'My UK master's will help me have a positive impact on the environment'

Icha, from Indonesia, studied for a master’s in environment, culture and communication at the University of Glasgow's Dumfries Campus. She shares her experience of feeling welcome in her new home, learning in a critical and encouraging environment and the positive impact she hopes to make on the environment through her career.

‘I feel respected and safe as a Muslim woman in the UK’

When choosing where to study, I wanted to find a place that would acknowledge my identity and make me feel welcome. I’m a Muslim woman, and I express my religion on a daily basis. In the UK, the society is open and inclusive of people regardless of their background, religion, race or anything else. I feel valued and respected at university and in my wider community, and I am grateful for how included I have felt here.

'I'm part of the public cycling club in Dumfries and love exploring the nature nearby'.

‘I’m studying in a place that not many international people have the chance to experience’

I study at the Dumfries Campus of the University of Glasgow. I like living in Dumfries, a small city about two hours from Glasgow by public transport. It is a place that not many international people have the chance to experience. Living in quite a rural area with a small population means that there is a real sense of community. It’s also so beautiful. I love to explore the nature and architecture in and around Dumfries.

‘Even though I’m studying in my second language and I’m very far from home, I feel like I’m not alone’

Even though I'm studying in my second language and I’m very far from home, I was able to meet students from different majors, and feel like I’m not alone. I am emotionally and academically supported, and I have grown so much in a short amount of time. The university provides many opportunities for international students to connect through various types of activities, even during the holiday season for students who don't go back home.

''I was able to meet students from different majors and have explored Dumfries and beyond with some of them'.

'I've enjoyed getting to know people of all ages through the community cycling club in Dumfries'.

'I am encouraged to think independently and express my ideas freely'

What makes my study experience different from other countries is the diversity. My classmates are from all over the world, and it’s valuable to discuss tackling environmental problems together. We can share different solutions we may not have thought of based on the contexts we are coming from. My classes have opened my eyes. I am encouraged to think critically and independently and given the space to express my ideas freely.

'Experiencing snow in Scotland for the first time was amazing'.

'I love my experience outside of academic life in Scotland'

It’s so great to be able to do so many different things freely without any limitations. I can explore my passions and hobbies in terms of art, nature and even sports.

I joined the local cycling club activities, which are very open even to newbies like me. It was a hands-on experience with local experts who helped me explore the nature in Dumfries. One day, I rode with the group to see wild geese in southern Scotland. I didn’t know that bird-watching would be so amusing. I’ve also been able to go and watch badminton competitions and explore so many museums, learning more about visual arts, culture, fashion, and biology - it’s fascinating. Public transport is also really accessible for students with cheap tickets and travel passes.

'I graduated in December 2023 after completing my dissertation focused on the challenges faced by environment-focused Islamic organisations, comparing Indonesia and the UK'.

'Being an interdisciplinary expert will help me explore new horizons'

'I think the world needs more interdisciplinary experts who can see things from broader perspectives'

I want to use my education to help me positively impact the world and the environment. Being able to do interdisciplinary studies combining environment, culture and communication in one course is helping me shift my career. The course has been perfect as it has given me the option to mix and match different subject areas. It’s both hugely interesting and will be helpful in my future. I think the world needs more interdisciplinary experts who can bridge gaps and see things from broader perspectives.

I am eager to apply the knowledge and skills acquired during my studies, and I look forward to making a meaningful contribution to the field and leveraging various opportunities for positive change.

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