Asif Laldin graduated in 2014, and will be back soon for his graduation ceremony at Cheltenham Racecourse. Here, he writes about his experiences of being an undergraduate student, and of coming to the Uk to study.
In a nutshell, my three years as an undergraduate at UoG were fantastic. From the application procedure through to collecting my degree certificate, the support was there throughout. As an international student I have had a very smooth ride and have felt welcomed and part of the group. The International Student Office and HelpZone have been a constant source of advice and support. From immigration and visa issues to mitigating circumstances they are clued up and are able to provide immediate guidance.
The course provided a good balance of theory and a ‘hands on approach,’ there were many examples of coursework that provided skills that could be used in the professional world. Modules such as Ecological Impact Assessment and Monitoring provided real experience involved in monitoring sites as well standards, processes and legislation involved assessing sites prior to development. The course is effective at instilling fundamentals in evolutionary biology as well as engaging students to critically evaluate literature. The course is framed around evolution and ecological conservation but allows for enough manoeuvring for students who wish to pursue other disciplines within biology. Examples of this would be modules in Equine Biology and Microbial Biotechnology; the latter provided the basis for study at a molecular level. Furthermore staffs are always willing to help and provide detailed feedback on assignments. UoG’s Biosciences boasts an excellent student satisfaction rating and is looking to continuously expand and improve.
My time at UoG was instrumental in finding myself a MSc. In my interview the three stand-out topics (incidentally, one from each year) that allowed me to impress the panel were concepts I had learnt throughout my time at UoG. The first year module in Fundamentals of Ecology allowed me to confidently discuss ecological interactions within ecosystems. Second year module Biogeography taught the fundamentals of why and where species occur, as well as the significance of invasive species and their effect on ecosystems. In third year it was my dissertation, a molecular based project coupled with what I had learned in Microbial Biotechnology that allowed me to discuss topics such as Polymerase Chain Reactions, DNA extraction and sequencing.
To sum it up: Never underestimate the significance of anything you study, regardless of the level.
Asif Laldin, B.Sc. Biology