Inbetween: Countries & Cultures #4 – From testing waters to finding feet

Nayonika Ghosh Nayanika Chatterjee

May 25th, 2021 4:41 min read 1289 words

Inbetween: Countries & Cultures, is a space for candid discussions around transient identities as individuals move to a new country of residence. In this space, the individuals share some anecdotes from their life and experiences as we make our way through a new space, culture and society.

Nayanika Chatterjee is an animator/illustrator based in New Delhi and London. With a background in political science and work experience in multimedia journalism, she is especially interested in personal narratives in the form of documentary animations. She is currently pursuing her masters in animation at the Royal College of Art in London. Through this conversation, Nayanika answers the questions posed to her by painting an honest picture of the challenges of pursuing an education in the UK through the eyes of an international student from India.

Do you intend on living and working abroad after your education? If so, how does this affect your present? How and what are some steps or changes that you presently taking or embodying for facilitating this shift?

I would love to work abroad, however, I would want something concrete before I move to London to start working there, rather than spending time looking for a job. Money has become a major concern for me. After having spent a lot of money on tuition fees, I am constantly looking at ways to save up before I plan to make any major move. Covid has affected every decision I make now, and in some ways, I’m being more careful about what I decide to do next. I want to venture into independent animation and maybe doing that in London might not be the most viable option right now.

How has living through a pandemic in your abroad affected your relationship with that space?

My landlord was of no help at all and did not reduce the rent even a little bit. I was paying rent for 6 months while I was in Delhi, so my feelings towards housing/landlords are pretty negative. I feel like the UK government, college administrations and housing bodies are all highly uncooperative and don’t try to see things from other people’s perspectives. In my opinion, I wouldn’t advise people to study in the UK unless they have a solid scholarship option.

How is your life abroad different from your life at home?

Life abroad is very different from life at home. My immediate feeling when I reached London was that the atmosphere was colder, people liked to keep to themselves and not really engage with others. This was poles apart from my experience in Delhi, where I am used to having conversations with cab drivers, auto rickshaw drivers, neighbours, security guards.

How have your social interactions changed/evolved?

It did take me a while to get used to the way people interact in London. It was probably the only thing that took me a few weeks. This was an observation I made of those who have been living in the UK for a while. I had a new understanding of space and maybe that’s why my circle contains people who have a different definitions of space, closeness and interactions.

    Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s.