Karim, from Kazakhstan, is studying a BEng in Civil Engineering in the school of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society. He is based in the Dubai Campus and travelled to the Edinburgh Campus during the 2014/15 year of his studies.
Why did you decide to take part in a Global Student Programme at Heriot-Watt?
I decided to apply for the exchange programme because it seemed exciting to me: living in a country with a different culture, different way of life, different climate, and different mood. As a student, I was curious about the student life at the Edinburgh Campus as I was studying at the Dubai Campus for three years so I was familiar with the student life there.
How did studying in Edinburgh differ from studying in Dubai?
In general, studying at the Edinburgh Campus is very different from studying in Dubai, for example the climate, culture and social environment are different. For a civil engineering student, in particular, I found the Edinburgh Campus better due to its greater quantity and quality of the laboratory equipment, which is essential for various experiments and tests. Obviously, the academic staff is also different. However, the core lecture materials as well as exam papers are mostly the same.
Do you keep in touch with anyone that you met during your exchange?
Yes, I really do. I made friends from my course as well as different courses. These friends are from the UK, Spain, Brazil, China and many other countries.
What advice would you give other students thinking of taking part in Heriot-Watt's Global Student Programme?
I learned many important things from my international study experience, so I would advise everyone to be very active in applying for any type of Go Global Student Programme as this opportunity will allow students to see the world, to experience different cultures and to see the good and bad points of their new environment. This will hopefully make them appreciate what they have and set aims for their future. And, of course, getting good grades is preferable.