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THE UK: Subject Guides

Student Spotlight: Aerospace Engineering

Want an insight into the exciting world of Aerospace engineering? Nuannat Simmons interviews Vis Sripawadkul, a Thai student in the UK.

Vis Sripawadkul

Name: Mr. Vis Sripawadkul

Country of origin: THAILAND

Course studied/studying in the UK: Aerospace Engineering (Aircraft Design)

 Where are you studying/did you study in the UK? Cranfield University

 What level was/is your course? PhD

 Q. Why did you enroll on your course in the UK and what prompted your decision to choose your current university?

The university is well-known for the subject area I’m interested (Aerospace Engineering). Some of the textbooks is written by the professors from this university. The lecturers in my undergraduate study who graduated from this university also recommended.

Q. Why did you choose the UK as a study destination?

First, the language – since everything will be in English, there is no need to spend time learning new language. Second, the duration of the course (both Masters and PhD) considered short comparing to others English-speaking country, and therefore well-known for intensive but high standard courses. 

 Q. How did you feel in your first month?

Quiet, very quiet! The campus is situated on the remote site and offers post graduation studies only. But little by little I learn to appreciate the “quietness” and now considered it “ideal” place to study without any distractions.

Q. How did your institution help you settle in to university life in the first few weeks?

My supervisor took me around on the first day. I attended orientation sessions offered by the library and research students training programs which I found quite helpful. Student Associations offers many club activities to make new friends.

Q. Where did you live and how did you find suitable accommodation?

I was lucky enough to get the student accommodation on campus. Unfortunately, due to high demand from new students, we are allowed to stay no longer than 2 years. So I went to the local lettings agency, saw a few properties, and finally chose a bungalow house in the village close to the campus and share with another student. Now I’m paying roughly the same amount as for the university accommodation but have more privacy.      

Q. Did you experience any culture shocks when you arrived in the UK?

Not really, people are polite in general. Driving made me worried a lot at first, I had to pay extra attention not to drive the way I used to drive back home. But once I learn most of the rules, I find driving here is very safe and pleasant.

Q. How did you fund your studies?

I am sponsored by the Royal Thai Government.

Q. What do you intend to you when you complete your course? Will you be returning to your country of origin?

Yes, I will go back to work as a lecturer for a university in Thailand.

Q. What were the biggest challenges that you faced in your first year?

Develop the research on my own, without any instructions or predefined work. My supervisor let me explore, wander around, even get lost a bit, and then advise me to get back on the right track. That’s the experience I valued for my study.

Q. How does the English teaching style differ from that in your home country?

Quite similar, but from my own experience, the students are encouraged to learn and work more independently.

Q. What are the best things about studying in the UK?

-  Students are encouraged to develop their own research, with industrial and real applications.

- International atmosphere, working with students from different background, learning from different perspectives and cultures

Q. What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned since you started your studies?

You will perform well if you like what you are doing.

Q. What advice would you give to other new international students?

Believe in yourself and do your best, so that you can be proud of yourself.


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Vis Sripawadkul


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