Student Profile - Shi Wei Looi

BEng Materials Science and Engineering with Business Management
Home Country: Malaysia

"The best thing about studying at the University of Birmingham is the location."

Why did you apply to the University of Birmingham?

I applied to the UK as I perceived it to be a good and friendly environment that fosters education. I applied to the University of Birmingham due to the high ranking in the league tables for Material Science and Engineering and the fact that the Materials Science course provided the flexibility of a joint course between engineering and the Business School. The School of Metallurgy and Materials at the University of Birmingham is also known for its research, and the number of leading authority figures in the research community.

What are the best points of your course?

The diversity of the group and how friendly everyone has been is definitely one of the best points of the course. Having a diverse group of colleagues from varying cultures and background allows us to perceive challenges from a number of different aspects. Being in a diverse group has also allowed us to throw ideas and concepts back and forth, debating and disproving thoughts , expanding on the knowledge, information, theories and concepts learnt in lectures and having a greater understanding of the syllabus content. 

What's the best thing about studying at the University of Birmingham?

The best thing about studying at the University of Birmingham is the location. The University is a campus university, without being placed too far from the city. A weekend trip down to London to meet friends is easily achievable with a short one-and-a-half-hour journey by train. 

The garden between the library and the law buildings is a good location for a relaxing afternoon with the colleagues, enjoying some food purchased from University Centre.

What's your highlight of your time here?

Making pancakes and French toast for breakfast with my housemates on a lazy Sunday morning.

What advice would you give to other international students?

At first glance, Birmingham may not seem like much, but take the time, and make the effort to visit the city. Set aside a day each month to walk aimlessly around the city, explore the streets that you have never been to, you never know what you might stumble across.

There are a good number of nature sites to visit around Birmingham, and a good number of independent cafés, restaurants, bakeries, and businesses that are tucked out of the way that are worth a visit.

What do you like the most about the city?

St Paul’s Square. The gardens around St Paul’s cathedral in the city is a nice place to have a quiet moment to yourself, away from the bustle of New Street. It is located close to the Great Western Arcade, where there is an amazing Japanese sushi restaurant, and a bakery that has amazing French pastries and fresh bread daily.

How have you benefitted from studying in the UK?

Discipline and independence. Being at university has taught me that my parents will not always be around to mentor and push me to get work done, and eat my meals on time. It is like a slow introduction into the big wide world, where you have to be responsible for all the actions you take, and the mistakes you make along the way. It has also allowed me to exercise my culinary skills, which have been dormant for a long time.