Making use of opportunities abroad

Campus abroad

Making use of opportunities abroad

The main reason behind my decision to study abroad was the fact that India still does not make it easy for students to make a switch in fields. After completing an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering, I wanted to pursue post-graduation in Civil Engineering. I came to the University of Glasgow because the course structure I am studying is welcoming of students from diverse backgrounds. After almost a year of study, I strongly believe it was a sound decision.

Right from the application stage till I entered my first classroom, there was step-by-step guidance from the friendly staff of the university. Moreover, the university has representatives in cities all over the country, making course information easily accessible to students. In addition, there are visits by international officers from the university to a few major cities in India, where they offer on-the-spot admissions and if appropriate, academic scholarships as well. I was privileged to receive a scholarship of 3000 pounds as an academic excellence award. The university staff is very cooperative and helpful in answering any questions that students might have. “Web Chat” sessions organised by the international office from time-to-time were particularly helpful.

The process of ‘do-it-on-your-own’ is greatly emphasised here. The structure of the curriculum encourages students to develop their analytical skills. I assume this is because once we step out into the industry, the decisions we make will have an impact on society as a whole. Students are expected to put in a lot of independent effort into assignments and projects. So many a time, there is no unique correct answer. There could be several right answers. This is one area I think that differs from Indian pedagogy, where the correct answer syndrome looms large over every classroom session. It’s the approach that matters, more than just the final solution.

Apart from the knowledge gained, I have grown as an individual, and this comes only by living independently in a different environment. The multi-cultural background of students from diverse nations helped me immensely in understanding other students and developing a bond that will last a lifetime.

The university campus has me in awe even today. It is a unique blend of state-of-the-art buildings with traditional Scottish architecture which is symbolic of the progress made with time but keeping intact the reminiscence of the past. The environment here on campus is absolutely vibrant.

The university has one of the best libraries in Europe with a wonderful view and the perfect place for bookworms to snuggle. For others who like to balance studies with extra-curricular enjoyment, there is no dearth of activities organised by the students’ bodies or the trips and events organised by the international society. Name it, and it is right here from sports to literature to music to theatre.

The university also has a ‘Careers Service’ department where students can seek help in preparing CVs, or get quick coaching for job interviews which is a great service for international students who are applying for jobs in the UK.

In the course of my stay, I have realised that apart from the quality of education, the living environment plays a very important role. Glasgow is a wonderful city to be in; it is rightly called the City of Music. A few hours’ drive from Glasgow will take you into the beautiful and majestic highlands of Scotland where nature is preserved in its best form.

Yes, being away from home may not be easy, but there are lots of Indian societies and temples/gurudwaras/mosques around the campus so the environment is almost the same as back home.

I would strongly encourage prospective students to take the leap and make the best use of the plethora of opportunities here.

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