Prem Sai Ramani
Double Major in Chemistry and the School for Advanced Studies in Arts and Humanities
Events Committee - Spectrum UWO, President of the Events Committee - SASAH Events Committee, Volunteer - CHRW, French Club
Why did you choose Arts and Humanities at Western?
I didn't initially start in the Arts and Humanities at UWO. I entered in the Science Faculty, though I always had an inclination towards the arts, and particularly towards bridging the gap between the two concentrations and exploring the interdisciplinary world in between. Originally, my interests lay in History (and they still do), but I discovered the School for Advanced Studies in Arts and Humanities (SASAH) through one of my close friends from first year who enrolled in the programme. We would walk back from class together, and she would detail the incredibly thought-provoking and profound discussions she had in her class. It really demonstrated to me the importance of the Arts and Humanities as a careful and methodical introspection into the human condition; while science approaches that from an experimental and mathematical point of view, it's refreshing to observe it from an evocative and expressive side as well.
In my opinion, this isn't about building a CV or ticking off certain boxes, but rather a chance to discover your passion and enjoy valuable and immensely enjoyable experiences along the way.
What is one highlight of your Arts and Humanities experience so far?
One highlight of my experience so far was being part of the Vindolanda Field School, initially as a student, but then fortunately as a senior student. This experience exposed me to the world of archaeology, a field that borrows from both my chemical and historical knowledge. It has allowed me to meet a great number of amazing people from all over the world, test myself physically, mentally, and emotionally, and make deep and lasting connections with my professors and fellow students.
What are your plans after graduation?
Even I wish I knew this answer!
What advice would you give to incoming Arts and Humanities students?
My advice to an incoming student is to explore what Western has to offer during your time here. Four years flies by blindingly fast, but there is a plethora of courses, experiences, internships, and research to take advantage of. Western also offers a lot of funding to help you as well.As someone who has treated university like a grocery store, going aisle-to-aisle and sampling every department, I can tell you that even if you aren't exactly sure what your path is going to be, you can still enjoy your time here. The best way to find it is just to keep trying things!
What is the best thing about your program/department?
The people. I have heard from numerous students who look in on my programme from the outside that there is obvious comradery and friendship in SASAH. In my experience, my professors are rooting for my success and are there to help me achieve it. Many of them have been important supports for big decisions or academic problems that I have run into over my time here. Furthermore, the students in SASAH come from diverse backgrounds and have various interests. What's most important, however, is that they are all there because they are excited about the Arts and are willing to contribute in whatever way they can. SASAH is a rare learning opportunity because everyone is engaged and has a unique and very informative addition to the discussion.