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

Monday, 11 April 2016

From Sheffield to Sydney

By IEA Alumni Salina Jantarang

Hello! I’m Salina and I have graduated from the University of Sheffield in July 2015 with first honours in MEng Chemical Engineering. As an alumnus and former IEA, I am excited to share with you about my experience at Sheffield and the move to Sydney, Australia. I have moved to Sydney for almost two months now and here is my story.

I started my degree in MEng Chemical Engineering at the University of Sheffield in September 2011. Prior to starting university in England, I have completed my high school education in Thailand in an American system international school, including spending my junior year as an exchange student in the States.
My four years in Sheffield has turned out to be an incredible experience and is definitely one of the best experiences in my life. The student support, both for academic and pastoral, was always present and I was always assured that there is someone to speak to if there was any problem. It has provided me with opportunities to take part in different activities such as the IEA and Women in Engineering. The studies done at the University have built a strong foundation and taught me skills, which I have found to be invaluable.
During my time in Sheffield, I have worked as an industrial trainee at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Melbourne, Australia, during summer break after Year 2, and was a practicum exchange student at the University of New South Wales in Sydney during the summer break after Year 3.
I have a lot of memorable moments in Sheffield – both in social and academics. Unlike most students, I chose to live in university accommodation throughout my four years. Yes, you have read that right. I have lived in Endcliffe for four years and I loved it. I had different flat mates every year and each year was a different experience. I was fortunate to be (and currently is) close to most of my flat mates and we have done many things together from going to the Christmas market in Manchester, cheering my cheerleader-flat mate at a Varsity game, gossiping until early morning, and of course, baking lots of cookies. Nowadays, whenever we catch-up, a lot of conversations start with, ‘Remember that time we…’.
Of course, I had wonderful experiences with my studies in the Department too. I mean, my Year 3 design project was on chocolate manufacture. How awesome is that? My final year research project was incredible and I have learned a lot from it. It was on carbon dioxide utilisation, specifically in using it to make polymer. I had an incredible experience and it was the reason why I wanted to work on carbon dioxide utilisation in my further studies.
Moving forward, my final year was the time I had to consider what I was going to do after graduation. From the beginning of my degree, I knew that I wanted to continue with further studies upon graduation. Also, from having good experiences with previous research projects, I have decided to continue with PhD studies.

Graduation reception at the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, The University of Sheffield. Picture credits to my friend, Amirul Rudy.

After completing my final year, I lodged an application to the University of New South Wales for PhD studies. The application process and contact with my supervisor went by smoothly, and then all I could do was wait for the scholarship outcome. After months of waiting, I was fortunate to be offered a scholarship. In addition to applying for postgraduate studies after graduation, I also had to study for my engineering license exam, a requirement in Thailand. After months of revising almost everything I've learned throughout the four years of my degree, I am happy to have passed it and am now an associate engineer in Thailand.

Moving to another country is always exciting and nerve-wrecking, even though it’s a city I've lived before. Fortunately, I am living in a college with excellent support system and an energetic environment. I am also lucky to have family friends living here and it’s lovely to be able to go to north Sydney for a visit.
The project itself is under the same research group that I have completed my practicum exchange in and I had very much look forward to be back. It is quite challenging in moving on to a new project and there is a lot to learn. It is definitely a fulfilling learning process and is something I look forward to understand more in the next couple of years.  The research group have been welcoming and I have learned a lot over the past 2 months from my supervisors and other PhD students. And for that, I am truly grateful.
Last, I hope you enjoy your time in Sheffield and make the most out of it. If you are thinking about applying to the University of Sheffield, I encourage you to do so. I myself can’t wait to visit Sheffield – soon! 

1 comment:

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