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

Monday, 22 February 2016

An evening that led to my move to Sheffield

It was an early June evening in Calcutta (now Kolkata) back in 2011 and I had just finished taking my university entrance exams. A friend of mine had come over to celebrate this glorious moment with me. During our conversation, at one point, we started discussing how our choices for university admissions were getting a little unpredictable. However, that did not stop us from celebrating the last day of our high school life with playful singing and beatboxing. The ringing was pleasantly influenced by some of our favourite tracks, Drive and Lazarus; and was accompanied by rather gentle chest thumps to add to the variety of percussions. My musical taste, though questionably old, is something for which I have always exerted pride and was glad that it resonated with those of my closest friends. Now, at a very young age, from a very fond teacher of ours we had learnt, being stupid is okay but to celebrate it, is a punishable crime. This lesson had momentarily slipped our minds and we started loosely running through the ‘student-life’ pages of a good few international universities. Within a few ticks this had almost turned into a rather eccentric game, where the worse we felt for ourselves, the harder we laughed. The evening continued like this and later we retired to our normal lives. However, amidst all the laughter it came to me that I should too give it a try. The next morning, I had a brief conversation with my family and by noon I had decided to apply for studies abroad. I was really keen on going to the USA but was too late to apply for an admission in the next fall. I chose not to wait an extra year as I could not think of many things to keep myself busy with during the period. I then looked into the UK universities and considered the top 10 (from QS and Times Rankings) in my area of interest. Sheffield in that year was ranked at third for Mechanical Engineering just after Cambridge and Imperial. I consulted an educational advisor to get a better understanding of the application process and within a week I had sent in my application and waited patiently to get a response. Universities got back, visa came through and before I knew it, I was jetting off to the UK. I had never travelled anywhere outside my country in my entire life before then. So I had my own set of apprehensions but it all disappeared once I landed here with my 40+kgs of luggage. Quite heavy that was compared to my physical ability at the time but I managed to lift and totter into my room somehow. I stayed in a University accommodation in the first year and that helped me settle in very quickly. I would recommend it to all the freshers. It has been a fantastic experience ever since, personally life changing. I had initially come to do only a BEng (3 years course) and now I am on the fifth year of my 5 years engineering degree. Not that I slept two years, I have to be an efficient tortoise for that, I had switched to MEng and have spent a year working with Rolls-Royce CDS at Birmingham (4+1 years). The last five years have been a wonderful learning curve and I am very happy to have bumped into so many people on the way where all the little experiences have helped me catch up with evolution. The picture of me that you see next to the blog is an example of classic deception and dates back to 2012. I did not help myself to a recent picture because the last two years have been a constant struggle against my natural fetish for cakes and my facial geometry now closely resembles an egg.

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Nevertheless, if you are fighting a mind battle whether to go abroad for studies, I would urge you to not think twice, simply jump on the boat and make the best of your time. And while travelling, travel light both physically and mentally. :)

If you have any questions, which of course you do, feel free to contact me at :)

By Aman Datta

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