Serkan Gunay

Turkey, PhD Architecture

In terms of studying a PhD it’s a good environment where you can see other people from all different fields of work.

Serkan Gunay - Turkey, PhD Architecture

Why did you decide to study in the UK and Oxford Brookes University?  

My main decision was made through my research professor. Our areas of study are quite similar and she was here in Oxford. Also the UK is more international than some other European countries. I read about the Architecture programme in Brookes and heard good things about the research through speaking to some previous students of my professor whom encouraged me to apply as well.   

What do you enjoy the most about your course?  

I think meeting people with similar kinds of interests from all around the world is very interesting. It is a good thing to meet like minded people and a very good chance to share our experiences, giving a good insight of what’s happening outside my world.

How different do you find the University’s teaching style to what you’ve had in the past?

I’ve studied in Turkey and the US, and I would say the approach is quite similar. Although in Turkey we don’t have as large an international student body, and the communication is mostly in Turkish even though courses are in English. So you can ask questions in Turkish just to understand better.

What university facilities do you find most useful?  

The library I would say because they’ve even got online articles I can use which are quite vital for me. Also our PhD office is very close to the library where the architecture books are, so that’s also quite good.  

When you first arrived how did the staff support you?  

When I first arrived I met with the postgraduate administrative personnel and they were quite helpful. At the beginning it was my first time in the UK and in Oxford, so everything was quite new. So they’ve answered all my questions, guided me to people and the director of studies was very helpful with the programme. She gave me a lot of helpful knowledge – who to ask, where to go – those kinds of things.

Do you have a favourite place in Oxford?

I think the University Parks are quite nice during the weekends for going for a walk. Again coming from a desert where greenery is missing, it’s a nice and quiet place to walk around and see people and nature.  

Would you recommend Oxford Brookes to other international students?  

I would recommend Oxford Brookes for it being in Oxford - it’s a great student city, and it’s very close to London.  So you can always go if ever you want to feel the big city life. But for a place to study - Oxford is a great city, and Brookes has a good international student body, so you will not feel that you are the only foreigner.