Nellia Kornilova – World Englishes: Accents and Globalisation
This episode features Nellia Kornilova, a third year BA student studying European and International Social and Political Studies at UCL, International Officer at Students’ Union UCL and co-founder of the multidisciplinary blog The Gazetta. Nellia is also a member of the PsychUP for WellbeingAdvisory Board and is part of the Services and Pathways working group.
In this episode, Nellia discusses multilingualism, learning English, and the unique interaction between accents and identity. She also draws on her experience as an International Officer and voices the concerns of international students, whilst providing her own heart-warming perspectives.
Gladys Hui graduated from her BSc Psychology course at UCL last summer. Her dissertation was part of the IMPACTS projects and looked at the barriers preventing Chinese students from attending formal mental health services. She has remained an associate of PsychUP for Wellbeing and has co-designed the cultural connections buddy scheme with Lyndsey Li. This scheme aims to facilitate the formation lasting cross-cultural friendships by pairing international and UK students.
Since graduating, Gladys has been working as a Trainee Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner at Mind and is training at UCL. In this podcast she eloquently discusses her journey so far, reflecting on her cultural identity and perspectives on race. It provides fantastic insight into her experience of going to Hong Kong International School and boarding school in the UK, and being an international student at UCL. We hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we did!
SuperdiverseUCL is a podcast series funded by UCL Grand Challenges and co-hosted by Jiawei Ding and Lyndsey Li. They want to promote cultural awareness and inclusiveness through fortnightly conversations on a range of topics, with UCL students from different cultural backgrounds.
In the past few years studying at UCL as international students, we felt there was so much we could learn from conversations with our fellow students. UCL is an international university – 53% of our students come from countries outside the UK. Even within the UK student community there is lots of cultural diversity.
Conversations with people from other cultures allow us to learn about different people, giving us new perspectives, making us more curious and open-minded, and enabling us to embrace differences in the changing world. However, these opportunities are often lost.
We want to showcase and celebrate diversity, not simply label students by their race, ethnicity or nationality
Although there are calls to celebrate diversity, some students still find it challenging to engage and feel included. International students from a different backgrounds may feel out of place and find it difficult to approach new people, whilst home students have also told us they also struggle to find the right opportunities to connect with international students. These challenges may have been more significant this year, with teaching and student activities moved online because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
We have called the podcast ‘superdiverse’ because we want to showcase and celebrate diversity, not simply label students by their race, ethnicity, or nationality. We understand that everyone’s journey is unique, and we’d like to hear about the different views and stories that each individual journey has brought.
We are hoping that by participating in and listening to the podcast, students feel empowered to contribute to cross-cultural discussions in an active way. We hope our conversations will introduce you to new perspectives, and virtually accompany you at this unprecedented time.