Student of the Month August 2017 - Zahra Akbari Ariadji

British Council

My name is Zahra, and I am studying Oceanography in University of Southampton for my Master’s degree. I decided to study in the UK because I knew that the Master’s degree here can be pursued within one year, and I want to improve my English skill here as well – where the first international language was originated.I have also heard that UK is known for having one of the best environments and education systems in the world. Many international students with various ages decided to pursue their studies in the UK and it has clearly shown that people know UK as one of the best countries to study. The one year-Master’s degree program has attracted me and my friends the most, in addition to the fact that English is the foreign language that we are most familiar with since we were kids.

I chose MSc Oceanography in University of Southampton, mainly because of the reasons I mentioned above. Then it made me try to search for possible majors and institutions that are considered as the best ones in the UK. Furthermore, I wanted to improve my knowledge and have a deeper understanding about what I have studied before in Bachelor’s degree, which was Bachelor of Science in Oceanography. That was why I chose to pursue the Master of Science in Oceanography. Apart from that, I saw from the internet and heard from friends that National Oceanography Centre in University of Southampton is the best place in the UK to learn Oceanography.

I have been really enjoying the study and living environment here. The surroundings in my area are safe and comfortable for studying. The university offers study places which are more than I expected. The internet speed is really amazing, and students can easily download scientific papers. What I also learn from the UK is its very good transportation system. I nearly did not find traffic jam in Southampton, as it has a good system, location of stations for university buses, intra-cities buses and train services that will get me to any cities in the UK, in almost every hour and nearly always on time.

I believe that UK degree and qualification will definitely help me to have a job in Oceanography-related field with excellent English skill and wide knowledge in Ocean and Earth Science. In the UK, I have learned about time efficiency, and in one year I have already got important skills and knowledge. I have also been able to analyze the Earth Science data through many kinds of great software. Scientists are keen to read a lot of international scientific papers, and learning in the UK has improved my English papers reading and understanding skills. Many lecturers are also inspirational for me, because they are always passionate about their job, and polite in every aspect.

Months after months in the UK, I think I already got a brief idea why many UK universities ranked top in the world. It is because of the facilities, excellent teaching, and additional academic supports from the university. The first week of almost every course, I often got confused with specific terms or instructions for assignments, because of language difficulty. But fortunately, every lecturer is very helpful and able to make me more enthusiastic to study and finish the assignments. I also really enjoy being a solo female traveler in London, it is quite safe for women, privacy is respected, even sometimes men will stare but I don't think they will disturb or tease, people here I guess just like to show genuine interest in life.