I shall warn you now that this will be personal and it might not be useful to a general audience; but hey, we all think we are going through something unique when many of us are actually going through the same experiences, so who knows!
My PhD journey started out at the Indian Institute of Roorkee in 2018 under Dr. Partha Pratim Roy. I was happy that I would get to work on an EEG (a device capable of reading electrical signals generated by our brain), as I have always wanted to work in AI and build Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), and starting with the brain looked promising.
My name is Marika Strano, I am 28 years old, and I am a first year PhD student in English Literature at Swansea University. It is very difficult for me to write this article and to make light of my “journey” as a PhD student because I don’t want to lie to you, it is not easy being a PhD student. The admissions process is even more difficult for international students, and my experience was no exception. So, let's start from the beginning.
I started my PhD just four months ago at the University of Leeds. I’m an architect from Mexico City, and as you can imagine, it was a hard decision to move to the UK. One of the things that I noticed after I arrived here was the writing on the pavement reminding people to “look right” or “look left”. At first, I thought it all seemed very unnecessary. Now that some time has passed, I bless those signs every day. I realised how complicated it was for someone from Latin America to arrive in a country where everything is on the opposite side from what we’re used to.
In many respects, moving to Leeds has been much easier. I live in the city centre, and so it only takes 15 minutes for me to get to uni. Back in Mexico walking from my house to university took 45 minutes, so I am lucky that I live so close to campus.
Leeds moves slowly in comparison to my city. This has taken some getting used to as I am used to a faster pace, although it has been an important change in my PhD life so far. In Mexico City, everything goes so fast, a lot of people start their day at 5am and everybody is in a rush. Life in Mexico is more about surviving rather than living, and this is still the way I am in Leeds today. I’m the person who is always running everywhere, even though I’m not in a hurry.
Is The Grass Always Greener On The Other Side? The Pros And Cons Of Completing A PhD Abroad By Dr Chris Thompson
My name is Chris Thompson, and between 2016-2019 I was a PhD student in Saarbrücken (Germany), and Sydney (Australia). My thesis title was “Mental Fatigue in Football”. Overall I spent just over two years in Germany, and six months in Australia, which proved to be the cliché “rollercoaster experience” you hear many a PhD student talk about! In this short article I will discuss the pros and cons of completing a PhD abroad.