Almost at the end of this journey, I feel like gradually fulfilling my goals in every step I have planned. To be honest, everything is just excelling my plans since I have been accepted in this master programme. To start with, I was awarded with the Santander Scholarship just 3 days after my arrival at Aston. Then, my life took off in multiple roles as student, tourist and professional, working on my field and therefore living beyond my initial expectations. This is the reason why I’m full of enthusiasm while planning my next steps after the course finishes in September.
It has been nine months so far, but my perception is that it has been more than two years considering the amount of experiences I have acquired here. Highlighting some of important lessons leaned along this journey I’d say that I have learnt to be resilient while following the University procedure (there are many) addressing assignments and improving my performance against short deadlines. In fact, I’m currently learning how to conciliate my final assignment, the dissertation, with a work journey and a busy job search and applications. I admit that this moment I’m living now is the hardest one so far, but still, I’m very excited and I promise to bring you good news soon in four months time.
Despite of all academic procedures, my greatest learning was how to take advantage and gain experience on my area through the lenses of different cultures. This was only possible due to the environment I was involved, surrounded by 13 colleagues coming from different cultural backgrounds worldwide. We have celebrated diversity at classrooms and beyond, traveling and studding together, sharing ideas on social media and producing 10 thematic dinners hosted by each one of my colleagues and their amazing gastronomy. Without the doubt, the positive interaction makes all difference on learning process, cause it makes the necessary bond between formal knowledge and empirical one, contextualizing what you read and hear with what you feel from different viewpoints.
Talking about difficulties, I experienced some isolation, particularly during the winter, but I have decided to leave the city and meet friends during the seasons holiday (by the way, the coldest weather in England was supportable for a tropical creature like me thanks to the right cloths and fantastic friends motioned on past posts). However, the greatest challenge I have faced was to make English language as my main way of express knowledge in academic manner. Bare in mind that even if you are a good English speaker and writer, you will still need to know how to meet the University needs of reflecting, criticizing and paraphrasing authors in accordance with your standpoints. It seams to be simple, but it requires hard work till you get used to it. So, since English is not your first language, I would recommend you to search for guidance at Aston on LDC (Learn Development Centre) where good mentors are available all time. In fact, as in many other situations in life, people are the key for development, so use, use and use the human resources available at Aston. Personally, I was impressed by “Aston’s way of make things easier for students” and always counted on the staff support to achieve what I needed. The Hub, Student Support, Career Centre, Library, International Office and my lectures were, in general, very supportive and encouraging and take this chance to thank them all for everything.
Lastly, I had the immense pleasure to receive my mum during 15 days on this summer. She has walk with me around my favourite places on campus and also outside Birmingham and this fact made my time here even more special. She is definitely the one which is part of all my achievements in life so far. Thanks, mum!
See you guys soon!