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

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

The Journey to Sheffield

First of all, let me introduce myself, my name is Yehya ShamsEldin. You guessed right, I am an Egyptian. All my life has been in Egypt. Since day one in school, I liked maths and how I can manipulate numbers in a useful way. Of course, I loved engineering thanks to my dad and it became my dream to be an engineer in my early stages at school. I worked hard in IGCSE so I can get the best grades for universities in Egypt. Yes, I did not think about studying abroad at the start and that is why I think plans are a waste of time - the best happens to you without planning. The whole idea of studying abroad came from my brother, because he is an engineer too, so he laid out on the table the thought of me to do something different. At the beginning, I wanted to go for Civil Engineering like my dad and brother. In year 12 I started to apply for universities in the UK as a valid option which I could choose at the end, because it was hard for me to think about leaving all of friends and family in Egypt and start a new episode of my life in the UK, but still it was a serious option. My grades came out in August and before that I was holding conditional offers from more than one university, but my main focus was on The University of Sheffield because I took the decision to go for Mechatronics if I traveled because I love anything to do with automation and robots. I also found that The University of Sheffield has the best Automatic Control and Systems Engineering department in Europe. So, my main focus was on it, and I accepted the offer. Then the struggle of the VISA happened as my first VISA was refused, so everything got mixed up because it was already late for another trial, and it was really close to just dismiss studying in Sheffield and staying in Egypt. But I decided to have another go and the VISA got accepted, hence I arrived two weeks late at the university.

Of course, I struggled at the beginning of my course because I missed the start and I still got lost in the city, but honestly the help I received from my colleagues and lecturers made everything much smoother and it passed. That’s why I chose The University of Sheffield, because every survey of student’s experience came as number 1 on all universities and that’s the most important thing, to receive the appropriate help, so you could operate within the new environment quickly. Besides, the education and the facilities here are amazing. It helps you to be 100% functional and come out with the best. In addition to this, the city itself is so good and easy to get around, and people are so friendly.

There is a lot of independent learning, but that’s a key teaching method because the knowledge you gain will never be forgotten. Labs here have really good equipment kits which are fully upgraded to the world technology, and that’s important because as an engineer you need to innovate at each stage in your career.

After I finish my degree I want to work back home in Egypt, in one of the Aerospace companies or Bioengineering industry because that’s what I like the most. Then who knows, maybe one day I could come back to UK for extended studies or doing business here.

As an advice, keep taking pieces of advice from everyone and filter it at the end of the day, because everyone in here tries to help. Try to use the university facilities to maximise your skills and develop other skills too that will be valuable for your career. Keep joining volunteering events and work, because it is a sign you are a good person to work in a group and it is good for your CV too.

Finally, of course if you are an overseas student try to not mess up the VISA and try your best to get it from the first time, because it is a frustrating to have a visa refusal, but try again too even if it got refused first time. The most important thing is the bank statement and the CAS statement from the university as an advice.

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