International Students

If you are planning on joining the Department of Civil Engineering from overseas, you be interested to hear what our current International students have to say about the University, and what it is like to live and study here at Birmingham.

CivSoc members on site

Michaela Gkantou is a PhD student who has come from Greece to study Structural Engineering.

Μετ? απ? σχεδ?ν ?να χρ?νο διαμον?ς μου στο Μπ?ρμινχαμ, ?χω την α?σθηση ?τι πρ?κειται για μια πολυπολιτισμικ? π?λη που προσφ?ρει πολλ?ς ευκαιρ?ες. Απ? τα βασικ?τερα πλεονεκτ?ματα της π?λης ε?ναι ?τι στο κ?ντρο της ?χουν γ?νει πολλ?ς αστικ?ς αναπλ?σεις με σ?γχρονα και ?μορφα κτ?ρια, πεζοδρ?μους, πλατε?ες αποτελ?ντας χωροταξικ? ?να ενια?ο σ?νολο, με πολλ? εγγλ?ζικα καφ? για ?να απογευματιν? τσ?ι, με ?μορφα διακοσμημ?νες παρακαν?λιες παμπ, εστιατ?ρια υψηλ?ν προδιαγραφ?ν, με ?να μοντ?ρνας αρχιτεκτονικ?ς εμπορικ? κ?ντρο, ?που και ο πιο απαιτητικ?ς αγοραστ?ς μπορε? να βρει μεγ?λη ποικιλ?α προι?ντων σε ανταγωνιστικ?ς τιμ?ς. Για τους λ?τρεις της τ?χνης, η π?λη φιλοξενε? πολλ?ς σημαντικ?ς παραστ?σεις (θεατρικ?ς, μουσικ?ς, χορευτικ?ς) σε ?μορφα διαμορφωμ?νους χ?ρους, εν? τα Σαββατοκ?ριακα οι κεντρικο? δρ?μοι σφ?ζουν απ? ζω?.

Σε αντ?θεση με το ζωνταν? και πολυπολιτισμικ? κ?ντρο, σε μικρ? απ?σταση, η π?λη διαθ?τει ?ρεμες περιοχ?ς με ιδανικ?ς συνθ?κες για μια ποιοτικ? οικογενειακ? ζω?. Η περιοχ? του Μπ?ρμινχαμ επ?σης, βρισκ?μενη στο κ?ντρο της Μ.Βρεταν?ας, προσφ?ρει ε?κολη πρ?σβαση σε πολλ?ς π?λεις της (αν?μεσα σε αυτ?ς και το Λονδ?νο σε μ?λις 1μιση ?ρα με το τρ?νο). Ως εργαζ?μενη μερικ?ς απασχ?λησης στο Πανεπιστ?μιου του Μπ?ρμινχαμ αλλ? και ως διδακτορικ? φοιτ?τρια με εμπειρ?α σε ελληνικ? (προπτυχιακ?ς σπουδ?ς), γαλλικ? (Erasmus) και ιταλικ? πανεπιστ?μιο (μεταπτυχιακ?ς σπουδ?ς), θεωρ? ?τι ε?ναι ?να πανεπιστ?μιο με πολ? καλ? οργ?νωση, σημαντικ? ιστορ?α και ιδια?τερα φιλικ? περιβ?λλον. Η πανεπιστημιο?πολη ε?ναι ?νας εξαιρετικ?ς χ?ρος, πολ? ε?κολα προσιτ?ς απ? το κ?ντρο, με πολ? πρ?σινο, λειτουργικ? και καλα?σθητα κτ?ρια εναρμονισμ?να με το περιβ?λλον.

Φιλοξενε? φοιτητ?ς και εργαζ?μενους απ? πολλ?ς και διαφορετικ?ς εθνικ?τητες, δ?νοντας τη δυνατ?τητα για γνωριμ?α διαφορετικ?ν πολιτισμ?ν και ανταλλαγ? ιδε?ν, αφ?νοντας στην ?κρη κ?θε ε?δους διακρ?σεις. Το περιβ?λλον του πανεπιστημ?ου εμπν?ει ως χ?ρος εκμ?θησης, πνευματικ?ς καλλι?ργειας και εργασ?ας, παρ?λληλα ακ?μη προσφ?ρει τη δυνατ?τητα να δοκιμ?σει κανε?ς εναλλακτικ?ς δραστηρι?τητες (πχ. ιστιοπλοο?α, γκολφ, θ?ατρο, φωτογραφ?α, ορειβασ?α κ.α), να γυμναστε? στους πλ?ρως εξοπλισμ?νους αθλητικο?ς χ?ρους, να παρακολουθ?σει ενδιαφ?ρουσες διαλ?ξεις, να συμμετ?χει σε κοινωνικ?ς εκδηλ?σεις. Εν κατακλε?δι, αξιοποι?ντας τα πλεονεκτ?ματα της π?λης και της πανεπιστημιο?πολης του Μπ?ρμινχαμ, μπορε? κανε?ς να εξασφαλ?σει υψηλ? επ?πεδο εκπα?δευσης, πολ? καλ? εργασιακ? περιβ?λλον και μια ποιοτικ? ζω?.

Having spent almost a year in Birmingham, I get the feeling that it is a multicultural city that offers many opportunities. One of the main advantages that the city has to offer is that the city center has undergone urban renewal with many modern and beautiful buildings, pedestrianizations and squares constituting a unitary whole, with many English cafes’ so that one can enjoy an evening tea, beautiful decorated pubs by the canal, high standard restaurants and an architecturally modern mall, where even the most demanding buyer can find a big variety of products at very competitive prices. For the art lovers, the city hosts a lot of important shows (theatrical, musical, dancing) in beautifully modelled spaces, while on weekends the main streets are full of life. In contrast to the vivid and multicultural city center, in close vicinity, the city offers quiet neighborhoods that are ideal for a quality family life.

Furthermore, Birmingham region is located in the middle of England, allowing easy access to many cities (including London just 1:30 away by train). As a part time employee at the University of Birmingham but also a PhD student with an experience in Greek (undergraduate), French (Erasmus student) and Italian universities (postgraduate MSc), I am of the opinion that the University of Birmingham is an institution with very good organization, important history and a friendly environment. The campus is an extraordinary space, easily accessible from the city center with a lot of green areas, functional and nice buildings harmonized with the surrounding environment. It accommodates students and working people with many different nationalities, providing the opportunity to meet different cultures and ideas, while having nothing to do with discrimination.

The University’s environment is inspiring as a place of learning, intellectual culture and work, while at the same time it offers the chance to try alternative activities (ie sailing, golf, theatrical shows, photography, climbing etc), to work out in the sports facilities, follow interesting lectures and participate in social events. In conclusion, one can take advantage of the benefits that the city has to offer and in combination with the University’s campus, one can secure high level of education with a life full of quality.

Yu Hu is a PhD student who has joined our Structural Engineering Research Group from China.

生活在伯明翰

伯明翰是位于英格兰中西部区域的第二大城市。 由于伯明翰地理位置原因,伯明翰是公路、铁路及运河系统的交通枢纽。就旅客的进出站及换乘数量而言,伯明翰新街站是除伦敦外最繁忙的火车站。自从工业革命以来,独特的运河系统仍然被保留。如今,运河系统主要被用于娱乐目的,运河边的娱乐项目已经吸引了许多游客。

对于这儿的商业,主要的购物中心叫Bullring, 它包含了超过160家商店是英国最大的购物中心。Bullring 位于伯明翰市中心右侧。Mailbox 也是一个购物中心,它包括了许多时尚设计,生活品及各种餐厅。在许多独特的饭馆及忙碌的酒吧里吃饭还能观看运河的美景,所以这些特别的店都特别受欢迎。

对于饮食,由于对多元文化的社会包容性,世界料理比如:加勒比菜,中餐,希腊菜,法国菜,西班牙菜和泰国菜都能在伯明翰被发现。特别地,市中心的中国城有许多中餐馆。所以,来自于不同省份的中国人也能享受到原汁原味的中餐。

学习在伯明翰

伯明翰大学主校区坐落于伯明翰市中心西南部。大学火车站服务于伯大的学生,这个火车站也是英国唯一设置服务于大学校园的火车站。在Edgbaston,收藏的书籍主要存放在主图书馆。在主图书馆,各科目的书籍被存放于特定的位置,有医药学,法律学,艺术类,音乐,教育,牙医及其他相关学科,也包括一些特别的书,学术期刊和电子资料之类的。

作为一个土木工程专业的博士生,我们大学在实验室里也提供设施齐全的实验设备。我们也能接触到土木工程学科领域中最先进的研究方向。

伯明翰与家乡直接的相似及不同

我的家乡武汉坐落于中国中部地区,也是一个大城市在中国。相似的,两个城市交通都是多种多样并很齐全。公路和铁路在两城市朝各方向被延伸以至于人们能很方便到达各主要城市。食物的种类也是多种多样,因为家乡位于中国中部,能汇聚各类不同美食。

作为一个学习在伯明翰的外国人,这里的文化石非常多样化,各样国籍各种宗教都汇集与此。在武汉主要国籍是单一的。天气也是非常不同,大多数天在伯明翰是雨天并且天气多变的,但是在武汉雨天相对较少,天气及气温较稳定。

Living in Birmingham

Birmingham is a second biggest city located in the West Midlands of England. Partly because of its central location, Birmingham is a major transport hub on the motorway, rail and canal networks. Birmingham New Street is the busiest railway station in the United Kingdom outside London, both for passenger entries and exits and for passenger interchanges. An extensive canal system remains from the Industrial Revolution in Birmingham. Nowadays the canals are mainly used for leisure purposes, and the canal side regeneration schemes such as Brindleyplace have turned the canals into tourist attractions.

For the business, the main shopping centre in Birmingham is named as Bullring, which is the largest shopping emporium including over 160 shops or stores in the UK. The Bullring is right in the heart of the city centre. The mailbox is a shopping mall which contains many designer fashions, lifestyle shops and various restaurants. A range of exclusive eateries and buzzing bars with a canal-side view is also popular.

For the food and drink, due to the social inclusion for various cultures, international cuisines such as Caribbean, Chinese, Greek, French, Spanish and Thai can be found very easily in Birmingham. Specifically, for Chinese, the city centre of Birmingham has many Chinese restaurants in China Town. Thus, Chinese from different provinces can enjoy the original flavour of Chinese cuisines.

Studying in Birmingham

The main campus of University of Birmingham is located at the south-west of Birmingham city centre, in Edgbaston. The university station serves for the university students, which is the only university campus in mainland Britain with its own railway station. In Edgbaston, the collections are located primarily in the Main Library with subject specific site libraries for medicine, law, fine art, music, education, dentistry and other subjects, including an astonishing books, scholarly periodicals and electronic resources.

As a Ph. D student in Civil Engineering, our university provides well-equipped facilities for our experiment work in the laboratory and we can touch and develop the most advanced research in the field of Civil Engineering.

Similarities or differences between Birmingham and my home town

My home town is Wuhan in China, which is a big city in the central part of China. Similarly, the transportation facilities are both various, and the motorways and railways for the two cities are extended in all directions so that people can reach to any cities in own countries. And the type of food is various for each city because the two cities are both located in the central part.

As a foreigner studying in Birmingham, the culture is so various that many kinds of religions and nationalities exist here. In Wuhan, the main nationalities are simplex. The weather is very different, most days in Birmingham are rainy and variable, but the rainy day is relatively less than sunny day in my hometown.