'I couldn't keep it to myself!' Manit from Thailand shares how he felt when he got a GREAT scholarship to study in the UK

Manit, GREAT scholar, Thailand

Manit Sittimart, from Thailand, was awarded a GREAT scholarship for his master’s course in Chronic Disease Management at St Mary’s University for 2019-2020. Read about how he’s settling in to life in the UK as a GREAT scholar.

When I found out I had been awarded a GREAT scholarship, I felt so grateful. I couldn’t keep it to myself!

I’m excited to study in the UK because I will be able to meet people from all around the world. It’s a chance for me to be surrounded by native English speakers and learn, practice and improve my English.

My first impressions of the campus were that it’s so beautiful and peaceful. It’s a great environment to study and play sports.

My Freshers’ Week experience was quite exciting, I enjoyed meeting new people and making friends. I also went to a Freshers’ Fair, where I had a chance to sign up to any sports and societies that I wanted to take part in. I’ve started to explore my local area, and one of my favourite places is Strawberry Hill station. I don’t see a lot of railroad crossing gates here in the UK, so I feel nostalgic for my old days back in Thailand whenever I go through these gates. I also love visiting Hampton Court Palace, being near the River Thames makes the Palace look so spectacular.

Settling in to university life can be challenging, but I like the education system in the UK.

In doing a master’s, there’s a lot more independent study than an undergraduate degree. However, I’m really enjoying the course. It has so many various types of coursework and assignments. For example, my classmates and I recently did a roleplay exercise for a healthcare scenario and it was filmed, which was an interesting exercise. My work-life balance is getting better as I feel more familiar with the culture and lifestyle here.

Manit and friends exploring London

Manit and friends exploring London

After my degree, I see myself working in the public health sector, and I want to be able to contribute something good to healthcare in Thailand.

My course is focused on how to deal with chronic diseases, in terms of preventions and interventions. It also looks at life aspects, such as behaviour change, which are a challenge for many people in our society due to a range of factors. The knowledge I hope to gain from this degree would be hugely beneficial if we could use it to identify what the barriers are that prevent people from turning to a healthier lifestyle, and to understand what the motivating factors are in people remaining healthy. I want to use knowledge and experience from my course to educate people and help the government in Thailand shape new healthcare policies.

I’m grateful to have been selected for a GREAT scholarship.

For anyone who is thinking about applying for this scholarship programme, I would say that it’s a great opportunity for you to pursue a one-year master course within the UK. Not only are you granted funding, but you gain a real experience being abroad and embracing a new culture, which is a rewarding aspect of the university experience.

Student studying on a bench at the University of St Andrews

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