What tips/advice would you give to next year’s students?
Planning, determination and focus are key, and I think this combination really helped me. If you wish to further your studies and acquire a postgraduate degree, you must plan well, be determined, focused and try to avoid distractions. The MSc in the UK is for one year and you’ll be expected to cover a lot within this time. For example, with my course, we had 8 taught modules, a group project and my individual thesis within that space of one year! It can be very challenging at times but if you plan well, stay determined, focused and avoid unnecessary distractions, you will be fine!!
How were you able to connect and meet with people?
In order to meet new people and connect well, I got involved in lots of things! Firstly, I stood for election as the representative of the School of Water Energy and Environment… and I got elected! This was a great opportunity as I was able to meet lots of different people, move around from one school to another, from library to the halls of residences just to meet and convince them to vote for me! It was one of the things that really helped me at the start of my program to settle down and mingle with people from diverse countries. I am glad I took this opportunity to meet and talk to people as it has really helped me, coupled with the fact that I have a social personality, I found it easy to meet new people and communicate despite the differences. I feel getting involved in this position right from the start made it easy for me to communicate with people and I also was a course representative, so that also made it easy for me to communicate with people at my school and course level. This created a lot of opportunities for me, I was a member of the Cranfield Student Association (CSA) and I was to be a member of several executives and committees such as Education Committee, Student Experience Committee and even the Senate! During my time on these committees, I have attended meetings with the Vice Chancellor and have met lots of important people. This has helped me a lot in building my oral and written communication skills. I would recommend getting involved right from the start as it can help you even if you aren’t outspoken, taking these opportunities can help build your confidence. Get involved and network.
What has been your favourite memory from studying at Cranfield?
It would probably be during the Water in Cities module where I had to do a presentation! This was the first time that I was going to have a presentation in the UK! I had to prepare so much for this task because it was worth 100% of the module mark. I was a bit overwhelmed at the beginning and nervous, but I worked hard on this and I was proud of my presentation in the end.
What have been your Cranfield highlights?
The first highlight was when I went to open my bank account. We literally got lost in Bedford, it was crazy!! I went with friends and we stood at the wrong bus stop… the way the bus system works in the UK is different to what I am used to. The bus stops are not always opposite each other, we thought the bus would pick us up at the opposite side of the road where we had been dropped off. We kept waiting, seeing the University UNO buses driving around. We were waving at them, but they weren’t stopping to pick us up! I think in total, we missed three buses! Eventually someone told us that we had to walk two minutes down the road and that is where the bus would pick us up at. That is an unforgettable memory!
I have also enjoyed visiting friends in Bedford, going on nights out and picnics! At the beginning of lockdown and once it was safe, we would meet up in the park and have a socially distanced picnic! I also enjoyed going for walks in the woodland trail on campus as well as going for bike rides! These activities really helped me to take my mind off focusing on my academic work. I visited parks in Milton Keynes with some of my friends to experience life outside of the campus and it was fun because I was able to see a lot of people, mingle more and made lots of new friends.
Are there any activities you wish you had got involved with earlier?
I love sports, especially football! So, I wanted to join the football team, but I got so engrossed in studying, classes, modules and assignments that I would normally miss the training sessions! I defiantly wished I had joined the team, but I knew my goal (haha get it!) of coming here and I knew I needed no distractions, so I didn’t join. After completing my studies here, I do secretly wish I had joined!
Are there any places in Milton Keynes, Bedford or England that you recommend people visiting?
We have a group in school called the walking society and a few of my friends were members and at the beginning of our studies, they organized trips and walks to locations across the UK.
I have been able to visit lots of different cities in the UK this year including Manchester, London, Crowborough and Cambridge. Even if you visit a new place in the UK every weekend for a year, I bet you won’t be able to visit them all!
In Milton Keynes, there are lots of nice places to eat including the Buffet Village in the City Centre and there are lots of pubs everywhere in England, for those that like to socialize! You will not have to walk too far to be able to find a new pub around villages in England!
Milton Keynes also has lots of parks where you can socialize and meet friends like Campbell Park and Willen Lake. These places are also good to cycle around!
Before the lockdown, we had created a swimming group and we would organize a place to go swimming every week. There are lots of pools in Bedford and Milton Keynes and we met up and would go swimming in the different locations to ease off stress.
There are so many places to go out and visit and explore and I would really advise the new students to do this as it helps to take your mind off the academic stress of studying and helps you meet new people and socialize.