A sit down with Marta as she reflects on her year at Cranfield University
What tips/advice would you give to next year’s students?
One top tip that I would give to future students is to make sure you are getting involved in activities outside of studying. Even on weekdays I would recommend this as we have a gym on campus and societies you can get involved with and it is important to sometimes take your mind off studying and give yourself time and I find this helps me focus better! I would also like to highly recommend Friday nights in the Cranfield Student Association (CSA) bar as they are a good night out option and encourage you to meet new people. You should also take advantage of the services Cranfield offers in terms of career guidance and events put on by the University and the CSA.
Also, I would like to say that you should try and not feel nervous about meeting new people and trying new things. Remember everyone is in the same position having either having arrived in a new country or moved to a new city.
What would be your advice to students on how to meet new people and make friends?
Before you start your course, you can join lots of different WhatsApp groups via the Facebook page and talk to people before you arrive from either from your course or students who will be staying in similar accommodation to you. Also joining the gym and getting involved with societies is a great way of meeting new people and making friends with similar interests to you.
What has been your favourite memory from studying at Cranfield?
I have a lot of happy memories but one of my favourites would probably be during Induction week which was my first week on campus. Induction week was a good way to start the course as we did not go directly into classes, we went on a tour of campus as well as doing actictivites to get to know the other the students on the Agrifood courses better.
I moved from Spain and coming to Cranfield has given me the opportunity to meet people from all around the world and it has been great to learn new things about their cultures and home countries.
What have been your Cranfield highlights?
It has been my first time here in England and being able to visit London too! I have really enjoyed traveling to London and discovering places in the capital. I would recommend visiting London if you have not been before and check out all the tourist attraction and just get lost in the city!! I love walking around the city and discovering new places that you don’t expect to find!
I had also really enjoyed getting to know my professors! Sometimes we even went out for beers and it was a great chance to get to know them better and this has helped me feel more comfortable with being able to ask them questions and go to them with any problems we have.
Are there any activites you wish you had done earlier?
There are a lot of activities and classes you can join and get involved with and I only realised this a few months into the first term and I wish I had got involved with these earlier as they are really enjoyable as well as being a great way to meet people! During Induction week there is an event you can attend where all the different societies present themselves to all the new students, I did not get involved with a society at the start, but I really wish I had! I really like the music society and I am looking forward to joining in September as they have lots of activities planned throughout the year.
I would encourage students to get involved! It is a great way to meet people and you are only at Cranfield for a short time and you should take every opportunity that is offered!
Are there any places in Milton Keynes, Bedford or England you would recomend visiting?
In Milton Keynes there in the Centre MK which is a shopping centre and there is everything there that you could possibly ever need, there are also some lovely parks which I would recommend exploring! We are very lucky here at Cranfield to be surrounded by nature with forests and lakes where I enjoy going for walks. In Bedford there are some lovely spots to go for a walk and discover the old town. Also there are good transport links to Oxford and Cambridge which are good places to plan day trips. One day I hope to travel to Wales and explore more of the nature and environment around there and go trekking around the Snowdonia National Park. I am staying at Cranfield after my MSc to complete my PhD so hopefully in the next 3 years I find some time!!
Getting around England is very straight forward and there are lots of different transport options from trains, buses, taxis and lots of places you can cycle to. I would recommend students looking out for the student rail card which gives you a 1/3 off train prices and there is also something similar for travelling by coach. There are two big train station in Milton Keynes and Bedford which can get you into the middle of London in just half an hour!
Have you got any top tips in terms of must haves to pack before you arrive?
I wished I had rented a bike! There are so many places to cycle to around Cranfield and having lived in the village it would have been nice to cycle to lectures or to Bedford or Milton Keynes.
Before I arrived at my accommodation in Cranfield village the landlord had sent us a list of everything that was in the house so that we knew what we needed to pack so that we didn’t forget anything or bring something that was already provided! I was quite lucky that our house basically came with everything, but there are lots of shops around that you can buy things or get things delivered once you arrive.
The winter weather in Spain is similar to England so I already had my coats and umbrellas prepared but they are should be on your ‘to pack list’!! On the 27th September 2019 I was on the beach next to Barcelona and it was very hot! On the 28th I arrived for the first time here at Cranfield and I remember wearing my coat and it was quite cold!! I am glad I remembered that I was prepared with an umbrella and coats, as another housemate of mine was already in the house and before arriving I asked her about the weather.
I have really enjoyed studying at Cranfield for my MSc and am looking forward to starting my PhD!
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