Yao Wu

wu-yao-cropped2"The core modules are based on the theory and methodology of human geography which gives me a board spectrum of learning."
Yao Wu

MSc Research in Human Geography

Why did you choose to study at the University of Birmingham?

Before I decided to study at the University of Birmingham, I did not visit the city and campus. The reason I chose to study here is very simple. First, the University of Birmingham's good reputation and quality of teaching attracted me, and the university opened a master's program that I am interested in. The location is also an important point for me. I prefer to stay in a city with a moderate temperature, and living in Birmingham is easy to travel to other cities.

What made the course at Birmingham stand out for you? What is unique about the course?

The arrangement of the course is very reasonable. The core modules are based on the theory and methodology of human geography which gives me a board spectrum of learning. The optional modules focus on urban development, which is very interesting to me.

Can you describe your first year here?

In my first semester here, I felt that I was finding, trying and learning new things every day. This is my first time in the UK, at the University of Birmingham, so everything is new to me. My classmates are all really nice and they showed me around the main buildings on the campus when we met on the first day. I do not live near the campus but it is very convenient to go there by train and bus. I just need be careful about the train in the winter, which can be more easily delayed or cancelled. The way of studying here is also new for me. My Undergraduate major is not Human Geography, and the modules are all seminar-based with a small number of people in the first semester. Therefore, I felt under pressure at the beginning, however, it has helped me to broaden my mind and realise my potential. The professors and students here are all really willing to help me with studying.

What has been your personal highlight of your time at Birmingham so far?

Since I am not a native speaker of English, I think the most improved thing is my academic English during these time.

What do you enjoy most about your course?

Since most of my modules are seminars with a small number of people, I can listen to various ways of thinking, especially from those who have different backgrounds from me.

What is your favourite thing about life on campus?

The waffle van near staff house.

What do you enjoy most about the city of Birmingham?

The shopping center and the outdoor market.

How do you find life in the UK compared to your home country (if relevant)?

There are quite a lot different things here and I will point out some of them. Driving is on the opposite side from my home country, and the driver here is on the right side. There are also not so many people, even in the cities. There are many small towns in the UK that are suitable for visiting and hanging out in. However, shopping malls and supermarkets close earlier than at home, so always remember to check the opening time.

What are your future career aspirations?

I do not have very clear plan for my future career. The modules here really inspire me with many new ideas, so I may look for work experience in different kinds of jobs in order to find what I am truly interested in.

What are your top three tips for prospective international students who are thinking of studying at Birmingham?

  • the modules in your course
  • living costs
  • location