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“The architecture shows a bit of character which is amazing and that is what motivates me to study here.”
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“The best thing about my course is you have to study all the cases and then you get to write your own opinion.”
“The lecturers really encourage us to learn what is practical in the future and related to my career.”
“It’s great to be around different nationalities and apart from the programme itself it’s the thing that I appreciate the most.”
“I appreciate the freedom that we are given to go wild and creative with our design project.”
“I like the mix of the technical and the creative part of my course. It makes me think about what I want to do in the future.”
“My tutors have played a big part in my experience here - I find it really exciting when they challenge me to developoutside my comfort zone.”
“When I saw Oxford Brookes in the brochure the modern theme appealed to me. I decided to come to Oxford Brookes because I really like the modern theme. It looks advanced. It looks knowledgeable. It looks great.
My favourite place is the entrance of Oxford Brookes University because the architecture shows a bit of character which is amazing and that is what motivates me to study here. I can use resources such as the amazing library. The facilities and resources play a big role for international students.
I am involved with the Malaysian Society and Psychology Society. The societies make you feel welcomed. I found joining the Psychology Society useful because in my first month we had a picnic in South Park, which is a cool relaxing place. I made new friends at this gathering and I made more friends on the course. We talk about the course and it helps to get an understanding of students of all years including Masters and PhDs.
As international students, do not think as if you are alone because other people out there may also be feeling the same, so share your thoughts.
I would recommend Oxford Brookes to other international students; I think it is a great modern university.”
“I decided to come to the UK as I’m studying Law, and Malaysian law and UK law is the same. And to get some experience overseas, stay away from my comfort zone, and meet new people. The best thing about my course is you have to study all the cases and then you get to write your own opinion, which is a very good thing for me. To write your own thinking, your views and then compare with other people and get a better solution after that.
How different did you find the university’s teaching style compared to that of your previous experience?
My previous experience of teaching styles was more like spoon-feeding. They tell you, ‘OK, only just this part is coming out for exams’, and basically, then they give you the format of how you answer the question. And then we just memorised it and we only met in the exam hall.
But it’s totally different here; you have to learn everything by yourself. Some of my friends and I, we actually struggled a bit when we first came here. We spoke to our academic advisor, and then things just got better. And then we had this mentoring system as well like a mentor and mentee and you get to meet local people.”
“The best thing about this course is that I have a team of dedicated teaching staff. I feel they are all dynamic in their personalities. Other than that, apart from learning those modules listed in the syllabus, the lectures also provide a lot of chances to learn other things related to this work.
The lecturers really encourage us to learn what is practical in the future and related to my career, as well as a lot of research. I think this is the strength of this university course because not many universities put so much emphasis on research, because it is not easy to study.
Every lecturer has their own teaching style, but generally all of them are quite experienced, they are a leader in their field, on a particular subject or module. It’s inspiring, and makes students engage in the subject. Something very good about the lectures here is they make the students not just physically attend to the course, but really engage in the course itself emotionally, physically and mentally.
The student union and ISAT are very supportive to international students, helping them to integrate into UK culture and study style. I like the beautiful buildings over here. And everything is so accessible, it’s in walking distance. There are many friendly international students, and there are also a lot of kind British people here.”
“I came to Brookes because of the reputation of the school. The reason I selected this programme is because I wanted to do the sandwich mode because previously I have had a slightly different work experience not in the hospitality sector so in order to go from academic into work I decided to take the placement year in the UK and I am hoping to get a job in London. I like the diverse environment; it would be great for me. So after I have completed my dissertation I will have a year doing my work placement.
My Bacchus Mentor is the Hotel Development Director from InterContinental Hotels Group. As well as career advice, he has provided me with valuable information that I have been able to use in my dissertation. I am researching franchise hotel development which directly relates to his area of work, so have been able to interview him and his colleagues to collect some really useful data.
The most amazing part of the course is socialising with other people on the course - we have around 60/70 students and there are more than 25 nationalities and only 2 British people. It’s great to be around different nationalities and apart from the programme itself it’s the thing that I appreciate the most – getting to know and interact with people and everyone seems friendly for some reason, maybe it’s because it’s a hospitality programme. You get to build links with people for the future and who knows what will happen.
Oxford is a really nice place, it’s beautiful and I think it is basically a student city so everyone is from a different part of the world so I think that is the best part of it. It’s good because it is small so it makes it easy. And easy access to London.”
“The best thing about the MArchD for me is the first-year Master’s specialisation units. So I specialised in what I love doing and I gained a lot of knowledge in my first year. Then the second year of the Master’s programme encourages you to push your conceptual thinking, to be more creative and go wild with ideas, which is great. And compared to other universities, some of the other universities might be more technical, but here I’ve found that it’s really useful. Since this is our final year of studies, I appreciate the freedom that we are given to go wild and creative with our design project.
I enjoy working in the studio the most because they have up-to-date software on all the desktops. Also, there is the technology workshop, where students get to use the laser cutter, 3D printer, all those high-tech machines to make models. And there is the opportunity to collaborate with other departments in the university. Like, for example, my design project deals with photographic chemical emulsions. So I got to collaborate, or just ask advice from, one of the chemists in the Chemistry department.
Oxford is a beautiful city, very peaceful, and it’s also very close to London. So during times where I need some inspiration, I could just take a one hour bus ride to London to get inspired. Also, it’s a real student city, so when I go to the city centre, I see lots of university students, working hard and mingling. And the social life here is just balanced right; not too crazy and not too boring. I would advise international students, if this is their first time being in the UK, just to be as open-minded as possible.”
“I chose to do an MArchD Applied Design in Architecture here after my BA (Hons) Architecture because I enjoy being here and Brookes doesn’t ask you to follow a certain style but instead your lecturers all help you to develop your own thinking and your own style of Architecture. They give you options for you to explore them yourself.
There are many great things about my course! For example, learning how to develop my own thinking and letting me choose out of various types of architecture. It allows me to be more creative instead of restricting myself to a certain style. I also like the mix of the technical and the creative part of my course. It makes me think about what I want to do in the future.
I would definitely recommend my course to someone interested in Architecture. For example I have friends asking me about my experience at Brookes and I just tell them my experience is great because of all the options I get and the different field trips we get to go on as well.
I like the fact that Oxford has a beautiful environment and is quiet and homely. You can definitely concentrate when you have to study and not be distracted too much. The culture is different but the people, including my academic tutors, are very friendly. I made a lot of new friends in my first year and they’re all really nice and wanted to learn more about my culture. Now I’m still in touch with them even though they have moved back to their home countries.”
“Brookes Architecture puts a lot of emphasis on individuality and creativity, on top of technicality, which I thought was very encouraging. In their brochure and website, they encourage students to use different methods of representation, drawings and models; I like that they don’t insist on a specific style. Coming from Landscape Architecture, I was very much interested in sustainable and culture-based design, which Brookes emphasised in its brochure.
I’m intimidated by large cities such as London, so being in Oxford, a smaller student-filled city was certainly a plus point for me. Oxford is an amazing city!
I find that my tutors have played a big part in my experience here. So far I’ve had really great tutors that have been encouraging, challenging, tough, helpful, critical, all at the same time. I find it really exciting when they challenge me to develop outside my comfort zone.
I’ve been involved in Oxford Architecture Society (OxArch) last year, and being a committee member has taught me a lot about organising events, contacting working Architects, planning etc. This year, I’m the President of Oxford Brookes Malaysian Society (OBMS), which is only in its 2nd year. So structuring the society and running it is an exciting challenge. I find the diverse societies at Brookes are really enriching our university life. There’s something for everyone. And if there isn’t, we can always start one up!
To future students I’d say, come to Brookes! There’s so much going on, and so much to get involved in. Oxford’s a great city to be living in. Plus, the new building is looking great! I’ve just managed to convince a cousin to come to Brookes.”