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Homepage / My journey from Saudi Arabia to Cranfield and beyond!

My journey from Saudi Arabia to Cranfield and beyond!



With my background in production and design of mechanical systems, I was sponsored by my employer (Saudi Ministry of Defence) to study at Cranfield, to help further my career within mechanical maintenance through the experience I will gain from Cranfield.

What initially attracted me to the Advanced Mechanical Engineering MSc was the comprehensive syllabus. The modules aim to provide an advanced level of technical knowledge, whilst also providing industry relevant skills and experiences.

This has provided me with a wealth of knowledge and experience, not only within mechanical engineering, but also key professional skills, which could help me to further my career.

Looking back, I was unsure about the location of Cranfield to begin with, but the calming village-like environment of Cranfield mixed with the busy city life of neighbouring cities provide a balanced environment for both study and leisure. I personally found that I not only was able to be productive within my academic life, but also managed to keep myself and my family entertained within the proximity of the campus and neighbouring cities.

Family picnic

One of the great things about Cranfield University is that it provides a great amount of support to student activities, whether organisational or financial, and encourages a large number of clubs and societies, catering for general and niche interests. This support has allowed the clubs and societies to become increasingly vibrant and influential across the years. I personally am a member of the Saudi society, Islamic society, and several sports clubs – allowing me to interact with students of my own nationality, beliefs, and interests.


Cranfield University has surpassed my initial expectations as it not only offered an opportunity to expand on my knowledge of engineering theory, but also allowed me to see and try engineering concepts in a practical setting.  In my experience, Cranfield stands out from other universities by providing an array of professional skills and industry experience through an outstanding team of staff and academics.

Through Cranfield’s industry partners, I have had the opportunity to work on industry specific projects with industry supervision. This allowed me to learn the industry processes when dealing with research projects – all adding to skills that will help me develop my career.

jehad and son

An important aspect to me within Cranfield University is the availability of a vibrant mosque where I could practise my religious beliefs. I was surprised by the level of coordination between the Islamic Society and the University to organise a large Eid prayer and celebration for the students and Muslim locals. The level of respect and appreciation for the Muslim student community extends to other aspects of university provided services, such as halal food being served in every canteen or restaurant.

The best day for me at Cranfield was the group projects exhibition day, as it allowed me to work with a committed group of students and academics to produce work which was presented to fellow students, academics and industry partners. 

The most challenging aspect, was the high expectations from the academic staff which was initially difficult to adapt to, but later became a motivating factor to my studies.

If you are considering studying at Cranfield, you must be passionate, patient and ambitious about your subject to overcome the technical expectations. If you do commit to studying at Cranfield, be assured that the Cranfield experience is valued highly amongst academics and in the industry.

Jehad Abdullah Alotaibi

Written By: Cranfield University

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