Our students from Syria
There are currently more than 500 students from the Middle East region studying at the University of Exeter.
Why did you decide that Exeter was the best place to study?
Exeter is an amazing and cosy city to start with and the University is internationally recognized. As for the Institute I am based at, it is another story to tell: it is fascinating indeed! I can think of every member of staff as a supportive supervisor, lots of fascinating workshops, training sessions and talks are organized and held at IAIS which all enrich our experience and knowledge repertoire as prospective academics. I am simply blessed to get such a wonderful opportunity to be in such a lovely atmosphere.
Describe your typical day at Exeter
My term days are always full of activities. As a research student, I have got to set my own deadlines and manage my time effectively. I attend lots of beneficial sessions and workshops such as PG MA lectures and seminars related to my field of study, in particular 'Dissertation Skills' and 'State and Society in the Middle East' Modules, PGR-Staff sessions, CSI Majlis online sessions, Researcher Development training sessions. I study for my PHD on a daily basis to keep the sense of fruitful work on. I am fond of sports: daily exercising, basketball with my lovely flatmates, and lots of shopping on the way!
What are the best aspects of studying within your department?
Everything about my Institute is super amazing: friendly work environment, supportive staff, cosy colleagues, insightful workshops, considerate supervisors, elite administrative staff (heads of departments and directors of research and doctoral studies), and modern and efficient equipment. My love of the Institute and University even intensified when I met graduates of Cambridge and Oxford Universities at an event here at the University and who massively complimented Exeter!! I like each and every bit about where I am.
How would you describe the vibe on campus?
Lots of constant activities on campus take place, which make it just perfect: food offers, free stockings, free coffees, and cheerful smiles.
What activities are you taking part in?
I sometimes go to the Intercultural Cafes held on Friday mornings at Cornwall House organized by Sue which are a great opportunity to meet other new students. I also attend Chaplaincy Tuesday Connections which are wonderfully put on by the nice Chaplaincy team. I also like to attend some Wellbeing services which take the student as a great focal point.
What particular skills are you gaining from this experience?
I should come out of all this as a knowledgeable, well-informed, confident, open-minded, tolerant, and cheerful human being.
How have you dealt with any challenges/difficulties during your time at the University of Exeter?
To keep on the safe side, I start my conversations with new people from different cultures with general topics like the weather, general hobbies, similarities between cultures. As for the linguistic side of it, I have never skipped being exposed to the English language (listening to BBC, CNN, reading, writing, and speaking to the mirror at times when I do not have an English-speaking partner) since I was at my Undergraduate studies, which makes me keep going so powerfully with my English.
What’s the best thing about living in Exeter?
Friendly people, nice campus, moderate weather...
Would you recommend Exeter to your friends?
Of course, and constantly!
Has the University been supportive during your time here?
It could not be nicer or more supportive really- the University has helped me financially, spiritually and I do not have the least doubt they will continue the amazing work throughout the way. I so much value and appreciate all aspects of being in Exeter!
What advice would you give students planning on coming to the University of Exeter?
Look forward to a life-lasting experience on all levels and keep optimistic, flexible and cheerful!