Shiela Ramsey

USA, MSc Environmental Assessment and Management

I feel like everything we do has a practical application. We’ve been able to go to different consulting firms, see potential jobs and talk to people who are working in our field.

Shiela Ramsey - USA, MSc Environmental Assessment and Management

Why did you decide to come and study in the UK?

I was already living here because my husband is going to Oxford and I didn’t realise there was another uni in the area, but when I found out I started looking at the courses and found the one that I’m doing now.

Why did you choose this course?  

I wouldn’t necessarily say it was something that I originally thought about, because I didn’t really realise that it was a degree option. However my background is in Geology so I really like the environmental side of things.

Would you recommend this course to other students?

I definitely would. I always tell people back in the US what it’s like to study in the UK. Here the programmes are shorter yet I feel like you accomplish just as much, if not more. As in the US you have to take classes that might not be as useful. The programme would be two years there, whereas it’s one year here. So though it may cost more as you’re an international student who’s not in the EU, but as it is only one year there’s no difference to the cost.  

What do you like about the teaching style here?

My professors here tend to do a lot of interactive things, such as we get environmental statements and then have time in class to read over them and do discussions.  We have really small groups which I think helps, as it makes it really easy for our teachers make sure we all have something to do.  Whereas my interests are in Geology, my other friends have interests in sustainability or buildings and the teachers are able to make sure that they provide something for everyone. One of my professors has a Geology background too, so that makes it really easy for me.  

Do you have a favourite place here in Oxford?

There’s a couple, I do really like the parks and the green spaces. We always like to go to the park and do the Natural History Museum at the same time.  We really like the Magdalen College area, and then near me in Summertown, we have Cutteslowe Park.  That’s a really good one.

Do you have any tips for other international students coming to Oxford Brookes?

The most important thing to start off with is to make sure you attend the freshers fair and things like that, so you can meet people. I have my husband, but I didn’t have friends until I came here, and I think that was a big thing. Also, make sure you’re familiar with how things are graded and the teaching style here versus your own country. I think that’ll help take a lot of stress off. Just ask your professors what to expect, how they grade and what their assignments are.