July 29th, 2012
I’m now living in Barnard Castle, which is a stunningly beautiful town with a really nice little community. I live right next by a river and very often, some children will come along to take a swim or feed the ducks paddling in the water. The best part is my flat which is found in an old 1800 refurbished mill and there is always this ‘hotel’ feeling whenever I’m home. It’s like a proper posh retreat apartment!
My first week at work has certainly exceeded my expectations! I would never have imagined that less than a week after starting, I would be so deeply involved and working on a unique piece of pharmaceutical equipment. I’m currently shadowing some engineers who are performing some validation tests on a machine which uses plasma to generate UV light which in turn kills germs and bacteria. (Sorry about the technical details) The aim is basically to strerilise some tubs containing syringes which are then filled with medical liquid. I’m so fascinated by the facilities they have there and I can’t wait to be even more involved!
I’ll have to come back to uni next year to complete my degree, but I’ll be better equipped, more mature and certainly more confident in facing future challenges. I’m certain that the engineering experience that I will acquire during the year working for such a huge pharmaceutical company will help me understand better my options for the future. I believe that learning never stops so am hoping to continue studying, do a PhD and eventually go into research afterwards. The aim is to start as a research engineer and go into teaching and possibly end as a travelling professor towards the end of my career! Time will tell!
My experience as a blogger for Lives Online has been incredible with so much adventure and memories. It’s been an absolute privilege to blog for the University and knowing that so many people from across the world has been following me. Thank you enormously!
This year has really been life changing for me!
July 29th, 2012
This year has definitely been my best year at uni so far. Not only in academic terms but also in the amount of work and fun activities I’ve been involved in out of the classroom environment. I’ve had the honour of meeting fantastic people along the way and I’m sure the memories will be cherished forever.
Below are a few of the most memorable events that have made my year so special.
I started the year as the International Officer of the Students union and very clearly, this role has transformed my life beyond imagination. Part of a team of really hardworking people, I was on board to shape the academic experience of our students, gaining so much skills along the way. I helped in organising freshers week, which is a week of entertainment (featuring some big names) for new students joining the university. I was also helping in organising activities and trips to various landmarks across the UK. The experience was simply invaluable and I am so grateful of being able to do this alongside my studies.
One of the highlights of this year was organising Diversity Celebration. The idea was to get students to offer an insight of their country but it was hard to gather people to perform on the stage, cook traditional food, dress in their traditional attire and presenting the show was a real challenge for me too. But I’m glad that everything turned out to be a huge success in the end!
I hope you guys still remember honey! I really enjoyed my time with my flatmate’s hamster and looking after her was a real pleasure, specially when she would roll around in her little ball. Unfortunately, she passed away a few months back but memories of her still float in our house.
As a final farewell to friends who were leaving, and of course knowing what I will be leaving too, I decided to plan a farewell barbeque with lots of food and lots of fun! It was on the night of the Euro finals and everybody had such a good time. One of my friends brought his poker set and we all set out playing poker, watching the football and eating barbeque! Such a brilliant farewell to this year!
Being part of lives online
My summary for the year would have been incomplete if I didn’t mention Lives Online. It’s been a fantastic opportunity to voice out my little adventure in the UK and learn a lot about myself. I discovered how stupid I look on camera but at the same time I really enjoyed reading your comments and seeing the stats on how people have been following me from all round the world, ranging from Brazil all the way to Malaysia! It was great to pose for the University prospectus as well! It’s been an absolutely brilliant journey! Thank you so much!
July 9th, 2012
July 1st, 2012
Here’s a little video montage I made about the RHCP concert I went recently. Hope you enjoy it!
June 30th, 2012
June 30th, 2012
It’s such a weird feeling. As I sit on top of my roof watching the sun set, I can’t help being pensive. The sight of the sun setting just reminds me of how one year is ending and another adventure is starting for me. I’m intrigued about what the future holds for me but I have a feeling that I’ll enjoy it as much as I’ve enjoyed every minute of my time at the University of Sunderland!
June 28th, 2012
The much anticipated 2nd year results came out yesterday and I was delighted to be getting a First Class Degree classification for a second year running! I’ve got a first in every single module apart from one where I got an upper second and was a little bit disappointed about that but it’s not going to affect my final grades anyways! The workload was much heavier this year and the exams were harder as well but I’m glad that the hard work and sleepless nights working on assignments have finally paid off.
I’ll be away from university for about a year due to my placement and I’m hoping that I can still remember stuff I’ve done this past 2 years when I come back to student life. Speaking with some 3rd Year students, I’ve learnt that the final year is the most crucial year of the course and I know that I’ll have to be even more focussed than ever when I return! But I’m sure that the year I spend in industry will help me get a better outlook of the real engineering world, which will in turn come in handy for my final year dissertation, the backbone of the course.
June 28th, 2012
The advantage of having a huge Premier League stadium at your doorstep does not mean you can only watch some great football matches every other week but there’s also the possibility of attending some amazing concerts during the after-season. Last year we had ‘Kings of Leon’ and ‘Take That’ who performed at the Stadium of Light and this year, it was even bigger. ‘Coldplay’, ‘Bruce Springsteen’ and ‘Red Hot Chilli Peppers (RHCP)’ were among the big names who came to wow Sunderland this June.
When the tickets were first released about a year ago, I didn’t purchase any because at the time, I thought that I might already be busy working for my placement this June. But I’ll be starting in July instead and so was a little bit disappointed to miss the Coldplay concert earlier this month. People who went were astounded by the live performance and the special visual effects and I started looking for any tickets that might be left for the next concert. I jumped in excitement when I saw a post on the University webpage about a student who was selling his RHCP tickets. I had no second thoughts in getting in touch and luckily I managed to buy it from him!
I was so excited to go for my first big concert ever! The atmosphere inside the stadium was simply stunning and the feeling of walking in the middle of the football pitch was incredible. At least now I know how footballers feel with thousands of people cheering around them. There were some support bands performing before the Chillies and they were all really good, particularly ‘The Wombats’ who are gaining popularity quite rapidly.
At around 9 o’clock, the RHCP came on stage and the stadium exploded in a roar. It was unbelievable! They started singing some of their most popular songs and people were joining in as well which made the whole experience really good. On top of that, the visual effects were quite impressive with flashing lights, giant screens and lasers illuminating the whole stadium every now and then. I met some friends in the stadium and we all joined in together singing ‘Californication, Can’t Stop, By the Way, Dani California’ among other famous songs.
The Red Hot Chilli Peppers show lasted for about 2 hours and in the end they addressed the public as well thanking them for their presence and support. I think it is definitely worth going to live concerts as you get to see another facet of bands. But the most impressive thing is the atmosphere! Hope you can get a feel of what it was like in the pictures and videos!
June 22nd, 2012
The good thing about Sunderland is that Newcastle is only a metro ride’s away. I’ve been to Newcastle a few times only during my 2 years here but I always found it nice to have a little break to a busier city once in a while.
One of my friends, whom I’ve known for over 10 years, is currently studying medicine at Newcastle University and he invited me over last weekend to watch a football game at his place. It was a good time to catch up with what each other has been doing and to speak of plans for the future. We talked about my recent holidays in France, how he has been moving to different places for his hospital shifts and what our other school friends are doing.
That day, we also went out to a nice little park (Jesmond Dene Park) which was really different from the previous ones I’ve been to. The park was really huge and was covered with lush vegetation and a river was flowing right through it. It also had a mini-zoo area where birds, rabbits, goats and other animals were exhibited. It was such a serene place and the best thing about it was this brilliant waterfall which fitted so perfectly right next to an old water mill.
After our little stroll in the park, we went out to grab a bite at Burger King then went home to watch the match. Two games were on at the same time; Germany was playing Denmark and Portugal was playing the Netherlands. It was good entertainment as Germany kept it late to win the game and Portugal rather eased against a poor Netherlands side.
I took the metro back home that Sunday night ready to face a relatively busy week where I was helping out proofreading and uploading data for the new university course website. My week has pretty much been taken up by this but I totally enjoyed the experience. The staff are so friendly and helpful and working in a real life environment provided me with a good insight of what the working world is like. I’m sure that I’ll definitely be loving my placement once I start in a few weeks’ time.
June 16th, 2012
I found the week after returning from my holidays in France a real contrast from the action-packed days I had travelling to various cities, eating food on the go and sight-seeing. Most of my friends had already left Sunderland and a cold, lonely house welcomed me back. I thought that the rest of my summer would be boring specially with no real sign of sun but I soon realised that I still had many friends who were staying up.
Since coming back I’ve been to the beach, invited a few friends for lunch, went to a movie/food night, went out with my former Students’ Union Colleagues and spent a lot of time in front of the screen watching the Euros! I must say that I’m enjoying the thrill of the football!
I’ve also been assigned some work as a Student Ambassador and this has kept me busy during the last few days. I’ve helped welcoming some international University Agents from South-East Asia and it was fun to show them around, talk about the university and help them to get informed about why students would enjoy studying here. We had a tour of the
facilities on campus and on the way I managed to click some pictures of some really impressive equipment we have in the sports department.
Among them were a thermal camera which could record and display the temperature of anything it filmed as well as a very complex suit which could reproduce a 3D image of the person who wears it. These equipment can be used by students to carry out research about good sporting techniques, sporting injury treatment among others.
I was quite impressed and I think the visitors were too.
Next week I’ll be helping the Marketing Department with some data entry for the new webpage of the university online course section and I’m really looking forward to it. I’ll also try to spend some time with friends I won’t be seeing again soon because I’ll be moving to my new house for my placement in Banard Castle in July. And there’s not much time left.