Winnie Wu, PhD Research in Biology, from Vancouver
“ You get to do your PhD in Britain in three to four years while it takes at least five years in North America. ”
What made you choose Bath?
I was studying in Vancouver for my undergraduate degree and came over here for my PhD. One of the main reasons was that you get to do your PhD in Britain in three to four years while it takes at least five years in North America. Besides that I wanted quite a radical change of scenery which I definitely got by moving from Vancouver to Bath.
What was your first impression of Bath?
At first I was stunned by the city and its beautiful architecture. The second impression was that Bath is a very multicultural city. And if anything, this multiculturalism has increased in the last couple of years. I have noticed, for example, a huge influx of undergraduate students from Greece and Cyprus. I guess this just adds another aspect to the student community.
What’s the best thing about being in Bath?
I like the fact that it’s a very relaxed atmosphere because obviously the last thing you need when you’re trying to write a PhD is stress. But also I liked that Bath is a very cultural, pretty and safe place to be.
What are your future plans?
Although I’ve taken the academic road so far I don’t think I’ll end up in Research. Eventually I would like to work in an advisory or managerial job for a corporate organisation and I think the knowledge I gained at Bath and the fact I have a PhD will definitely help me with that.
What are your impressions of British culture?
I didn’t find the culture to be wildly different from North America in the beginning - although you do keep spotting little cultural differences in social life.
How were you funded?
I was self-funded actually. Writing my PhD, I didn’t have the time to get a job in town as many of my friends did, so I first got a job on campus and later worked as a resident tutor in off-campus accommodation. It was good because it gave me subsidised accommodation, too. Generally, I haven’t heard of anyone struggling to find a job that’s right for them.
What do you think of the facilities in Bath?
Generally it’s all very good. There is no difference to the big Canadian universities in quality of the facilities, only in quantity really. So it is different, but ideal for postgraduates if you just want to study in a quiet atmosphere.
What do you think of the student community?
Obviously, being a resident tutor I am biased in that I don’t know what all these undergrads do in lectures. But from what I have seen the community in halls is extremely tight because there are comparatively few of them they quickly find themselves in groups. And I think, that’s a good thing because when you come straight from home, the last thing you want to be is lonely and it’s great to be in a community like that.
Would you recommend the University of Bath?
I would, yes, it is definitely a good experience. Although it probably won’t be the right thing for everybody, I think Bath is a great place for those who don’t want the buzz of a huge campus university, like Vancouver.