Veronika Tomilina: Finance foundation student and cheerleader

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Veronika Tomilina and I am 19 years old.  I am from Riga, Latvia.  I like studying, dancing, photography, reading and trying different crafts. Literally everything  🙂

Why did you choose to come to the UK to study?

I did not want to study in Latvia, because I think that education in the UK grants a chance for a better career opportunities. I was considering different universities from different countries such as Russia or Norway, but my final decision was UK because of Durham University.

Why did you choose Durham University?

Durham has a really good reputation and it is the only top university that accepts applicant from Latvia straight after school. Foundation year is the only gateway into getting onto a Durham University degree, so I didn’t mind doing an extra year.


Veronika (right) with a friend at one of the John Snow formal dinners

How did your Foundation year go?

My Foundation year was good. I just got my results so I can honestly say it went well and I got a first (1st). I learned a lot and I think all the skills and knowledge that I have gained here will help me in years to come.

What college are you in? Are you involved in college life?

I am in John Snow college.  I feel like I was involved but could have done more. I really like the collegiate system, but I think that all colleges in Durham vary in activities.


Veronika at a freshers week event


Are you a member of any societies or sports?

I am member of finance society, Women in Business, and  Durham University’s cheerleading team, called Durham Divas. I would like to be more involved with the Finance society, but because I go to cheerleading practice 3 times in a week I simply do not have the time.

Why did you choose cheerleading?

I wanted to do dancing, because it is one of my  favorite hobbies, and before Durham I had been dancing for 13 years. There wasn’t a dancing club that would suit my level and also I wanted to try something new, so I decided to choose cheerleading.

What is the most memorable thing about your first year in Durham?

I think the most memorable was freshers week, especially matriculation day. It was a first step towards something new in my life, new people, new prospects, new friends. Another thing which I really enjoyed was being in Durham cheerleading team. It was a completely  new sport for me and I really like it now! I met many new friends and had a very good time participating in competitions. Moreover, during the Easter holiday we went to Disneyland and took part in competition there, were we took the 1st place!! These two things made my 1st year amazing!


Divas in Disney

What can you advise to other people coming to Durham and taking Foundation year.

Just enjoy your first year, but do not forget to get all the knowledge out of your teachers because it will be very useful in the future.  Students come to university to get knowledge and the skills so that they can get a really good job after, but if students are drinking and partying every day and doing nothing there is a really small probability that they will get 1st or 2.1 in the end.  It is very important to understand what you are doing and why!


Veronika and her flatmates on Matriculation day


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