British Council IELTS became my ticket to studying abroad. Here's how –

The other day I was sitting by a lake close to my university campus in UK thinking about what brought me here.
I recalled when I first studied psychology in grade 11. Learning about emotions, memory, and how our mind works, and of course, the impact these have on our everyday lives.
At that very moment, I had decided that I wanted to continue studying psychology and my journey began. It is a very competitive and strenuous field, therefore, after my bachelors I applied for my masters abroad to specialise in my favourite subject.
While shortlisting universities, my focus was on finding universities which offered courses that aligned with my academic and career aspirations. I soon came up with a list of shortlisted universities, and at this stage, I stumbled upon the idea of signing up at British Council for my IELTS.
The IELTS test is a requirement for securing admissions in universities abroad; so I started preparing for it. I decided to take my IELTS with British Council because they offer preparation resources from global English language experts.
I also took a free demo of the IELTS test at home which is available on the British Council website for anyone who is anxious about how the actual test will happen; it really eases down the nervousness.
The best part for me was that British Council had announced a prize of Rs600,000 for IELTS candidates who secured an admission abroad, to help them with potential struggles because you never know what financial obligation may turn up when you are there.
I would say they literally moved me closer to my dream of studying psychology abroad with this empowering initiative.

IELTS with British Council is much more than just a test! They provide students with special test material to get them a solution for their exact learning challenges.
Talking about challenges, trust me being an international student is not an easy task. Sprinkle this situation with a bit of Covid-19, and it only gets more challenging. Due to this, I was a bit hesitant but soon after reaching the UK and quarantining for 14 days, the settling down was not as difficult as I had expected it to be.
I was lucky enough to have helpful and kind flat mates, which made a lot of difference. Fortunately, I also had in-person but socially-distanced classes on campus which were always a pleasant experience, and quite a luxury during the pandemic.
My research is also in-person, which was a struggle to achieve, but I am grateful to have been able to carry it out.
There are struggles but there are also highlights! Just like with anything else in life. And of course, how can I not talk about food? Fortunately, the UK is very culturally diverse and homes a good chunk of South Asian population, so accessing desi halal food was not a struggle at all.
As I work on my dissertation and look forward to returning home soon, I realise that how wonderful it was to have an organisation like the British Council play a supportive role in my academic journey.
To everyone with an academic dream, the British Council IELTS test is there to support you in achieving it.
So, go for it! And be prepared to cook, clean, and do your laundry once you are here!
Muzna Shehzad is a psychology student currently pursuing a degree in the UK
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