Celebrating the universal language of music: first-year Music Scholar Faith Chan reflects

The University of Kent has a wonderfully diverse, international community, including many overseas students involved in its music-making; amongst this year’s Music Performance Scholarship students is first-year Faith Chan, from Malaysia, reading Law. I asked Faith about the reasons for her coming to Kent, and about her musical experiences so far this year.

Being an international student is undoubtedly a unique experience – having to adapt to different culture in a foreign country is both eye opening and challenging. Deciding to come to the UK was an easy choice for me – my father completed his tertiary education here and my brother is currently completing his third year in Durham University. The UK is generally a popular choice for university education in Malaysia, and those who have experienced it have always given positive feedback about their time here.

Faith Chan (l) with members of the cello section at the Cathedral Concert
Faith Chan (l) with members of the Orchestra in the Crypt of Canterbury Cathedral

I chose to read law in the University of Kent because it is very much an intellectually stimulating course – having previously studied both science and humanities subjects I have had a taste of both worlds and I enjoy the mind-twisting challenge that this course provides. Furthermore Kent Law School is a critical law school, offering an exceptional view and approach to law, not just focusing on legal rules and principles. This will help immensely when I return to Malaysia, as the Malaysian Legal System is closely related to the English Legal System, but is by no means identical.

I am particularly enjoying my experience here as a student as my hobbies are catered to very well – as a music scholar I take part in many of the music events organised here in Kent. Music has always been an important part of my life; the symphony orchestra was a huge factor in my choosing to study in this university. In the six months or so I have been here, I have taken part in multiple performances with the Orchestra and String Sinfonia, including being in the orchestra for Verdi’s Requiem in the beautiful Canterbury Cathedral. These are valuable memories I will certainly cherish and I look forward to the many more to come! I am also lucky enough to receive music lessons for my cello-playing right here on campus as part of my music scholarship. It is wonderful to realise how universal the language of music is – it is enjoyed and appreciated similarly all over the world. There is no doubt that music draws people together!

The cello section after the orchestral concert in the Colyer-Fergusson Hall
The cello section after the orchestral concert in the Colyer-Fergusson Hall

Having come close to completing my first year, I truly feel that I will enjoy the rest of the time I have left here in the University of Kent – I have had the chance to meet many different kinds of people and forged many unusual friendships, all while pursuing and fulfilling my passions.

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