Share Your Story – Ana

Share Your Story – Ana

My name is Ana Bursac. I come from the small country called Serbia but I have been living in London for more than four years. Currently, I am in the fourth year of undergraduate studies at the Royal College of Music. I came to London to get the best education, to gain experience and to meet new people. My country is great for many reasons but I knew that other schools in Europe would offer me a better education, when it comes to my piano playing and musical knowledge. Above that, I knew I would have far more performance opportunities, if I chose to study abroad. The Royal College of Music is one of the top music conservatoires in Europe with an extremely high reputation. Most of their graduates and professors are world-leading musicians and I had the chance to hear them myself. Thus, applying to study at the RCM seemed like a great idea for a curious and ambitious eighteen-year old girl who was dreaming about playing for the bigger audience. The audience who appreciates and understands the beauty of the classical music.

Before entering in my third year of undergraduate studies, I found myself in a bad financial situation and I could not afford living in London anymore. Nevertheless, I received the wonderful opportunity to live in a student accommodation called Lee Abbey London for free for the whole academic year. Not only I got the scholarship for the last academic year but for this year as well, which was unbelievably generous. Having my accommodation fees covered was a huge stress relief for my family and the main reason why I chose to live in Lee Abbey London. I cannot explain how lucky and grateful I felt when I received these opportunities, since the accommodation provides food, practice rooms, and is located in the most beautiful area in London which is a fifteen-minute walk from my college.

When I was on the plane to UK last September, silly it may sound, I thought: “I have a strong feeling that this year is going to be a great one.” I did not know what to expect from the new accommodation but I came in with a very positive feeling. The instinct has proven to be completely true, since last year in Lee Abbey has been the best year in London. I would have never dreamt that I would meet so many kind, talented and hard-working people at one place. These people showed profound care and love throughout the whole year, by always being there to give advice and comfort me. We created a lot of unforgettable memories which made our friendships so strong and I know they will last for a long time.

What I enjoy about Lee Abbey the most is the friendly environment and the idea of being part of the community. Lee Abbey is promoting this idea so well, by creating variety of events (Quiz night, Formal Dinner, Bonfire Night, Jam session…) which make the elevating atmosphere, bringing people closer to each other. This student accommodation differs from many others because it recruits people from all over the world to be part of their Christian community. I like that the community is very international and you get to meet people with the most interesting backgrounds. These staff members are mostly students or the people who are not much older than us, who came to London to gain experience. They share similar interests as us so we get along easily. Since we do not experience the barrier between residents and staff, everyone feels comfortable and part of one big family.

I will never be able to express my gratitude enough for receiving the scholarships for two years consecutively. I have to say that Lee Abbey did not just help me financially but shaped me into a more mature person who has the better image of her future. “Travel far enough, you meet yourself.” This incredible journey was possible, because I have been living here. For me, Lee Abbey represents much more than just the halls with delicious food and amazing facilities. It is my home where I do not have to pretend who I am. The community accepts you just as you are and it teaches you how to be more generous, thoughtful and loving. That is what makes Lee Abbey so special and I will never forget the time I spent here.