Who are you and where are you from?
I’m from Jonas Marie Dumdum. I am originally from the city of Cebu, but prior to coming to USW I was living and working in Metro Manila.
What course are you studying?
I am currently studying MSc Renewable Energy and Resource Management.
How did you find out about the University of South Wales?
I initially learnt about USW from an education fair in Manila, then I learnt more about it through the United Kingdom Education Advisory Service – Manila Office.
Why did you choose to study here?
I believe that they offer a very good program in the field of Renewable Energy, not just in the UK but around the world. Studying at USW gives me more opportunities to explore this upcoming field as well.
Tell us about the course you are studying and how you find the lectures?
MSc Renewable Energy and Resource Management is a response to everything that is happening in the world today, where demand for energy shifts from traditional sources of energy to sustainable and renewable sources. In addition, the course also is concerned about waste treatment and environment protection.
The lectures have been tough, I must admit. However, I remind myself that the rewards for going through this course will pay substantial dividends in the end.
Tell us a bit more about studying at the University, what is it like?
Studying in the University has been a very good experience for me. The environment has been wonderful so far and very conducive, with library services open 24/7 here at the Treforest campus, friendly and accessible faculty and staff, and technological tools (such as Blackboard) that have been very useful in lecturer to student communication.
Did you attend the International Welcome Week?
International Welcome Week has been the best for me, as I got to meet my colleagues from other parts of the world that are not from the UK. We enjoyed the sessions that they offered and visited places where I never thought I could go.
What are the facilities like at the University?
Facilities in the university have been very cutting edge so far, from the use of online resources to the audiovisual equipment in classrooms to the strong broadband connection inside the lecture buildings and at the halls.
What have you enjoyed the most (Lecture, project, trip, particular moment etc)?
So far, the course trip to the university’s Hydrogen Research Centre at Baglan has been the most interesting and enjoyable. It is one of the forefronts of renewable energy research in the UK and in Europe for hydrogen fuel production. The trip continues to serve as an inspiration on why I am here in the UK – to broaden the horizons for research into what will ultimately be the next big thing in energy.
What’s the most useful thing you have learnt?
So far, perhaps it is to know which culture goes to which and go with it. Each student comes from a cultural background different from mine, and I must learn to go with their flow as well as introduce mine to ensure a good sense of understanding.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to study in the UK?
Study hard and study wide. And by study wide I mean not just to focus on the degree to which you came in, but also embrace what it means to be a student in an international sense… and what it means to be British.
What do you do in your spare time? Have you joined any sports or social clubs?
I travel during my spare time to places of historical and natural value. I have not participated in any sports or social clubs, but I currently serve as our course representative. I also have a good bunch of friends from all over Europe, Asia and New Zealand that I tag along as well.
What has been the social highlight or highlights?
Dinners every week hosted by our friends.
What has University taught you?
It has taught me so far to become more critical and analytical in all things. I have had papers that were good before, but when graded here it was too broad. However, with every assessment there is still room for improvement to which the university has the means to aid you.
What are your aspirations? What would you like to do when you finish your studies?
I want to continue what I have and will learn about this degree by working with various companies here in the UK and in Europe. The continent, as a whole, is the best place for renewable energy research. It is definitely the right area to improve the world through energy. Indeed, I am grateful that I came in to USW at a time where the world is looking at people with my degree to lead them to the future in how to power their homes, their workplaces, their means of transport – perhaps even the world. Hopefully, USW can teach me to help us all.