Arka Basu finds the Loughborough University a perfect ground to nurture his creative talents.

Chasing one’s passion for a successful career is a dream for everyone. But those who work towards making it possible are considered the lucky ones. I consider myself one such lucky person. Born in Trondheim, Norway, I moved to India shortly afterwards. Like most modern families, I also belonged to a nuclear family in Bangalore and went to two different schools. During this period, I acquired a penchant for creative writing, reading novels and poetry. Among these, poetry started consuming a major portion of my time, and little by little I began composing amateur verses imitating established traditional forms.

Unfortunately in India, arts have always been given a second preference after science, be it academically or professionally. To pursue arts on a full-time basis is not usually encouraged owing to fewer opportunities. Following this common trend in India, I decided to pursue a course in engineering once my schooling was complete. I opted for automobile engineering at Manipal University and continued my degree course for almost two years before realising that my heart wasn’t in it. I decided to follow my dream of studying English literature. I decided to apply for the same to a number of universities in the U.K. through the UCAS system.

New venture

I juggled through several universities but the moderate entry requirements for Loughborough University, U.K., in comparison to other universities exhibited the university’s all round student development approach as opposed to unidirectional academic improvement. This disparity between entry requirements and ranking in the top 15 universities of the UK also displayed a certain level of academic advancement awaiting a student at Loughborough University. What truly attracted me towards choosing Loughborough University were the excellent student reviews across several undergraduate forums. Carrying the title of “The Best Student Experience” for six consecutive years guaranteed that my student life at the university would be more than just academic development. Moreover, after hearing the concept of a degree programme based entirely on the graded system of marking, I was quite impressed. Loughborough University was one of the few universities that offered such a programme and this seemed perfect for me.

My initial experience at Loughborough was lukewarm. Coming from a country where the environment has always been loud and everybody knows everyone, I took some time to adjust to the new culture.

However, the staff and the student committee of my hall were extremely helpful and friendly and they also organised ice-breaking activities for new students. Gradually my social life began once I made a few friends in my course as well as outside it and life at the university was never the same again. What is remarkable is the fact that I have had the opportunity to mix with people from different cultures from all around the world. Offering a perfect balance of academics and extra-curricular activities, the university has taught me a lot and helped me develop as a person. In terms of academics, I have been lucky to be taught by some of the best professors and I have immensely benefited from their rich knowledge in the subject.

At the university, I have also had the opportunity of being a part of many societies. Here, I lead the Lip Reading Society 2013-14 (Action Project) and I am also an active member of the Archery Club 2012 – 13. The university conducts unique events such as International Day, Universal Thursdays, World Cuisine Day throughout the year.

I hope to stay in academics in the years to come and wish to continue my ventures in creative writing in the future. Therefore, my future plans are to pursue a master’s degree in English Literature, following which I wish to obtain a PhD in the subject.