By Rista, Aerospace Engineering PhD student.
Our PhD student, Rista, tells us about her experiences of studying a PhD as an international student and how she’s funded studying abroad. She also shares how UWE Bristol are supporting her career aspirations in academia through her postgraduate research study. Read more about Rista’s story.
How I decided postgraduate study was right for me
After finishing my master’s degree, I started working as a lecturer in the engineering department at a private university in my home country, Indonesia. After two years of teaching, I felt that I needed to continue increasing my knowledge and wanted to challenge myself to do some intensive research.
At this point, I decided that a PhD was right for me, so I began to pursue a doctoral degree. I chose to study abroad as I also wanted to learn about a new culture and the education system in another country. I felt that England was the best choice due to its reputation for offering high quality education.
Why UWE Bristol?
I’d first heard about UWE Bristol because my supervisor was working there as a professor and highly recommended it. After I did some initial research on the doctoral degrees available at UWE Bristol, I found a PhD that suited me perfectly. I felt that this was the university for me.
I found out that, not only would UWE Bristol offer fantastic facilities for my research, but it would also offer extracurricular opportunities to improve my research skills. I decided to apply for a full-time PhD in Engineering, Design and Mathematics at their School of Engineering.
Funding my postgraduate study
Once I’d applied for my doctoral degree at UWE Bristol, I was offered a scholarship from my government back home in Indonesia. This scholarship covered all my expenses, including tuition fees and living costs.
My supervisor has also helped me to find additional funding from UWE Bristol to enable me to attend conferences and training. This extra financial support has been helpful as it’s allowed me to enhance my education without being worried about money.
The benefits of postgraduate study
I’ve appreciated the support I’ve received from the Graduate School during my time at UWE Bristol. The Graduate School supports Postgraduate Research (PGR) students to develop their skills through professional development and research training. As a PGR student, I’ve had the chance to attend many seminars and workshops alongside my studies.
These sessions have improved my skills in conducting research, writing academic papers and scientific reports, delivering effective presentations, and developing good communication skills. Building these skills alongside my studies has helped to improve the quality of my work throughout my PhD.
“My PhD has helped me to understand how to conduct research, as well as improving my research, writing and communication skills.”
How UWE Bristol has supported my career aspirations
During my PhD, I’ve discovered that I’m looking for a career in academia after I graduate from my doctoral degree. UWE Bristol offer a range of teaching workshops that have helped me to understand the art of teaching, especially in a university setting.
I’ve also had the opportunity to help my supervisor during their laboratory sessions. This opportunity has enabled me to directly interact with undergraduate students, which has really enhanced my experience in teaching.
My experience as an international PhD student
My doctoral degree has been a great experience and has brought a lot of personal benefits. It’s also offered an interesting opportunity to understand the education system in England and how research is conducted here. I hope to apply this knowledge and implement my findings to academia in my home country.
During my time at UWE Bristol, I’ve felt reassured that if I had any difficulty during my studies, my supervisory team would be there to support me. As an additional support network, the Graduate School have always replied to my emails and enquiries as soon as possible. They were approachable and eager to help me to solve my problems.
“Studying at UWE Bristol has helped me to follow my passion for research. This experience has made more confident to pursue a career in academia in the future.”
My time here at UWE Bristol is almost finished as I’ll be completing my Final Viva soon. I wouldn’t have been able to get this far without the amazing support and help from my supervisory team and the Graduate School here.
After finishing my studies at UWE Bristol, I’m planning to travel back to Indonesia to resume my career as a lecturer and researcher. I hope to return to UWE Bristol as a research fellow or postdoctoral student in the future, as I’ve really enjoyed my time here.
Find out more about postgraduate research study at UWE Bristol.