The idea of mixing medicine and technology was amazing. I wanted to find a way to help people – for instance, by using technology instead of surgery. It puts together the two subjects I like the most, so I just thought it was the perfect combination.
My home is in Italy, but I graduated from high school in the US, and wanted to keep studying in English, so the UK was closest. Kent was well-ranked and biomedical engineering is not widely offered in other universities.
It’s definitely living up to my expectations. I’m really happy with all the practicals, all the projects and lab work we do, because it makes more sense when you put into practice what you learn from theory. Last year we had a huge robotics project: we had to create a robotic car in competition with a French university. This year is a group project, so I’m with three other people and we are planning a device for people with swallowing problems. We have to design the whole project, and it’s very interesting.
I’ve actually just started them: Biomechanics and Physiological Measurement. Until now we’ve studied mainly background information, but now we’re actually starting to do biomedical engineering, so it’s a lot more interesting – I like the practical aspects. And I’m enjoying computing, because it’s mostly about programming, which is not something I’d done before. It‘s exciting.
The lecturers are really friendly and easy to talk to – they’re not at all scary! So if you have a problem, if you didn’t understand something, you can easily reach them through email or just by showing up at their office, and they’ll be more than happy to help you. The careers advice is good too, learning how to write your CV and a covering letter.
We have 22-hour access to the computer labs, and that’s really, really helpful. I feel we have access to a lot of up-to-date equipment. There’s even a 3D printer we can use. We have everything, to be honest.
I’ve tried lots of societies, including yoga, astronomy and travel. Also because the course is a small one, just about 10 of us, we all know each other and spend time together. We are really close to each other and it’s a nice environment.
I’m very interested in prosthetics, so I’m looking into that area of biomedical engineering. If that doesn’t work out, I’m open for anything related to my field, from pharmaceutical industries to medical devices in general. It’s quite a wide field because we are gaining knowledge from multiple areas, and it’s not widely offered yet so there’s a range of things we can get into.
Enjoy all the facilities, and don’t be shy about questioning people in your field who know more, because this is the only time you’re going to have access to them. Keep up with your studies, because it’s hard work catching up if you fall behind. Make the most out of your time at university – it’s hard work, but it can be fun. You make a lot of friends, and they’re probably long-lasting ones, because you share a lot of experiences with them and start to feel like a grown-up.