Moving to Preston with Salim Al Habsi
BEng (Hons) Fire Engineering – 2nd Year
Originally from Oman, Salim has immersed himself into life in Preston so much that he and his family are considering keeping a property here for summer visits once his studies have concluded and they have returned to Muscat. Sponsored to study at UCLan by Orpic (Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Co), Salim is appreciative of the opportunities given to him and values the knowledge he is gaining on the Fire Engineering course that will help him repay the company with his work and expertise once he is qualified.
"At first it is scary going to a new country where everything is different, but I came to UCLan because it is the best university for my field – Fire Engineering. I soon settled and I had two friends who were already here which helped. The most special part of my time in Preston so far has been getting to know a new culture because I am not from here. I have really enjoyed the people, the environment and the food.
I live here with my wife and 10 year old son and after I have graduated and we have moved back to Oman we would like to own a property here in Preston for summer visits – we like it very much!
In my spare time away from studying I spend time with my family, such as walks in Avenham Park. My son plays football for a team in Ribbleton and I like to play with friends too. We have also visited numerous places around the UK, including Liverpool, Manchester and London, but our favourites are Bolton Abbey and Windermere.
Before I came here I was given the wrong impression that British people can be rude but it is extremely friendly. Preston is better than the bigger cities because there are so many different cultures here. For me as a Muslim I have had no issues feeling at home - I can find Mosques locally and there’s Halal food available everywhere.
The environment of study is very helpful here at UCLan; the University is the whole city and the whole city is the University. Although it is totally different to what I am used to, I really enjoy the way of teaching and my classes. Most of the students are younger than me because I have worked for 10 years in between my last studies in Oman and now, but it is not a problem. One module required IT techniques that I didn’t know but I was able to get the appropriate training from The <i> in the library and the staff there helped me a lot. The communications between the Tutor and the student are a lot more than what I am used to back home.
If you want to study Fire Engineering I really recommend UCLan because the environment here is the best to improve and get a good education. I am really thankful to Orpic for this chance to grow my knowledge, gain a good education and improve. In the future I believe I will be able to help the company in many ways to repay them for this opportunity".