Study Environmental Protection and Management abroad

I would recommend you to study in the UK

The main reason I decided to study in the UK was that Mexico does not have specialized masters in my area of interest (Nature-based solutions for ecosystems restoration) but also because the master's programmes last just one year, teachers are well-known in their fields and Universities usually have better installations. But I will not lie, at the beginning, is quite difficult to get used to a new way of teaching and learning. I was expecting exams as in my undergraduate but in both semesters I just had essays and projects (3 at the maximum per semester). However, teachers supported me along the way and they provided me with guidelines about what they were looking for in each project and essay. Also, be prepared for grades not greater than 90, it is normal here and actually more than 70 is a distinction.

In the University of Edinburgh, the installations are excellent, they have specialized laboratories, glasshouses, libraries in each school and many buildings around the city with everything you need to write your essays, or dissertation or just hang out with classmates. The main library is 24/7, which could sound like an exaggeration but believe me, many students use that advantage during exams (undergraduates) and while writing dissertations (PG students).

In conclusion, if you want to improve as a professional, I would recommend you to study in the UK, because you will learn new ways to learn, challenge yourself and improve your soft and English skills.

Why Edinburgh?

First of all, if you are a fan of Harry Potter, this is THE city. After living here for almost a year, I can assure you that this city is magical and different from other cities in the UK, particularly England. I believe Scotland has a different vibe, warmer and friendlier. Although at the beginning, it can be difficult to catch up with the accent, the best feeling is when you’re able to do it. In this regard, Scottish don’t mind repeating what they have said even 5 times! so, no worries about it. They are also really funny, which is particularly important to feel comfortable and more welcome if is your first time living in a country with another first language. I mean, they make jokes about themselves! just like Latinoamericans.

The city is well connected and you can walk around the most important tourist places. But also, the city has many parks and is surrounded by the countryside, which is convenient for people who enjoy spending time surrounded by nature rather than buildings. About that, Scotland is a beautiful country, with a lot of incredible landscapes that can make you think you’re in a Lord of the Rings movie. But if you love to travel, Edinburgh also is well connected to the UK by train or to Europe by plane.

Finally, the University of Edinburgh is one of the best universities in the world for STEM careers because has joined programmes with other organisations such as the Scottish Rural College or the Edinburgh Climate Change Institute. In fact, that was the reason I decided to study at this university and I do not regret it because studying for a joint degree allowed me to take my electives with teachers from the ECCI, the University of Edinburgh and the SRUC. I really enjoyed my classes because each subject was taught by teachers specialised in that area. For instance, although my “Soil Management” class had 2 main teachers, each class was customized by the invited researcher.

International students at the University of Edinburgh

To be honest, when I applied to my programme, I was expecting to be surrounded by some international students, with the majority of my classmates being from the UK. However, just 1% of my classmates were from there, around 80% from China, 10% from other Asian countries and the rest of them were from other countries. I think that was the main obstacle for me to socialize since Chinese students usually prefer to hang out with other students from China, though there were some exceptions. This was not only in my programme, since talking with students from different masters, they also agreed that Chinese students are the majority in the cohort and that they prefer to socialise with each other. However, the other international students are more open and I have learned about their cultures and respective countries.

My best friends here are from Malaysia and India, and I enjoyed spending time with them talking about the differences in our countries. In my free time, we go to museums (which are mainly free in the UK), hiking in places near Edinburgh or do picnics in the Meadows (the biggest park in Edinburgh).

Applying with Across the Pond

Probably it was thanks to my advisor that I decided to study for my MSc that year. She insisted I should apply to programmes and Universities even when I was not sure I was ready. I needed that push to believe in myself. She helped from search for programme options according to my undergraduate degree and career interests to apply for scholarships and information about funds. She also was for me all the way and gave me advice and guidance for achieving the English requirements by universities. She helped even when the University was delayed in giving me the unconditional letter of acceptance needed after winning the Chevening scholarship. Therefore, I will always be greatly grateful to her for smoothing my path to achieving my dream of studying in the UK.

- Mirely

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