This year is certainly not easy for any of us. For people at my age in Hong Kong, it is hardly ever possible to attend our graduation ceremonies. When we were graduating from kindergarten, we had SARS. When we were leaving primary school, our graduation ceremony almost got cancelled as we had Swine Flu. When we completed secondary education, there were social movements in our city. Just when we thought we could finally stay away from the misfortune at the university, here comes COVID-19. Despite all these, I’ve come so far and made it through the obstacles. I do deserve a pat on the back, right? 😛
After reading what Bettina have learnt in this academic year in her last blog post, I would also like to reflect upon my year in Edinburgh:
Meeting friends from all over the world
As a student in the School of PPLS, I am really grateful for the diverse community. People in my courses and programme come from all walks of life around the globe. In the lectures and tutorials, I was intellectually provoked and intrigued by their constant input. With people coming from different countries, you are very likely to benefit from the depth and breadth of their experience. After class, it’s also a good idea to hang out with them and learn more about their culture. I’ve been trying different cuisines and getting to know more about different parts of the world. Whenever I’m travelling in the future, I know that I always have friends to rely on!
Being more independent
I have become more independent this year. As I am studying abroad, I have to deal with pretty much everything on my own – preparing my own meals, doing groceries and managing my finances. These daily chores are still manageable, but what if something unpleasant or unexpected happens. This year, the industrial action and the global pandemic were unanticipated and I have never faced these situations on my own. I had to find ways to deal with the issues and minimise the effect on my studies.
The school is here to help you
As an international student, coping with homesickness is not always easy. When something unprecedented happens, you may want someone to depend on and be there for you. When COVID-19 started to get more serious, I was in a panic and didn’t know what to do. I was so worried that my courses and dissertation would be affected. Fortunately, I have a really supportive personal tutor and we eventually sorted things out. Some people are afraid of reaching out to their personal tutors. I understand they may feel awkward to form a personal bond with a teacher, but as they have been meeting different cohorts of students, they truly understand our fear and worries. Just talk to them and they’ll be able to help!
Looking back to my life in Edinburgh, it wasn’t all sunshine and roses. Yet, it has been a rewarding year – studying a subject that I relish, staying in a lovely campus and making nice friends. I’m really glad that I made the right choice to pursue my master’s degree at the University of Edinburgh.
What about you? How do you feel about your year in Edinburgh? 😀