How I gained hands-on engineering experience at UWE Bristol.

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by Razaan, MEng(Hons) Civil and Environmental Engineering

When asked what I love most about my course as a Civil and Environmental Engineering student, the first word that comes to my mind is: opportunities. Everything from educational trips* to actual hands-on projects, I’ve had experiences that I don’t think I’d be able to find elsewhere. Keep reading to find out about my engineering opportunities at UWE Bristol.

Continue reading “How I gained hands-on engineering experience at UWE Bristol.”

How volunteering with Enactus taught me something new about myself.

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by Irene, MSc Human Resource Management

It’s important to take advantage of the many extracurricular activities available at UWE Bristol. There’s something for everyone, from sports clubs to societies, and even volunteering opportunities. Here’s my experience of volunteering with the social enterprise society, UWE Bristol Enactus.

Continue reading “How volunteering with Enactus taught me something new about myself.”

How being in the right learning environment is helping me to thrive.

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by Chloe, BA (Hons) Creative and Professional Writing

Delights on campus

Moving to a new city and starting a new chapter at university is by far one of the most exciting things I have ever done. There is so much exploring to do in Bristol, from the Clifton Suspension Bridge to Millennium Square, not to mention all of the amazing independent businesses and quirky stalls in the popular markets. However, it never occurred to me that there were so many hidden gems on the UWE Bristol campus itself!

As well as having quick and convenient bus links to and from the city centre, amazing resource centres and helpful career hubs, Frenchay Campus boasts some beautiful spaces to work and chill with your friends. Due to the fact there is so much choice, there is always somewhere you can go.

Whether you prefer somewhere that you can have a bite to eat or somewhere quieter, there is no doubt that you can find it on campus.

Chloe

Frenchay Campus library

One of my favourite places to study is the library, which has a range of zones over five floors! Each level has a different purpose which means you can study in a variety of environments, allowing you to find a space perfect for you.

From Help Zones (Level 2), Quiet Study (Level 3) to the main Study Zone (Level 4), to silent Study (Level 5) you can find the perfect spot to work on assignments and research.

You can also book study spaces and individual study rooms which are so useful if you have a group project and want your own room, or even if you have a conference.

The Library Lounge on Level 4 gives you the chance to buy drinks and have a quick break in between sessions, which is a huge bonus to keep yourself refreshed and stay focussed.

For me the library has been somewhere that I have used most frequently since joining UWE Bristol because you can stay focussed in any zone that makes you feel comfortable – plus the staff in the help pods are so helpful and approachable.

Chloe

I think that having such a good environment to use and enjoy, with so much choice, has enhanced the way I look at studying and means that me and my friends can use each zone depending on how we feel when we come in.

Business school booths and the Atrium cafe

Talking of places that you can get a bite to eat, another one of my favourite places on the UWE Bristol Frenchay Campus is the beautiful Business School.

This is one of the newest builds on campus and one of the most gorgeous buildings inside and out! It has such a modern feel and the Atrium Café on the ground floor is a great place to just hang out even if you haven’t come for a lecture or self-study. The food on offer is really tasty, quick and healthy – no wonder it’s such a popular spot!

As well as this, X block as it’s more commonly known, flaunts teaching and office spaces and booths over seven floors, so there is more than enough space to find a spot.

The Students’ Union

Now the real community hub of UWE Bristol is the Students Union! This is where students hang out, go to events and a hot spot for food and drink. There is always something being run either at the SU building or online, meaning there is never a dull moment. UWE Bristol wouldn’t be complete without the SU – it’s all part of the experience!

The SU team run so many competitions where you can win some ace prizes and connect with new people. It is a great place to mingle and I met some students there that are now still close friends.

It’s good to have somewhere that isn’t study related where you can chill out and just have a break.

Chloe

The variety on Frenchay Campus at UWE Bristol is something that has made my experience at UWE Bristol both productive and fun. The choice is unbelievable and there is always somewhere to go that has exactly the vibe you want. Being comfortable and confident is so easy when there are so many options to hang out and I think that’s what is so unique about UWE Bristol – we aren’t just a university, we are a community.

Find out more about campus life.

My experience of Bristol Pride

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by Dev, MSc(Hons) Marketing Communications

Bristol Pride 2019 was a glorious event. Thousands of us celebrating our queerness in the heart of Bristol was a sight to behold! Although the size of the event stopped me from finding the UWE Bristol float, they were there once again as one of the sponsors. Here’s my experience of Bristol Pride 2019, plus everything you need to know about Bristol Pride 2020.

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Advice I would give to my first-year self

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by Rapha, BSc(Hons) Urban Planning

There’s so much I would do differently if I could go back in time!

Not because of regret but because I know better now and the main advice I would give myself would be to live more and to bring fewer things from home.

By live more, I mean spend less time in my room, meet more people and spend more time outside exploring Bristol. I spent a lot of my first year trying to become a different person and constantly focusing in my insecurities. And to be honest this just made me think other people were focusing on my insecurities too. Like being self-conscious that everyone was going to talk about that one pimple I had on my forehead, which no one ever did? Unfortunately this meant I spent more time in my room and it stopped me getting to know Bristol as much as I wanted!

So if I could, I would tell my younger self to go out more, explore Bristol as much as possible with friends or even alone doesn’t really matter, but just go see the world outside!

Get out and explore Bristol! I love the harbourside and Clifton but even just an autumnal walk, on your own through the city centre is great!

It’s been nearly three years since I have been living in Bristol and I am yet to visit Bristol zoo, Stoke Park as well as other many amazing places in Bristol that are so close by. So go explore! Especially when you’re a fresher, as this is the time when you should learn and see the most. Like attending events or trying new restaurants or cafes.

Côte Brasserie (left) and The Athena (right)- two of my favourite restaurants in Bristol!

My second big bit of advice advice is when you move from home, be selective about what you bring. And I say this with experience! When I first moved in, I read many blog posts which advised to solely bring essential items. Items you will need for your daily basis, a limited but a calculated amount of clothes and some sentimental objects and so on.

Despite that, I made my self excuses like, what if I can’t go back home during a certain time? Or what if I want to make my room more homely? This led me to bring all of my six, year 10 scrapbooks and all of my snow globes (there were a lot of them). Spoiler alert I never touched them and by the second time I moved I had no clue where they even were!

My room one week after moving – you can see why I lost things!

At first, I was proud I managed to fit everything in the space given and my room looked nicely tidy and decorated. However, it only lasted a week until it was complete chaos because there were too many things and it was all being stuffed everywhere. At times, I felt like I was in a tug war with my drawers! That was not ideal, especially when you are running late, let me tell you that.

Therefore, I highly recommend being really honest with yourself when packing and be aware that you will most likely buy things and it will build up. So if you bring everything like me and end up moving places, you will be annoyed at yourself when packing and carrying endless piles of boxes around.

I can proudly and happily say that I have learned from those experiences. Since then I have donated, sold and taken many of my items home. Plus, I now attempt on visit somewhere new in Bristol or nearby at least once every two weeks to ensure that I keep exploring and live life to the fullest!

To find out more on how to prepare for university visit the preparing and arrival page.

What I’ve learnt during lockdown

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by Chanté, BSc(Hons) Occupational Therapy

The gift

About three weeks into lockdown, one of my family members came tumbling down the stairs with what seemed to be a revelation. He sat me down and started rambling as if he’d found the solution to the pandemic – unfortunately, he had not.

He had instead discovered the key to personal growth in a time where I for one felt as though I’d been temporarily stunted. He began with saying that we’ve finally got ‘it’. ‘It’ being time. All we’ve ever asked for – or at least all I’ve ever asked for – is more time. This, however, is a very specific type of time. It’s one where you have minimal distractions and nowhere to go. It’s a time where you can sift through your thoughts (good and bad) and filter through your experiences. It’s a time to learn.

He continued to jabber on about how we have few excuses after this period. The only excuses we’d have are those that we have little control over or the ones we’d made for ourselves. From a very contrasting view, this quarantine period has been a gift. We’ve been gifted time to change the things we can and reflect, learn and adapt from those that we can’t.

“It’s a time where you can sift through your thoughts (good and bad) and filter through your experiences. It’s a time to learn.”

Up until this revelation, I’d been feeling an overwhelming amount of pressure to achieve something during this chapter. I felt as though I’d be a disappointment if I hadn’t written that novel I’ve always wanted to write or if I hadn’t learnt a new instrument. What I have learnt, however, is that achievements don’t only have to be a skill, career or a major award. An achievement can be learning something new about yourself, mending a friendship that had troubles or making the decision to change something that needed changing. It’s often many small achievements that make the biggest difference.

Although I haven’t learnt how to play the saxophone yet or written a single page of that novel, I’ve learnt how to be present. I’ve learnt that through all the chaos, It’s important to remind yourself that it’s okay to just be. It’s healing, its powerful and enriching.

“What I have learnt is that achievements don’t only have to be a skill, career or a major award. An achievement can be learning something new about yourself.”

I’m lucky enough to have spent lockdown in the English countryside surrounded by fields of rapeseed which dons the most beautiful little yellow flowers. As a quarantine ritual, I’d walk into the fields and just sit and surround myself with the yellow. I’d indulge in the smells and sounds of the fields. Although this sounds pointless and like a cheesy romcom scene, I knew I’d achieved something by this practice because I felt at peace.

My quarantine ritual

I felt comfortable with myself and my decisions. I had used the gift of time. I had made those changes. There’s no doubt that there were periods were I was riddled with anxiety but I’d take my time, my deep breaths and process those thoughts. I’d remind myself that my present needs my presence.

I’ll leave it up to you, but as this bizarre phase of our lives is slowly coming to an end, make those changes because maybe my thrilled relative has found the solution to the pandemic after all.

If you need someone to talk to or just need a bit more support, UWE Bristol has many health and wellbeing services that operate online and are there to help you.

How I adapted to online learning

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by Imogen, BA(Hons) Fashion Textiles

Like most courses, my final term of year two was adapted to online submission. As I study Fashion Textiles at UWE Bristol, which is a largely practical course, there was a massive learning opportunity.

Using online software to create a virtual sketchbook

The new module brief included using online software to create a virtual sketchbook rather than a physical one, and designing a new collection online rather than making a garment.

Being able to access the UWE Bristol library online was a massive help to my research. I was able to access a large variety of resources such as books, e-journals and magazines. Typically, the library is somewhere I would be spending the majority of my time when doing sketchbook work and so the online library and my home desk was the next best option!

With access to the online library I was able to read up on the brand Kenzo, which I had chosen to design a new collection for and understand learn about their history.

My final collection project inspired by traditional Japanese fashion and 80’s retro.

Previously, Illustrator and Photoshop were software that I had used before but wasn’t confident in. But by having to create an online sketchbook and submit my work online, my digital drawing skills have really improved.

I also found online tutorials extremely helpful when I got stuck, and have started a notebook to record new techniques I have learnt for future reference. Having improved so much with my online skills, I’ve decided to use more virtual methods of presenting my work in my summer project and third year modules. These digital skills are also extremely useful for the fashion industry and this project has taught me how to use them creatively to present my work.

I’ve also been able to further develop the skills I’ve learnt during my course and experiment with them. Making garments using my pattern cutting skills and up-cycling old garments using different textiles skills such as dyeing, embroidery, crocheting and fabric painting, has been how I have stayed creative through lockdown. As hand embroidery is typically a very time consuming technique, lockdown has been a great opportunity to embroider for fun and see what I can create.

One of my favourite things I have made so far was this Tinkerbell crop top – I found some Tinkerbell material on my weekly food shop and just had to make something with it!

Looking forward, I’ve also started researching for third year and have been using virtual art gallery tours to get inspired! Typically, a trip to London would be my normal start to researching a project, but with the online gallery tours I’m able to visit galleries all over the world without travelling and for free. Here is a list of some of the best virtual toursBristol Museum has its own one too!

For my current summer project, I have been exploring Surrealism and have found an online Surrealist photography exhibition curated by Cris Orfescu. The online gallery tour has been a great source of inspiration and information. I would encourage anyone with a laptop and a spare half an hour to check out some of the online galleries!

Research for my summer project

Learning online and adapting to life in lockdown, has definitely allowed me to explore different creative mediums and develop new skills which I know I’ll take forward into my final year.

To keep up to date on University coronavirus guidance and information, visit the student guidance and FAQ page.

The benefits of living at home during your degree

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by Emily, BA(Hons) History

Living at home while studying at university, sounds boring doesn’t it?! You might think it means not as many friends or not a big social life. As a stay at home student myself, I’ve lived to tell the tale, and boring isn’t the case. In fact, I would describe my first year at university as quite the opposite – fun.

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Christmas time at UWE Bristol

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by Meg, BA(Hons) Business Management with Marketing

With Christmas right around the corner, we asked Meg to create a vlog about things you can get involved in on campus and in Bristol to get into the festive mood.

Some of the events that were held by UWE Bristol were:

  • Christmas SUesdy – a Christmas Party held at the Students’ Union.
  • UWE Bristol Christmas Concert – an evening of music, held annually at the Bristol Cathedral, presented by students and members of UWE’s Centre for Music.
  • Winter Warmers – a free end of term celebration where you can build a gingerbread house, watch a festive film, grab some non-alcohol mulled-wine, mince pies and other festive treats.

If you’ve missed out – no need to worry, there are still Christmas events yet to happen at UWE Bristol:

  • Visit the Bristol Christmas market – 21 December – a trip to the city centre as a group to go and explore the Christmas market where you can explore up to 50 unique store and treat yourself to some food and drink.
  • Carols around the tree – 21 December – outside the Business Building and the SU there will be carolling which you are more than welcome to join.
  • Christmas Lunch – 25 December – Get in the festive spirit by joining other students who are staying on campus or in Bristol over the winter break for a delicious Christmas Day lunch followed by festive movies and board games.

For a full list of ongoing events visit here.