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Ustinov College

Our students say...


Who are you: Ingrid Medby

What do you study: PhD Human Geography

Where are you from: Norway

College: Ustinov


I am one of the few Norwegian PhD students here, currently studying towards a doctorate in Human Geography. Specifically, I am researching how identity plays into political territoriality in the Arctic.

I am based in Ustinov College, the only all-postgraduate college. In addition to providing accommodation, Durham's college-system is fantastic for building a supportive network and making friends. Before coming here, the idea of colleges confused me, but I've come to recognise it as one of Durham University's unique advantages. When I'm not studying, I enjoy learning new languages, socialising with friends (big fan of pub quizzes, for example...), and exploring the beautiful nature-walks around town.

Additionally, I love the fact that Newcastle is only a ten-minute train-ride away, as it offers big music gigs, several cinemas, shopping, and a famous nightlife scene (and even a ferry across to Bergen, should you ever feel homesick).



Who are you: Annegret Engel

What did you study: PhD in EU Law

Where are you from: Germany

College: Ustinov


My studies in Durham equipped me with the necessary skills to be successful. This not only includes actual knowledge learned during my course, but also social skills obtained during college activities (I was awarded twice with a Ustinov College Scholarship for outstanding contribution to the social and sports activities).

My studies in Durham have also provided me with great opportunities to enhance my profile. For example, I have had the opportunity to get teaching experience from day 1 of my Ph.D. (not possible everywhere), I have been able to present my work during my studies at departmental and college level as well as to attend seminars/workshops/conferences, I have had the chance to get some first-hand experience at the European Commission as a trainee, and I have been a visiting student at the European University Institute in Florence during my Ph.D.

Durham has also helped me to build up a network with people with the same/similar interests which is essential later on whether or not a career in academia is envisaged.

Find out more of what Annegret has to say


Ask another student: Muneeb Chema