Student stories: Renata

Discover the captivating tales of students who have embarked on extraordinary journeys at Newbattle Abbey College, as they share their inspiring stories of growth, transformation, and achievement.


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Renata's story

Renata Chudzik, Learning and Support Assistant

We recently caught up with Renata, former Newbattle student and our Support for Learning Assistant, to share her story

Why did you choose Newbattle Abbey College?

Before I started my adventure with NAC, I was a chef working late hours. Being unable to see my partner and spend proper family time with my child was one of the main reasons for choosing to get back into education. Since my Polish qualifications did not count in the UK, to change my career path, I started my education in college. My friend studied here and told me that NAC is a fantastic place to begin spreading wings. When I looked on the college website and saw that they have a SWAP course, I decided to submit my application; this was something I wanted to study.

A week before the semester started, I applied, and I had an interview two days later. My journey in NAC began two weeks after I decided to back to education.

How was your learning experience here?

Starting my education in Newbattle, my spoken language was good; however, since I did not practice writing, this side definitely needed to be brushed up. All the teachers at NAC were fantastic and very helpful. Their methods and individual approach to each student are unique. Thanks to them and their tolerance, I achieved my goal. Even though during my further education, I was diagnosed with Dyslexia in NAC, and thanks to the help of the Lecturing team, I managed to get into University without problems.

Another crucial thing to mention is that during my studies in Newbattle, I found out that I was pregnant. But I knew that everyone at NAC would support me, and I was right. After passing my last exam in May, my second son was born the next day. I will be forever grateful to everyone at NAC for their support.

What did you do after leaving Newbattle Abbey College?

After finishing Newbattle, I entered Queen Margaret University for BA (Hons) Primary Education. I continued my education for two and a half years, after which I decided to change my course slightly (for various reasons). I am currently completing my third year of BA (Hons) Education Studies and will continue my education in September.

What made you apply for the Support for Learning Assistant position at the college?

When I came across the vacancy at Newbattle, I had to apply as it was always my dream to return here! Working at NAC not only gives me incredible satisfaction but also gives me the opportunity to develop my skills. I want to help future students as I have received this help before. Because I am dyslexic, I can better understand students’ difficulties.

What would you say to anyone who is considering applying to Newbattle?

To all those who are wondering whether to apply to Newbattle Abbey College, I say: Do it. You won’t regret a single moment spent in NAC. It is an amazing place that gives an opportunity for everyone to come back/continue learning. NAC is inclusive and challenges diversity. You will meet different people here and make amazing friendships. The help of the lectures and the whole college staff is fantastic; everyone is friendly and helpful. It’s one small family.

How would you describe Newbattle Abbey College?

Supportive, inclusive and a warm welcome.

Newbattle Abbey College is a great college that prioritises the success and well-being of its students. NAC promotes a positive climate of respect, tolerance, and a sense of community. It encourages student involvement, fosters a healthy work-life balance, and supports initiatives that address social issues and promote sustainability.

Please get in touch
if you would like to share your story: