My name is Anel and I’m from Kazakhstan. I’m studying a bachelor’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering at UWE Bristol in the UK.
I’ve learnt a lot over the last few years, and I’m still learning — here’s how I’m following my path, my way.
Studying at UWE’s Bristol’s International College
A few years ago, I decided to take a pathway course at UWE Bristol’s International College because I wanted to gain entry to an Engineering degree at UWE Bristol.
I didn’t meet the entry requirements to go straight into the University, so when I found the International Year One in Engineering I was really happy because it felt like the right choice for me.
Studying this course meant that I could spend a year preparing for my degree and then progress straight into 2nd year of university (provided that I got the required grades!).
I had such a great time at the College! All of the teachers were very helpful and really good at explaining what we were expected to do. The social aspect of life at the College was also really fun — I took part in various international days, I joined the Kazakh Society and I started doing Zumba.
Living in the UK
Before I arrived in the UK I was worried about how I would adapt to speaking English all the time, and I also wasn’t sure if I’d like my accommodation. In the end, I stayed in accommodation on the University campus and I absolutely loved the experience — it was much better than I expected!
Compared to the pathway course at College, the tasks I’m given at University are more challenging and classes are shorter, but I’m really enjoying being a UWE Bristol student.
Gaining work experience
During the 2nd year of my degree, I started looking into placement opportunities and working on my CV. I probably sent my CV to over 20 companies but my persistence paid off because I found a placement as a student engineer for WhiteMountain, a leading contractor in civil engineering in the UK and Ireland.
I had a fantastic time during my placement and I learned so much. I noticed that, over time, my involvement in the project and my responsibilities increased a lot, and this gave me a lot of confidence — I could tell I was doing a good job!
I have learned much more about the contractor side of the industry and, as a result, I have discovered a lot more about my aspirations.
Looking to the future
I would love to gain as much experience as possible in the contracting and consultancy side of engineering, so that I can build up a base and eventually have my own company!