Simon arrived at UCLan in September 2019 from his native Ghana to enrol on the MSc Oil and Gas Engineering course after receiving the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship. He has been impressed with multicultural Preston and in his spare time he assists incoming international students by providing advice and answering questions.
"I chose to study at UCLan due to the precise modules offered for my course. A lot of other schools had different modules, even if the course name was the same, but UCLan offered the exact modules I was looking for in my postgraduate study. The opportunity to learn and practise software, like CMG, to develop my soft skills has been an enjoyable experience.
"I also benefitted from a class trip to 22 Bishopsgate in London, which is a 62-storey skyscraper currently under construction where we learned about the safety systems put in place – it was a very enlightening experience.
"My Tutors and Professors have been very welcoming and approachable, especially my course leader Dr Hamid Nasriani. He is readily available whenever you need him and never hesitates to give his support and encouragement. There is a vast difference between my previous education and British education, for example, my previous education was more theoretical-centred, whereas here it is more practical-orientated and will challenge you to critically think. Almost every assignment has the phrase “critically analyse” in it.
"On arrival my first impression of UCLan was that it is quite a big school with good facilities and staff to enhance your academic career. I arrived at about 11pm on campus after a long journey from Ghana to Preston. Upon arrival I was a bit worried as to where I would sleep that night because the Accommodation Department, where I should have collected my keys, had closed for the day. But the Security Team were available at around midnight and helped me to get my keys and assisted me to reach my halls of residence.
"The UCLan accommodation is very impressive and much more than I expected. I enjoy the serene and quiet environment – and of course, the Wi-Fi – all at affordable prices! Preston as a city was actually a lot more diverse than I thought in terms of nationalities. You can find almost every nationality here and it feels like a home away from home – it’s easy to make friends irrespective of your country of origin or race. You can virtually find every type of restaurant here with great food so that you won’t miss your national dishes. It is a very safe and comfortable city, where you can see police around almost everywhere. It can be very, very cold and I sometimes find myself putting on warm clothing in my room.
"Since arriving in the UK I have managed to explore the capital city London, which was cool because I saw places I have only ever seen in movies; like the London Eye and London Bridge. In my free time I go to the Sports Arena to cycle and I have also joined the International Call Centre to assist incoming international students with my advice.
"My advice to future students is: if you are looking for a school that will support you academically, socially, spiritually and are interested in your entire wellbeing and development, then UCLan is the place for you."
3 February 2020
Simon joined UCLan as a recipient of the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship. To read more about our scholarships, please visit our website here. About his scholarship, Simon said: “I was very honoured and happy to know I was selected to be part of the top three out of over 400 applicants to receive the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship."
Picture: Simon receiving his scholarship award from Vice Chancellor Professor Graham Baldwin