Student experiences - Mauritius

Bhoovish Ashil Singh Juddoo - MEng Civil Engineering

Ashil Juddoo

Bristol University is internationally renowned as a centre for excellence and is one of the best universities across the UK.  Since I have been to Bristol, I have not been deceived at all and I have really been enjoying the moments I have passed here.

Academically the Faculty of Engineering is a world-leading research centre and adopts a very creative and varied approach in teaching, combining research projects, industry-led seminars, amongst others which only help to build on my interest for the field and help me to exploit my full potential. I have also been very impressed with the laboratory sessions we have had where we have been learning more practical stuffs using the various facilities available.

Moreover, Bristol University offers so many facilities and opportunities to get involved - sports, clubs and societies. The sports centre is surely the best one I have ever seen so far and it is under further renovation. Just imagine how it is going to be in the coming months.

Bristol is also a very nice city and I have the chance to live in an accommodation which is located in the city centre. Cabot Circus for example is just five minutes from me and it is one of the biggest shopping malls I have ever seen with various shops, restaurants and even a huge cinema. There is also Park Street where there are various nightclubs and pubs where you can go and chill out with friends.

The university also welcomes students from all over the world and since I have come here, I have been meeting people coming from different regions with different cultures and this has been very enriching. I am really having a good time at Bristol and would encourage people from all over the world to come and study here.

Riyaad (Muhammad) Aungraheeta - PhD Physiology and Pharmacology

Picture of Riyaad (Muhammad) AungraheetaBefore joining the University of Bristol I undertook an undergraduate course in Biomedical Sciences at the University of the West of England. I wanted to widen my horizons by moving into research which eventually led to my enrolment on a master’s course in Biomedical Sciences Research at the University of Bristol. I am currently on a PhD programme in Physiology and Pharmacology. I’ve been a student at the University for over a year now and I’ve had a great time so far. The facilities and services available to students are excellent, with plenty of study space, online resources and several libraries across the campus. I am surrounded by internationally acclaimed academics guiding me through my research. You can expect teaching excellence at Bristol. In addition, the careers service offers very helpful advice on career prospects, possible part-time or vacation jobs, CVs and on interviews. I found it particularly useful when applying for my PhD position. There are countless well-managed societies run by the Students’ Union to join if you want to enjoy your hobbies or meet other people. These are dedicated to sports, particular nationalities, languages and faith amongst others. Moreover, there are a number of leisure centres around town where you can take up a range of sporting activities. The campus itself is situated in the centre of Bristol which means that you will never be far from your favourite places. My own favourite place in Bristol is the Harbourside where you can spot the SS Great Britain and it’s also close to restaurants, the beautiful cathedral, the aquarium and the Hippodrome. The Bristol Zoo, the Suspension Bridge and Cheddar Gorge are other places of interest around the Bristol area. In my opinion, Bristol is one of the best cities in the UK in terms of student experience. The University is one of the best and most prestigious in the world and I would definitely recommend others to apply.

Joseph Gillette - BSc Accounting and Finance

Joseph GilletteSince I wished to study Accounting and Finance I looked for the best possible universities offering this course and I immediately found that the University of Bristol was one of the best in this field. Then I saw that the city of Bristol was a great place to live in and it convinced me that I should make the University of Bristol my firm choice. I was absolutely right about my choice and did not regret it once since the University of Bristol is a great place to study and to meet awesome people. The city is also full of interesting places and I really enjoy living in Bristol.

Besides, the social sciences library is my favourite place to study as a variety of books available to students and the atmosphere there is ideal for serious studying. There are numerous facilities that the university provides to students making it a nice place to work. I also met people from many different countries and we had the opportunity to become friends and share our different experiences. The fact that almost everything is within walking distance is also a great thing as you don’t lose a lot of time in travelling.

The support given to international students is also amazing as you get help as soon as you ask for it. Moreover, I should put emphasis on tutorials which are really helpful if you didn’t understand something in the lectures as tutors can explain it more in details.

Apart from studying there are also a lot of different societies which you can join if you like something in particular. It can be anything, from sports to intellectual activities, and there is even the wine society for those who enjoy drinking wine. Students can also go out regularly as there are pubs and clubs everywhere in the city. Therefore, I strongly recommend the University of Bristol if you are looking for a place where you can study a lot and still enjoy yourself.

Ashwin Kristnama - MEng Aeronautical Engineering

Ashwin KristnamaI first heard about Bristol University after I had finished studying A level in Mauritius. I knew that I wanted to study aeronautical engineering and so I searched on the internet for the best institutions in which to study it. I chose aeronautical engineering because since childhood I was fascinated to know how things could fly. Bristol was the natural choice for me, due to its high reputation amongst the Universities that offer Aeronautical Engineering.

Since coming to Bristol I have found the course to be very rewarding and always interesting. Bristol has proved to be a very stimulating city and is very cosmopolitan. I have met people from all over the world, who all share a passion for learning. Indeed the lecturers and other students on my course are extremely motivated, and this has provided an excellent environment for study. The resources available for further study are second to none, and as such there is no excuse for having nothing to do.

Of course Bristol also provides much for life outside academia. There are an endless array of clubs and societies. I already have great memories of times spent with people in the Mauritian society and playing sports with individuals from all corners of the globe. There are a huge variety of pubs and clubs including Thekla, which was a highlight of fresher’s week. The great thing about Bristol is that whether you feel like going for a cup of coffee or a big night out, all the facilities you need are within easy reach. Clifton Village is a particularly pleasant area, with a vast array of comfortable pubs and restaurants. A little further on is the world famous Clifton Suspension Bridge, which I am sure provides inspiration for all students not just those studying engineering. I would however have to say that Park Street, with its bustling atmosphere and wonderful eateries, is my favourite location in the city. It is also very useful for me that Bristol has a strong history in aeronautical engineering, with famous planes such as Concorde being designed in the Filton area in the north of the city.

I intend to finish my course of study in Bristol and perhaps even stay here for a few years after my study. This is because Bristol is one of the most renowned cities in the world for employment in the aeronautics industry and simply a great place to live. Once I have established myself in the field I may one day return home to share my experience and help establish an aeronautics industry in Mauritius.

I am very pleased that I feel so at home in the city after such a short period of time. I would most definitely recommend Bristol to any potential applicants from Mauritius and I would refer them foremost to the quality of the teaching and secondly to the endless opportunities for entertainment in this vibrant city. I would however remind people to keep an eye on their finances, especially after a night out in the Lizard Lounge!

Brian Li Kam Wah - MEng Civil Engineering

Brian Li Kam WahI first heard of Bristol when different university representatives came to discuss the opportunities of studying abroad at my high school. After some thorough researches on the internet, I learned about the excellent reputation of this university both in UK and on an international ground. Choosing the University of Bristol was not a difficult choice because it is ranked among the five best universities in UK for civil engineering and the city looks attractive.

I am currently studying civil engineering and I find it really interesting. The course is split into both theory and practice. The laboratory classes are instructive as it helps us understand the knowledge learnt from lectures, visualise them and apply them in practice. Moreover, the course content is diverse as it is not only concentrated on intellectual learning. We also learn to develop our communication skills via presentations and develop our team work aptitudes through group projects and laboratory classes. In addition, there are tutorial classes in which we can discuss problems and apply our knowledge through exercises. Besides, the university organises regular talks on the current engineering problems and these help us to be aware of the challenges facing this industry and to realise that this industry is dynamic.

Bristol, although not as big as London, is a pleasant place to live. It offers panoply of activities, ranging from site visit to the breath-taking Clifton Suspension Bridge to shopping at Cabot Circus, which introduces over one million sq ft of some of the finest shops to date. Bristol will undoubtedly please everyone’s taste. On Whiteladies Road is an array of pubs for a good moment with friends and there are a plethora of clubs for people who enjoy night life.

I am staying at Wills Hall, which is a catered accommodation. It is situated a few miles from the university but fortunately, there are buses which regularly run from the hall to the university. The atmosphere is pleasant there since the first day of my arrival. I made friends with both international and local students and it was interesting to discover a different culture from that of Mauritius. Furthermore, the food here is really tasteful; from the traditional bacon and eggs for breakfast to the roast turkey on Sunday. What I particularly enjoy is the formal dinners organised every Friday. It follows the Oxbridge tradition and we need to be dressed formally with our gowns for this dinner. From this, I learned more about different cultures such as the Burn’s night and came across new dishes such as the haggis and the Scottish pudding. Besides, panoply of activities are organised by the hall such as intermural football, bar crawl, pub quiz and themed nights.

Bristol is definitely a good place to live and study. The University of Bristol offers a fantastic social environment together with a world-class education. I would definitely recommend overseas students to come and enjoy this ‘Bristolian’ escapade.

Varoon Rao Saccaram - LLB Law

Vanina Harel - BSc Biology

Vanina HarelI am studying Biology and I love my subject. As we are taught by lecturers who are also researchers, they are passionate and know everything about their subject, which makes the course really interesting and challenging. In addition to our lectures and lab practicals, we have tutorials where we can talk about our difficulties in small groups and practice important skills, like writing essays. The lecturers are helpful and all the lectures notes are available online for you to revise easily.

I have to say that I am having a great time in Bristol. It is the first time I have been away from home for that long and I was a bit scared at first. Above all my expectations, I adapted very quickly to my new environment and soon loved my new life, even if it is completely different from home!

First of all, I found that the people I met were all friendly and open-minded. This is why I had no difficulty to make friends. Moreover, I think the city of Bristol offers a great social life. I live in Wills Hall, which is a catered hall, located a few miles away from the university precincts. To get to my lectures, I have to walk about half an hour, but it keeps you fit and I find it important to create bonds with your new friends, especially during the first few months, as you have half an hour to get to know them more! Various activities and parties were organised for us to meet people and discover the city which was very helpful. I particularly enjoyed the bar crawls organised during the first week and we now often do it with friends. Bristol offers a wide range of pubs, restaurants and night clubs which make the night life incredible...

Another characteristic of the university that I like is that you have the possibility to join lots of different and sometimes quite unusual societies. I started doing Tai Chi and kick boxing for the first time and I also tried Roc dancing and rock climbing. In addition, I was able to continue some sports I did before like Badminton, which is difficult to play if you do not have a partner.

Finally, in my opinion Bristol has a great university as it combines a good social life with a high standard of teaching and I try to enjoy every bit of it!

Imraan Hansrod - BSc Economics

Imraan HansrodComing from a small island like Mauritius, I have always wanted to study in the UK for my tertiary studies. This is why I chose the University of Bristol for my economics course. Not only does the institution have an excellent academic reputation, but the city of Bristol itself is definitely one of the best cities in the UK. To me, a university’s academic reputation is important during the university application process but is for sure not the end of the story. University life is much more than just lectures and tutorials. This is why I chose the University of Bristol because I am convinced that it is the ideal place to study. The university is located in a medium-sized city, which means it has all the advantages that a city can provide without its inconveniences. After all, Bristol is the only British city to make it onto the DK Eyewitness travel guide's global list of 'must see' places in 2009. The city has a lot to offer: from the picturesque Clifton Village to the recent ultra-modern Cabot Circus shopping centre, Bristol will satisfy everyone’s taste. When I first came here in September, I was particularly pleased to discover my Hall of residence that is Clifton Hill House. With its prime location in the posh area of Clifton and its outstanding amenities as well as nice food, it has greatly facilitated my stay up to now. Likewise, my favourite place in the university is the stunning Royal Forts Garden, which I found highly relaxing and peaceful, especially when it is sunny (which occurs more often that one might think).

As a student, my interests are quite varied. I am a very keen sportsperson and I practice tennis, badminton and squash amongst other sports regularly. Moreover, the university has a wide array of societies from which to choose from. So, there is clearly no time to get bored. I particularly appreciate the International Affairs Society, which is able to attract prominent speakers to Bristol to share their views with university students. With the first semester over, I can now safely say that university life is very different to high school in many aspects. My course is really challenging, especially the mathematical part, and there are definitely some interesting lecturers. I particularly enjoy the tutorials sessions where our critical thinking is constantly stimulated. Nevertheless, what is more astonishing is that after just 5 months here, I can proudly say that I feel at home in Bristol; I strongly recommend the University, especially if you want an outstanding student experience.

Besides, I have made many friends in Bristol and I am confident that the truly international environment provided by the university is highly inspiring. I am really looking forward for the years to come, which look highly promising. On the amenities side, the opening of the new Arts and Social Sciences library in February 2009 is one of the numerous innovations that have enhanced the study environment. Similarly, the sports centre provides tip top amenities, which help you to keep fit. Alternatively, Bristol being a hilly city, there are many hills for you to explore and from where you can enjoy the view of the countryside.

It is no doubt each university is unique. However, the University of Bristol combines an excellent location, outstanding academics, a clean and safe environment, and of course a lively community. Not many universities can boast to have all those qualities together and Bristol is one of the lucky few. So, do not hesitate and join us in this marvelous Bristolian adventure: a once-in-a-lifetime experience which will change you completely…

Mayuri Balluck - BSc Accounting and Finance

Mayuri BalluckThe University of Bristol has always been one of my first choices because of its excellent reputation across the UK and internationally. Despite being a small city, Bristol is a very lively and pleasant place. The city is beautiful with plenty of open spaces and attractions such as the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the Harbourside, which I particularly like. Nightlife in Bristol is diverse and can suit everyone’s taste- there are small cosy local pubs as well as big nightclubs. You will also find a large number of restaurants and cafes around the university precinct, which are affordable for students and where you can sit and have a chat with friends.

I find that it is very practical to live in Bristol since nearly everything you need as a student is within a twenty-minute walk. There are small individual shops along the road and the newly opened Cabot Circus shopping centre to shop, for those who travel often, the coach and train stations are also some minutes away from the university. However, the only disadvantage is that some parts of Bristol are rather hilly but this helps to keep fit.

Studying at the University of Bristol is exceptionally enjoyable since the atmosphere here is so positive. Besides, the tutors and lecturers here are very helpful, friendly and encouraging - they take a real interest in whatever problems we may have, whether they are academically related or not. I also find that the standard of teaching in my department is very good. In fact, what I find particularly interesting and useful is the online learning resource set by the university to allow students and lecturers to communicate. All assignments and lecture notes are made available to us online and there are even discussion boards among students and lecturers!

The few months that I have spent in Bristol up to now have been extremely pleasant –it was very easy to adapt here and I look forward to spending another wonderful two years at this university.

Ritesh Kheeroo - MEng Aeronautical Engineering

Ritesh KheerooI was lucky enough to have some relatives living in Bristol and they were the ones who gave me an introduction about the university. Needless to say that I found what they said more than interesting and thus I went a step further to know more about the university. Besides, at that time one representative from Bristol came to Royal College Port-Louis where I was studying for a brief presentation of the university. Then there was a seminar in Gold Crest Hotel, which I attended and this was the crucial triggering factor because my parents could clear the doubts they had and ask questions face to face with the representative.

I felt that completing my undergraduate studies in Bristol University would be an ideal boost for my career because of the degree recognition by industries. As a matter of fact, the opportunities here for future placement regarding the aerospace field are significant in Bristol.

Being in Bristol, a vibrant, very colourful in terms of cultures and in addition safe city is certainly a reassurance for my parents. But I was an apprehensive newbie because everything was different and the thought that was constantly rankling in my head to cope on my own with this new hectic lifestyle was putting me off, it did not take long for me to change. After that I met some Mauritian students studying here whose nifty advice really boosted me and helped build my confidence once again. All these details were just to illustrate how the university prepared to make students feel homely and parents comforted.

Henceforth, I knew that the challenge was about to start since it became clear to me that the university is emulating the claims that I heard and read about and most importantly, part of my expectations. When the course started I felt much better and relieved. I made some friends sooner rather than later to cope with the routine. Then thankfully, everything was fine. I settled down, managed my time, studies and finance, which soared my sense of responsibility.

Although the course is challenging I am enjoying it the fact that I am learning so many things which are used ubiquitously in our everyday life. The lectures given are very captivating and when you have companies like Airbus etc giving lectures on top, it is undoubtedly unimaginable for me. This gives an insight of how the real working arena is.

Shakeel Jankee - BSc Economics and Finance

Shakeel JankeeI came across the University of Bristol while doing research on the Internet, and discovered that it is among the ten best in UK. I was intrigued by the various degree programmes with Economics, Accounting, Finance and Management which are offered at the university. Hence I chose BSc Economics and Finance as a course. The wide range of resources provided to students, such as well-equipped computer and library facilities, enable better performance. Lectures and tutorials are also of a high standard. Thus, I believe that the world-class education provided by the University of Bristol will eventually shape my career in the financial sector.

I registered for BSc Economics and Finance because there are many prospects in that field both in my country, and worldwide. In addition, Bristol is an exciting city. The harbour quay is one of the favourite places I enjoy walking by. Nightlife in Bristol is also very lively. I like to go clubbing. Moreover, there is a wide variety of shops and restaurants around the city centre and on the way to university-which means plenty for shopping and eating out. The chic Stoke Bishop area serves as a pleasant atmosphere and running across the Downs keeps me healthy. Since I came to Bristol, the biggest social event I have been engaged in was a dance performance at the Marriott Hotel on the occasion of the Divali Ball. My favourite sports are football, badminton and table tennis. I hope to continue to build on my experience at the University of Bristol throughout my studies.

Cynthia Lee - LLB Law

Cynthia LeeCynthia has an uncle who lives in the UK. He recommended the Law department at Bristol to her. He said it was ‘the best after Oxbridge’. Also, Cynthia has a cousin who has just finished studying at Bristol, and she told her what a lively city Bristol was to live in, and about the high academic standard of the University.

Since she was small, Cynthia had always wanted to come to the UK. She said ‘In Mauritius the UK is generally considered to be the best for higher education, and especially for law’.

‘There is plenty of stuff to enjoy here’. The fact that the University is within the city is important. All the shops and coffee houses are nearby. Her favourite part of Bristol: ‘Clifton Village – it’s nice and posh!’ Cynthia said that she feels much more settled now that she is in her second term at Bristol. She has adapted to living in a different culture, and no longer feels homesick. She still misses her Mum but just gets a bit ‘nostalgic’ instead of feeling homesick. Her flatmates are interesting and kind. The feeling of independence that university life has given Cynthia is clear, and she has been making the most of her free time. She is a member of the University’s hip hop society, and has taken up salsa dancing as well. She’s going to be in a show at the end of term. 

Cynthia is also part of the Christian Union, and meets up every Wednesday. She enjoys the talking and singing, and was very surprised at how devout some British people can be. ‘I really didn’t know this. People think very differently about the British at home in Mauritius’.

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