Muhammad arrived at UCLan Preston in 2020 on an ERASMUS+ ICM scholarship but had to return home because of the global pandemic. He has now returned to finish his studies in Preston.
The University of Central Lancashire has been an academic haven for me. The most enjoyable part of studying BEng Mechatronics and Intelligent Machines (top-up) is the practical and laboratory work, so we can implement the theoretical topics covered in the lectures. In one of the modules, I made a smart house project which my professor commended, and it is now a showcase in the Mechatronics Lab for future students.
It seems to me that UCLan helps people from all walks of life hone their talents in a positive and safe atmosphere. I owe a debt of gratitude to my esteemed professors, especially my mentor and academic supervisor Dr Ahmed Onsy. Other notable mentions go to Dr Nathalie Renevier, Dr Hadley Brooks, Dr Ahmad Al Shaer and Essa Anas. Every day they make it their mission to guide all their students towards the path of success and they take the time to make sure we have a good understanding, whilst striving to provide innovative lessons. The academic staff also organise technical workshops and clubs, so the students can continue improving their practical skills by working on various robotic and intelligent systems and innovative solutions.
Before enrolling at UCLan, I completed a Bachelor's degree in Mechatronics Engineering at Mansoura University, Egypt. The key difference I have noticed is the availability of well-managed facilities and resources here at UCLan.
"I would say choose UCLan because it will give you the tools and guidance for your success."— Muhammad Elafifi, BEng Mechatronics and Intelligent Machines (top-up) student
Preston is one of the most peaceful cities I have ever visited and although it isn’t that crowded, you can still feel the spirit of a bigger city. The people are down-to-earth and open-minded. The city is very multicultural and filled with international diversity, making socialising exciting due to the different ethnicities from all over the world. There are many places I like to visit on a weekly basis, but Avenham Park and Preston Marina are my favourite spots.
In my time here, I have managed to explore some other parts of the UK. I spent two weeks in London, where I enjoyed visiting the iconic London Eye and the various museums, such as Madame Tussauds, the British Museum and the Imperial War Museum. I have also visited other major cities, such as Edinburgh, Blackpool, Liverpool and Manchester which are easily accessible from Preston.
Preston is a safe place to live, and I have never felt endangered walking the streets, even past midnight. UCLan Security is present around the campus streets, and there are CCTV cameras everywhere. Although I’m used to the Egyptian climate, I adapted to the rainy weather in the UK quickly!