Student experiences - Mexico

Rodrigo Flores - MA Composition of Music for Film and Television

Rodrigo FloresMy experience at Bristol is something that will stay with me forever. Being a film composer I even named all the compositions I finished during my program at the University "The Bristol Experience". And listening to them sometimes feels like playing a movie in my mind where I can see it all happening again. I used to live at Hodgkin House and had tons of international friends there. I also had great British and International friends at the Music and Film departments.

I remember the Head of the Music Department telling me when I arrived that I was probably the first Mexican in the history of the Music Department at Bristol. It made me really proud. The city was great, the atmosphere was so inspiring. My classmates and housemates became friends with whom I keep in touch and I hope to see again several times in the future.

I guess part of that international experience at Bristol made me understand people a lot better, as well as cultures and try to do the same with myself and my culture. It's funny though, after living abroad for some time as a student (I have already done that for about five years) you also become part of the international group, in which one can really cross all borders and know that everyone anywhere can be incredibly special. I wish we could somehow make our own people feel that in our own countries, not only in terms of culture, but respect against discrimination and appreciation of all different values.

Saying good-bye to my time in Bristol was really hard and sometimes I think no matter where I go there will always be a part of me in different places, for certainly experiences like "The Bristol Experience" gave me a world that will always somehow be part of me.

Pamela Garcia - MBChB Medicine

Pamela Pulido GarciaI came to England in September 2004 and I can honestly say that never thought I would end up reading Medicine in this country. My original plan was to come and study for one year here and then to go back to Mexico to finish my Sixth Form and apply to university there as well. It did not take long for me to change my mind and realise that I wanted to stay in England not only to finish my sixth form in this country but also to go to University here.

I first heard about the University of Bristol from one of my A-level teachers who read Biology here. Then when I started looking at the different Universities that offered my course Bristol stood out for its excellent Medical reputation, great facilities and for being known for having a very friendly student community. I then visited the University with other two friends and that was enough for me to decide to apply for a place to read Medicine here.

Now after having spent a term here I feel I made the right decision to come here. I love the way my course is taught as I think it has the perfect balance between the scientific and the humanistic aspects of Medicine. Having patient contact at this early stage of my career is helping me to learn more about how they cope and learn to live with the illness they suffer from and has also helped to grow inside me a feeling of respect and a great desire to practice well, with the only purpose of extending my patient’s life expectancy and improve their quality of life in the future.

I feel very privileged to be able to study Medicine in a world-class University in a foreign country and in a language different to my mother tongue. I think being exposed to the way in which Medicine is practiced here in England will have a very beneficial impact on me and I feel that will be reflected on the way I practice when I qualify. Studying Medicine in a country different to the one were I was brought up will help me to acquire an understanding of how the needs of my patients and the type of care they expect to receive may be influenced by their cultural background or the country they live in. All of this will enable me to learn more about the needs of my patients, to communicate better with them and to build up a better doctor-patient relationship with them.

I look forward to my upcoming years at Bristol and I am sure that I will never forget my time here as a Medical Student.

Jose Antonio Alija - MSc Advanced Computing: Machine Learning, Data Mining and High Performance Computing

Jose Antonio AlijahI chose to study my MSc in UK because it has a very good reputation in education worldwide, besides you can complete the course in only one year, which benefits you from not spending too much time outside the professional environment and less expensive than paying one and a half or two years of living costs.

For several weeks I did some research to select a University, I never heard about the University of Bristol neither the city but I noticed that it was among the top 5 Universities for the program I wanted to study and among the top 10 Universities in general in the UK, in both ranking guides, the Times Good University Guide and Education Guardian University Guide.

I kept my research and obtained the programs for the top 5 Universities but none of them filled the needs I had, except for the University of Bristol, it had exactly the courses I wanted, the department took some time to prepare different courses guiding you to a certain path instead of letting you select things that will give you basic ideas of everything but not specializing you in any of them.

The response from the University was incredibly fast and friendly; as soon as I got in contact with them I received response in no time.  I got accepted within a couple weeks since I sent my applications, not like other Universities that take months to give you an answer back.  I was really happy when I received the offer from the University and from that moment I started planning everything to come here.

My wife and I adapted to the city in a couple of weeks.  We love to walk around Clifton, the Downs and specially the Suspension Bridge which is quite impressive; there are a couple of restaurants near with an excellent view, especially at night.

One problem with the UK is that public transportation is very expensive, but on the other hand in Bristol almost everything is walking distance, so you can do everything without a car, or you can buy or hire a bike, you can have a great deal if you wait after Christmas for used ones.

For the weekends there is also a lot of things to do but sometimes the rain is a trouble, although most of the times the rain is so light that you don’t even feel it.  There are a lot of restaurants, bars, pubs and nightclubs around the University area and you can go walking to them, and it is safe to walk around at night. 

Among this, studying in the UK also offers you a lot of things, meeting people from a lot of countries, which in my case I study with people from at least 10 different countries. Travel around Europe is another great opportunity, and maybe farther, like my wife and I who for winter holidays went to Morocco at an incredible price.

I am certain that the knowledge the University has given me and the experience from this year living away from home will push forward my career giving me more opportunities to apply the new skills I am learning.

Uzzi Ohana - MSc International Relations

Uzzi OhanaAt first, I was a little bit undecided on whether to accept Bristol University’s offer or not. Then, I attended an EducationUK fair in Mexico City. I had the best of luck because the Head of the Department of Politics was there! He clarified many doubts I had. Practically, that meeting was one of the reasons why I finally decided to study at Bristol.

Now, after finishing successfully my MSc course, I am certain I made the right choice not only because of the quality of education received, but also because the university’s sport facilities are exceptional and the city itself is friendly, lively and nice. Studying at Bristol University was, indeed, one of the best experiences of my life!

Erendira Quintana Morales - PhD Archaeology

Erendira Quintana MoralesMy interest in Swahili archaeology emerged from my first visit to coastal East Africa as an undergraduate. I was captivated by the abandoned settlements of beautiful coral architecture by the blue-green Indian ocean that represent the cultural and material richness of centuries of overseas and interior trade. I have been pursuing research in this area ever since. As a PhD student at the University of Bristol, now I can contribute to our knowledge of the history of this area through my own research.

I learned about the university after researching schools with faculty who could advise a project on Swahili Archaeology.  Bristol is now becoming one of largest growing centres for Swahili Archaeological Studies in the UK. Bristol has two excellent research staff members who work in coastal East Africa, and now two PhD students (including myself and another who will be joining us next year). Another great reason to come here was the support I received from staff to apply for funding. I was awarded the Overseas Research Scholarship to complete my project.

The Department of Archaeology and Anthropology is unique in this part of the world for the collaboration between these two disciplines. In fact, this year, the department hosted the 2009 conference for the Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth (ASA) with the theme: Anthropological and archaeological imaginations: past, present and future. I have enjoyed attending numerous seminars and lectures held weekly in the department. It is a great opportunity to listen to visiting scholars from around the world and have friendly discussions afterwards with other students and faculty. Outside of this forum, approaching faculty with questions has been very encouraging so far. I enjoy the challenge to work independently, while having the support of my supervisor when I need it.

I am comfortable living a ten minute walk from the university at a residence for international postgraduate students. I found out about this place through the University Housing office and website. Interesting discussions and great culinary experiences resulted from living with other students from around the world. Just a few minutes from the house is the Suspension Bridge, which I cross every Sunday on my weekly run to Ashton Court. That whole area is a beautiful place to relax and enjoy the sights, such as hot air balloons taking off over the grassy hills on a sunny day.

I encourage other students to consider Bristol for their degrees as it provides a competitive academic environment within a beautiful and vibrant city.

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