The Christmas spirit is absolutely infectious in London.
After making it through a term of epidemiology and medical statistics, I think I’m at least qualified to say that. [95% CI crossing fingers, crossing toes].
Call me a Grinch but I’m not usually one to celebrate Christmas. Back in Singapore, the streets get all gussied up with lights and decorations but it’s hard to really get into the whole snowman thing when it’s 33 degrees Celsius all year round.
I hadn’t given it much thought here in London either, even as the temperatures started falling. Then one foggy Christmas eve day we went to our local laundrette and discovered that it’d turned into the neighbourhood Christmas tree purveyor overnight.
London is a big place, 1,572 km² to be exact, so you definitely need to know your way around. Whether it’s to shave off those precious seconds on the morning commute so you can lie in bed that bit longer or simply because you don’t want to walk in the rain, one of the most iconic transport systems has got you covered.
The Underground: A.K.A The Tube
Riding at high speed in a metal tube down a very dark tunnel, miles underground sounds like a great way to travel, right? Well, that’s basically the Tube! The massive network of underground tunnels crisscrossing all over London is one of the quickest (and more pricey) ways to get round on public transport.
You know the situation: you’re attending a presentation, you eagerly wait for new information, but the guy in front of you firstly begins by talking for 30 minutes about himself and his references! This has happened too often, so I want to be as brief as possible for the sake of German politeness.
My name is Alex, I’m 23 years old and I have the great chance to complete an ERASMUS+ exchange at Imperial College! 🙂 When I’m not studying for my subject, mechanical engineering, I do a lot of physical training (boxing and weightlifting) in my spare time. I also like to write – especially about things that move me (not the tube).
Landing on the Queen’s land with no set date to stop complying to Her Majesty’s orders was as terrifying as it was challenging. Although I am not a very nervous person, I was specially content, literally in love with the unknown, or perhaps, with the image I had created of it.
Moving was fun. “Hello! My name is Constança” was said so many times that night that for a split second I thought my biggest achievement at Uni would be knowing everyone’s name. Due to living in halls, you meet a bunch of people on the exact same position as you, at least to some extent.
While for undergrads university means plenty of tests and homework, PhD students spend long hours marking their work. If you’re the one submitting solutions, these are ten ways to annoy the marker.
- Write your solutions in random places of the page. Don’t waste any space – make sure that this little gap in the middle of question 1 is filled with your answer to question 3.
- Use a pencil or, even better, a red pen. Don’t forget about correction fluid! Surely the instructions to write only in black or blue were just a joke.
- Provide a few answers to the same question, with a comment: “Choose the correct one”.
We were celebrating my friend’s birthday in a pub, when someone mentioned that “something happened on London Bridge”. Soon I got a message from my mum, who wanted to make sure I was fine. Not much later the news were getting more and more upsetting. A van? A stabbing? How many victims?!
When we were going back home, some random people approached us on the train station to check if we were aware what happened (because we were actually heading in Vauxhall/Borough Market direction). I think only then I realised how serious it was. I felt safe-ish only when I finally made it to my room…
Many of you might have had similar experiences last night.
You have your undergraduate degree, you’re about to finish your masters and you aren’t sure what to do next. Get a proper job or maybe become an eternal student and apply for a PhD? I opted for the latter and so far I don’t regret (ok, I do regret sometimes, but more about it later).
Doing a PhD is something between studying and working, which surprised me. I expected a similar experience to my previous degrees. I thought I would still study, just the subjects might get harder and more detailed. I was so wrong!
If you want to pursue a PhD in order to explore your area, then I’d discourage you from this decision.
Being able to pursue higher education in London has always been one of my objectives on my ever-growing to-do list and quite frankly, I believe the same for many of you guys reading this too who are considering to undertake a degree in London!
It’s very true when they say living in London is costly. But that’s not the point of this post and in fact, it’s quite the opposite. It’s going to incur some unexpected expenditures, and for me, that is *cues drum rolls*…..
Yes, you heard me right. Food glorious food! I mean, do I even need to introduce this to anyone at all?
Soon you’ll be studying in the UK, but English isn’t your native language. If it’s something you’re worried about, this article is for you.
First of all, if you’re able to read this text without major problems (and dictionaries), you should be fine. To study maths or engineering you don’t need tricky sentence constructions or sophisticated vocabulary. Communication is the key! As long as you can read a textbook and take notes during your lecture (not necessarily understand it, because the content might be the obstacle, not the language itself!), you shouldn’t struggle too much. It doesn’t mean you’re not encouraged to improve your language skills!
One of my highlights this year at Imperial has been the honour of holding the role of Year Representative. All in all, it has been a lot of work. But it has been immensely rewarding nonetheless.
Here’s the actual job description for a Year Representative:
- Act as a voice for your Year Group in Staff-Student Committee Meetings
- Collect feedback from your year group
- Inform your year group of the department’s response
- Liaise with lecturers about tutorials and any other matters
- Organise summer revision sessions
Your reward: Free Lunch during Staff Student Committee Meetings (Twice a Term)
Here’s what I’ve got up to, with the help of my fellow Year Rep, Anthony (AKA A Bold Ant):
- The actual roles stipulated above and…
- Setting up in an informal events committee
- Starting a Weekly Update (newsletter featuring tutorial work, exam dates, social opportunities, puns + a fun picture showing what members of our year have got up to that week)
- Obtaining content for the weekly update
- Emailing the Student Office
- Visiting lecturers officers if they haven’t replied to an email
- Messaging MatSoc Committee members to check when events will be happening
- Creating polls to help MatSoc know which events our year are interested in
- Promoting said events via the Weekly Update
The truth is, you put in as much as you get out.