I am French but have always lived abroad and attended international schools, so I wanted to continue to learn in an international environment. When I was choosing where to study, I looked at universities in Canada, France and the UK. In the end I chose Kent because it was very important for me live on a green campus and, of the universities I applied to, I thought Kent had the best campus and environment.
When I arrived at Kent it was the first time I had been on to a university campus! I was living in China when I was applying to university, so couldn’t visit the universities I was interested in.
Honestly though, the Kent campus exceeded my expectations and everything was very well organised, which made settling in very easy. My mom came with me and was so impressed with the University that she didn’t have any worries about leaving me at Kent, which made saying goodbye much easier.
I’ve enjoyed studying biosciences since high school and really like how diverse the modules on my degree are. You cover lots of topics, so you get a taste of everything and soon learn which areas you prefer. I was amazed by the labs and all the equipment that’s available to us. I also like the fact that your grades for the course are made up of coursework and exams. I think coursework reflects how you manage in a work-like situation, so combining the two gives a truer reflection of your ability.
I think the support is good. Most of the time when I send emails they reply very quickly. I’ve also emailed my lecturers to ask their opinions on Master’s programmes and they were happy to help me with that.
The School of Biosciences handled it very well. Rather than having one lab every week, we had one every two weeks. I liked going to labs so initially I thought it was a shame that they had been reduced, but it worked out very well. Usually we do labs in pairs but due to Covid-19 restrictions we worked on our own. I enjoyed that because I thought it probably reflected how a non-teaching lab would operate and I felt I was more focused on my work. I hope we will be able to continue with that in some way.
In terms of our lectures, I actually like online studying now. In ‘normal times’, we attend the lecture and make notes, which you then go over afterwards. Whereas with online learning, we had asynchronous and synchronous content where you watch several videos, do your reading and other activities such as quizzes before your lecture. That worked really well for me because when I was listening to the lecture I felt more prepared and found it easier to understand the content.
Also, I think some people find it easier to ask questions online, so more people participate in the lecture, which is good as well. I live off campus now with friends from my course, so sometimes we all sit down together for our online lectures which is nice.
I spent a lot of time in the library. It has spaces for silent study and others for group study which is really useful. I also spent time studying in the Turing Hub because as I lived in Turing, that was very easy for me.
There are lots of bars, cafés and restaurants on campus, I liked Dolche Vita and would often eat in Rutherford.
Turing is very nice, quite spacious; I liked having my own bathroom. There is also communal space where you can meet other students. It was nice to hang out with my housemates, we’d have movie nights, all quite chilled.
I recently learnt about the Employability Points Scheme, so have started collecting points. There are quite a few things you can use your points for, such as internships, work placements and training. I’m participating in a challenge run by the University, where groups of students from different courses work with companies to solve real-life user problems. It’s very interesting and you also earn employability points.
I am interested in pharmaceuticals, so may take a Master’s in that field.
I would say although the grades you get in your first year don’t count towards your final degree, it’s still important to be fully motivated and focused from the beginning. And, always give your best, it will pay off in the end.