Eliane Soedirman

Eliane Soedirman is a French-American master's student at the Royal Academy of Music and a recipient of a Goodenough International Scholarship.

Being at Goodenough College has so far been like a dream, and the Scholarship makes it even better because it means I really have time to work on my music, and to try to do musical things at and for Goodenough. After four years in a student residence with tiny kitchenettes and no socialisation space, I finally understand some of what the “college experience” is supposed to be, AND with more mature and less reckless people.

As a French-American master’s student in cello, I’m meeting people from everywhere,  who do all sorts of different things. It reminds me that people who don’t study music exist, which is quite nice. And besides that, the green spaces, the culture everywhere, being able to walk to the Royal Academy of Music: life is good here.

We are living in a very strange time and being at Goodenough has helped me keep sane and still have a social life while respecting all the rules to mitigate the danger of COVID-19: social distancing, wearing masks, and the “rule of six”, etc. And, it’s really nice to know that I won’t be totally alone for another lockdown or if I do fall ill. Everyone at the College is quite nice and it’s a joy making friends and being able to talk about other things than music at meal time (it’s also nice to know there is dinner, and people to talk to, when I get back from rehearsals – and I don’t have to stop and shop and cook and clean before I get to relax, or work more.

Pretty much every night, along with a few friends, I get to meet at least one new person from all over the world. I am very happy to be at Goodenough, honoured to have gotten this scholarship, and very appreciative of what it gives me: time to work, time to make friends, and fewer financial worries.