Course: PhD (Artificial Intelligence in Wind Energy Systems)
Why did you choose Durham?
I choose Durham because of my supervisor and reputation of the university. My supervisor was already working in the research area of my interest.
What were your expectations before you arrived?
I thought it would be difficult in the new environment. I had very good and satisfying communication through email with the university before my departure from Pakistan. So I was expecting that university would help me in overcoming different difficulties.
What do you think of your course?
My course is research only. I think Durham is an excellent place for research. We don’t have such opportunities in our country. Durham provides training, opportunities to excel in one’s field and of course interactions with outstanding students and researchers. We don’t have this culture in Pakistan.
How has your experience been of being an international student and studying at Durham University?
My experience here in Durham as an international student is outstanding. Staff members, students and the local people are very helpful and accommodating. I have many opportunities for career growth. I have all the facilities and support for my research. In short, this experience is far better than my expectations.
How did the college system help you settle in?
I tried to have university family accommodation through my college but it was only for Ustinov College. At that time, I thought that St. Aidan’s is not good for students like me who have their families here. However, later I was involved in more college activities like parties, scholarships and sports. St. Aidan’s is a very good college. They really care about their students. This gave me an opportunity to make new friends and also work towards my long term goals.
Did you get involved with clubs, societies or other activities? What else do you do in your spare time?
I am involved in sports. I played cricket for the Staff team last season. Currently I am playing for St. Aidan’s volleyball team.
What advice would you give other international students thinking about applying to Durham?
Durham is a beautiful small town. It’s a place giving flavours of the buzzing city life and calmness of village life. People here are very helpful with almost all the facilities one could imagine. The rankings of the university speak for itself about the quality of education and research here. If I get another opportunity, Durham would surely be my first choice.
What have been the best bits of your time in Durham so far?
The best part is the opportunities I had for my research. The very friendly attitude of my supervisors, faculty and staff of Engineering and Computing Sciences Department and the support from international office gives me a sense of satisfaction. I feel that everyone cares for me and give me respect. Whenever, I am bored with the studies, the sporting facilities give me a chance to refresh myself.
What are your plans for the future and how will your course help with this?
My plans for future are to work as an educationalist. I would like to work in academia but not as a teacher. My aim is to work for promotion of higher education and research in universities and colleges of Pakistan. I would like to work as a bridge between universities in Pakistan and in UK and the rest of the world.