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Sarah Siraj

Human Biosciences

Where are you from?


Why did you choose Northumbria University, Newcastle?

It was close to home, which is convenient. It offered the degree I wanted with the modules I am interested in. The atmosphere is really relaxed so you feel more eager to learn. The staff are really supportive and easy to approach.

What do you think of Newcastle and our region and what are your favourite things to do?

Newcastle is a lovely city - just the right size.

Did you find Northumbria University welcoming? Was it easy to fit in?

It has a very warm atmosphere. The staff are so welcoming and helpful. They made the transition from sixth form/college to university so much less daunting and much more fun.

What have you enjoyed most about coming to Northumbria University?

Learning. I love that my course has so much variety.

Who has helped you most since you came to Northumbria?

Heads of faculty. My lecturers in general. Student Wellbeing staff.

Who has inspired you most at Northumbria University?

Lecturers. Its so refreshing seeing people so passionate about their areas - its infectious.

What is your favourite place on campus?

Library. Labs. City campus in general. Would be lovely if there was more outdoor seating -it would do wonders. I love that rooms that arent booked can be used for private study.

What is the best thing about your course?

It's amazing when you start to learn and understand things that actually unknowingly apply to our everyday lives. All the modules are so well planned and interconnected.

What are the most valuable lessons you have learnt to date?

Never take anything for granted.

What do you want to do in the future? What skills have you learned/improved that you think will be of most use in your future career?

Scientist? Not to sure of the job title per say. I want to do hopefully a masters and PhD so I can purse a career in research (unsure of specialty at the moment - howeverthe neurology aspect of my course is really appealing to me - so hard to decide). My lab and transferable skills which will be crucial for the years to come; hopefully a good foundation will help in coming years.

Have you worked on any projects with businesses or been on a placement? What were your most memorable experiences?

Yes - placement. Coming back to university (lectures/labs), seeing the theory aspect of the skills and knowledge I had already gained prior. Its such an euphoric experience. Whether it's lab techniques or crucial tips which could only be developed from experience. It is invaluable for working towards your degree and future careers.

If you could offer some advice to students thinking of coming to study here what would you say?

Make use of the material and advice people are offering. People actually WANT to help you and make your time here better, so it's silly not to accept. If you have questions or don't know or understand something, don't be afraid to ask. Believe me there are a good bunch who are in the exact same boat, so you might as well ask if not for their benefit. Have fun but remember to dedicate time for your study, uni is very different from school - no one is chasing you around anymore. Stick to choosing a degree that you will enjoy, you dont want to be sitting doing four years of a subject you despise just cause jobs are in demand in that area - be realistic in your choices. Go to some tasters.

How do you feel you have changed as a person since being at Northumbria University, Newcastle (e.g. confidence)?

More independent. More informed about general knowledge. More relaxed and comfortable with being myself. Being of mixed background or having practicing a certain faith is more easier since people are more accepting and many like-minded people are around. I'm enjoying University life much more than school or college. I feel more confident but it will take time getting used to how huge some classes can be.

If you had 3 words to sum up your time with us what would they be?

Inspired. Determined. Prepared.

Would you recommend Northumbria University to a friend?

Yes, of course.

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