International Engineering Ambassadors
Insight into the life & course of international students.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Meet our International Engineering Ambassadors: Usman Sami Khan

Name: Usman Sami Khan
Course: BEng Mechanical Engineering
Nationality: Pakistani

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Before studying at the University of Sheffield, I was enrolled at Nixor College for A Level Studies where I successfully scored 2A*’s, 1A and 1B in my A Level examinations. For my O Levels, I was enrolled at Foundation Public School, scoring 4A*’s and 5A’s.

Why did you choose the University of Sheffield to study your subject?
Currently holding the 3rd position in UK for Mechanical Engineering (according to The Guardian University Guide 2015), The University of Sheffield’s Engineering Department is widely reputed as being one of the best engineering department in the country. The programme also gives me an option of switching from my Bachelors programme (3 years) to a Masters programme (4 years) which would save up time and resources. Reputable companies such as Boeing, Rolls Royce and Siemens have their research centres located at University of Sheffield which enhances future job prospects.

What’s the most enjoyable thing about studying your subject at the University of Sheffield?
With such a reputable ranking for Mechanical Engineering, one does expect a lot from the university. However, it is safe to say that I was not let down in any way. In fact, my expectations surpassed. The most enjoyable thing in my opinion would be the fact that much of the learning is based on practicality rather than conceptuality. I have been used to a much more conceptual learning experience in my past, and the switch to a more practical based learning environment is very exciting!

What do you think of the teaching and study methods at the University of Sheffield?
The teaching and study methods employed at the University of Sheffield are designed around easing the study patterns for students. My Online Learning Environment, more commonly referred to as the ‘MOLE’, is the place to log in to for any lectures, notes or assignments that you may wish to go through. It is an actual lifesaver - For if you miss any lectures, this is the place to visit!

What do you see as the benefits of an education from the University of Sheffield?
The University of Sheffield is consistently ranked in the top 100 universities worldwide across various world rankings. One can therefore only expect an all rounded education experience. The University of Sheffield equips you with the necessary skills required to function effectively in the real world while providing the very best in academics.

What in your opinion is the best thing about student life at the University of Sheffield?
One of my biggest fears about moving so far away from home was the settling in factor. I was really nervous about whether I would be able to settle in well and make good friends. But now, a year later, I can vouch for the fact that settling in over here is definitely not an issue of concern. There is no discrimination here at all. I have found myself meeting such loving and caring individuals here, who make this place a home away from home for me.

What do you hope to achieve after you’ve finished your course?
My country has massive unused potential for growth in sectors that could utilise Mechanical Engineers. Pakistan's textile machinery, automobile, surgical instruments, oil and gas industries are a few of many examples of local industries that need our generation to step up as students of mechanics and engineering and stimulate micro and macro-economic development over the next half a century through investing their education in the growth of our industrial sector. The University of Sheffield will groom me towards implementing such efforts while engineering will help me think systematically and analytically, and provide me with insight into tools that will greatly aid my ability to indulge in problem solving for my country.

What advice would you give for prospective students coming to Sheffield?
For prospective students intending to come to Sheffield for higher education, don’t be too scared about feeling homesick. You will realise that there is always something to do over here. Be it meeting new people from different countries on the different societies you will join, to just exploring the city in general. You will find that this place has a lot to offer, as a new international student in Sheffield, I almost instantly felt at home. You should, however, be prepared to walk a lot over here as well as engage in more group work and individual learning. Gone are the days when teachers used to spoon-feed you all the literature – This is university, where you are supposed to do individual learning to comprehend all the lectures. However, this does not go to say that there are insufficient resources and help available at your hands; your personal tutors are there to guide you along the way. Prioritise your life and you will find yourself striking a balance between your academics and social life.

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