My name is Siti and I’m from Malaysia.
A few years ago, I took a pathway course at UWE Bristol’s International College (UWEBIC) and now I’ve graduated from UWE Bristol with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Why I chose to study abroad
Since I was in secondary school, I’ve imagined myself studying abroad. My parents and siblings studied abroad and that inspired me, because I saw them as I was growing up and thought to myself that I could do it too!
Apart from wanting to experience a new culture and step out of my comfort zone, I love learning new things in a challenging environment — that’s why I decided to study abroad.
Another reason for choosing to study abroad is that I felt like I was falling behind my friends, both at home and abroad. I was desperately looking for universities with a January intake and, thankfully, UWE Bristol accepted me through a pathway course at UWEBIC. The University also had great rankings for my subject, so it was perfect!
I received so much support from Kaplan throughout my first year. Being in a small classroom meant that I didn’t have to worry about getting attention from the tutors — they were always available to talk to everybody in the class.
I also found the mentoring system great because it helped me get through daily life. They monitored the progress of our assignments and projects and made sure that we were on track. They would always provide extra support when we needed it.
At Kaplan, I was more focused than ever before, and I even ended up helping my friends with their academic work. For example, I would show them how to solve equations and that made me feel very happy and satisfied because I could actually apply what I learnt in class.
I have to say that it was a big jump from Kaplan to university because the level of support changed. At university, we had to start doing everything on our own, so everything I learnt at Kaplan was so useful and really helped me to adjust.
What I liked about my university is the high-performance computers that allowed us to use lots of essential software efficiently. Also, the 3D printing services are amazing — we could produce our prototype using different materials with the help of technicians, and without waiting too long.
We also had our own workshop with essential materials like carbon fibres that we had access to any time of the year.
The social life at UWE Bristol was really fun, too — I was involved in different clubs, societies and sports in different years, and I even competed in the British Universities and Colleges Sport tournament for karate. That was really memorable because I met so many friends from other universities while doing something that I love.
What the future holds
The best thing about studying abroad is that it helped me to discover myself and learn how to be more independent. When I came to study abroad, I was given more freedom and I had to be responsible for my actions. I’ve also met international and local friends that I’ll definitely have for life.
In the future, if given the opportunity, I would love to find a job abroad. However, if the time hasn’t come yet for me to do so, I’ll join a manufacturing company back home in Malaysia, and start working as an Engineer. Then, I’ll start working towards my dream of working abroad from there.