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Elodie Japzon

Biotechnology

Biotechnology_Student_Elodie-JapzonWhat appealed to you about Northumbria University/studying in Newcastle?

The hands-on approach the School of Life Sciences has is very important, as it provides students with the skills and experiences they need after completing their studies, as opposed to just theory-based learning. I had friends who attended Northumbria University before and they had told me how amazing their experiences were…so here I am!

What was it about the course/subject area that particularly appealed?

I have always been interested in science, namely the research and development aspects of it. Biotechnology is not just all about genetics, it has a much wider range of applications, such as in the food industry. This course enables my passion for learning and discovering things on a regular basis.

What qualifications did you have?

I am an international student, so I have to be fluent in English. Since I did not have a background in science, I had to do a Foundation Degree in Applied Sciences which enabled me to get into Biotechnology.

How did you feel during your first week at Northumbria?

First week of university was a mixture of emotions. Being in a foreign country was quite daunting at first, because I was not sure what my professors and classmates were going to be like. I was also quite excited because I could not wait to start my course and learn new things.

What do you like most about the course?

I like the diversity of the subjects and the small classes which enable the lecturers to be more focused on the students.

Can you give an example of a piece of work you've been involved with recently and what it involves?

Currently, we have a group project in Plant Biotechnology, which is one of the final year modules. In this project, we are asked to design a new genetically modified plant application. Our idea is to increase the carbon dioxide intake in rice - which relates to an increase in photosynthesis and potentially, growth. It’s a work in progress, and we have to show how to insert the gene we want to introduce to the plant to get the effect we want.

Do you have the opportunity for any work placements during your course?

I had the opportunity to apply for work placements during my course, but I decided to just continue my studies.

What do you do when you're not studying?

I love to just sit back and relax with a book, and it can just be any book, from history, biographies to fiction. Also, I travel around when I can, abroad or just in the UK.

What's your accommodation like?

I live in a shared flat in the City Centre - around the Bigg Market area. It’s a fantastic place because the location is close to everything: university, shops, restaurants and Central Station.

What would you like to do when you graduate?

I want to go into research and development - mainly in stem cell research.

How do you get on with your tutors?

They have an open door policy, meaning I can just see them when I really need to, which is really helpful especially if there is any urgent academic query I need to discuss with them.

Have you used Student Services during your course?

Yes, they are helpful and accommodating.

What three words would you use to summarise your time here?

Interesting, challenging and amazing!


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