and I think the main aim of the first year is to get the proper basics before we move on. I must say that they are doing a great job. When I came here I knew nothing about the EU, it was not something that I studied, and I think we are making good progress.
What are your future plans?
I want to move on in the direction of management and diplomacy, international relations. I am from a small island where people say, we need to move away, we need to move away. But my goal is that I need to move away into a different experience, into a different knowledge to go back and bridge the gaps between other islands, even other continents and try to use the different techniques that bigger, more developed countries are using so that my developing island can use them to move on.
Where would you ideally imagine yourself to work?
I try to find and work for an international organization, to have a broader view of what is going on in the world. International companies have strong effects and impact on different countries. I do have a business background and I stuck more with the government but it would not be bad for me at least to try something else, technology, business, marketing. To find an international company would be more my goal. I would like to see how business, marketing and diplomacy fuse together.