Meet Stella, Commonwealth Scholar 2013-14 - MSc Environmental Sustainability and Green Technology
Welcome Stella! So can you tell what you were doing before you came to Keele?
“I had just finished my National Service. I was serving as a teaching and research assistant in my department – Department of Geography and Rural Development.”
What is it that you like best about the University?
“The environment, the Green Keele stuff, it’s so wonderful – the environment is great and they’re so particular about sustainability issues. And the library too, opening 24 hours a day. “
What have been the main challenges during your time here?
“When I came, first it was coping with academics cause everything was just coming to me like that, everything was packed at the beginning, you had many deadlines to meet, many essays to write!”
How do you feel that your scholarship has made a difference to you?
“Well it has really made a huge difference, there was no way I would have been self-sponsored… my parents could not afford that money cause the school fees and money for living and everything is so much – so thanks to the scholarship I have been afforded opportunity to come and study abroad. But for the scholarship, I wouldn’t have been here.”
What do you think about the teaching staff here at Keele and the facilities we have?
“Another striking thing about the facilities and the teaching and everything is that the lecturers, and even the non-teaching staff... they are always ready to listen to your problems and always willing to help. Any time at all you get access to the Internet, you do what you want to do – if it’s online research then at the library you can get some online stuff. You can stay in your room and access anything you want, and it’s great!”
What do you think of your accommodation?
“It’s great. Living with people from different backgrounds, sharing the fridge and stuff you know, you have your food and whatever from your country, you prepare home stuff – sometimes you’re cooking and someone comes and is like ‘what is that?’ so you have to tell them what you’re making and all, it’s wonderful. Learning different things from different people, cause you know we are all from different backgrounds and there’s cultural shock stuff. That was at the beginning, but with time I got used to it – so it’s been fun.”
Have you joined any clubs or societies at Keele?
“I vied for the position of International Rep at Keele Postgraduate Association. My responsibilities will be trying to be the voice for International students, putting their problems across.”
Finally, what piece of advice would you offer to a student who was coming from Ghana to study at Keele?
“Keele is a great institution with wonderful people from all over the world, it is made up of a lot of international students. The first few weeks… you’ll be homesick, and all that, but once you gradually integrate yourself into the system you’ll find it’s amazing, it’s wonderful.”