Arjun Anand, BEng Mechanical Engineering

What attracted you to the University of Edinburgh and this programme, in particular?

I am a transfer student from India, where I did my first two years of engineering from there and came to Edinburgh to complete my Honour years. I chose to come to Edinburgh because it is such a beautiful city to live in. It provides an amazing student life both in terms of academics and having a vibrant social scene. The university is also among the top 20 universities in the world. Thus, getting a chance to become a part of such a prestigious university was something I wanted and, luckily, achieved.

What do you wish you'd worried about less about coming to university?

Being a transfer student, the thing I was worried about the most was how I would adjust to a completely new academic system. But what I didn’t know was that the University of Edinburgh had a plethora of resources to support the students during their time here. From Residents Assistants (RAs) to Personal Tutors, the Student Association and others, helping resolve all sorts of problems that the students might face, be it personal or academic issues. I can assure any worried applicants that the university is always there to support you and help you.  

What one thing would you recommend new students at the University of Edinburgh do?

For this I would say be prepared to be independent. University life is a brand-new step towards personal growth. So, grab every opportunity that you get during your time here, to go the distance and make your mark. It is going to be a rocky journey with ups and downs, but as they say, nothing great ever came from comfort zones. So, be ready and make the most out of your university life.  

Any student wisdom you'd like to pass on?

My only student wisdom would be to be active. That doesn’t just mean physically, but socially as well. Edinburgh has a large cohort of international students, and everyone is from a different background. This tends to help you  learn about different cultures and make diverse group of friends hopefully for a lifetime. Also, coming to university might seem overwhelming but once you put in the effort and try to be on top of things from the very beginning and manage things smartly, it is going be a fun time. You can score well in your academics and also enjoy the university life to the fullest.    

What aspects of student life do you enjoy the most and why?

Edinburgh, being a student city, has many student hotspots and favourites, spread across the city. From different pubs to clubs, sport activities, different varieties of restaurants, independent cafes, and more. I enjoy exploring them from time to time with my friends. Once the coursework is done, exploring the city, and even beyond, is something to look forward to. 

What do you most like about studying here?       

The best thing I like about studying here is the practical experience that we get. The coursework is structured in a way that help us understand and solve real world problems. The hands-on knowledge that we get is something that is a valuable addition to our skills. The professors are leading academics in their fields, and you get access  to state-of-the-art facilities for your education.

What do you find most challenging and most rewarding about your programme?

The most challenging part of my programme is that, sometimes the coursework tends to become a bit overwhelming as a lot of the deadlines might fall back-to-back and you might find yourself just constantly working. But the most rewarding part comes after submitting your work. In a way, you learn something new in the process and just the idea of getting your work completed, in the sense that you worked on something truly different and finished it, gives you a cherished sense of achievement. It also helps with my self-confidence to take on new and varied tasks.

What's a 'must do' at the University of Edinburgh?

Well, there is a myth that goes around among the students of Edinburgh, that if they don’t climb the Arthur Seat(the main peak of the group of hills in Edinburgh), in their first week of coming here, they will not graduate with their degree. To be honest, I don’t know how much of that is true but I would recommend climbing the hill, just to be safe. Once you reach the top, you get a gorgeous view of the whole city which is absolutely mesmerising.   

What is your favourite course so far and why?

There is no one course that is my favourite but if I had to choose one amongst them, I would say: “Mechanical Engineering Group Project 4” has been my favourite. This was a group design project where we worked on - ‘Design and Construction of an Affordable Wheeled Walking Frame for Persons with Impaired Mobility’. We got the opportunity to research and build a prototype model for our design and work on the group dissertation for the same. This was an incredible course where our whole group built and worked on something from scratch, on our own, and which gave us the utmost fulfilment when it was completed. 

How would you describe the practical elements of the programme?

The programme is very well structed. It provides students with considerable amount of practical exposure during their term time. There are many lab sessions where students might work on joining, welding, even assembly and dis-assembly of a full 4-cylinder engine. Alongside this, some group project work might be carried out in the labs where the floor is given to us to use any equipment available to us (of course, under the supervision of lab technicians for our safety).

What are your tips for student life in Edinburgh?

If I have to summarise this in one word I would say, “Enjoy”. Go out, explore new places, try out new things and make the most out of your time here. There are numerous festivals and celebrations that take place all year around in Edinburgh and it is a great opportunity to be in such a vibrant place. 

Can you tell us of any personal of professional achievements during your studies?

Firstly, I got offered a role as a Resident Assistant(RA) in one of the University accommodation locations, working toward community building, events planning and being the first point of contact for the residents for any sort of support or guidance. Secondly, I also got appointed as a Student Ambassador for the School of Engineering, with an opportunity to represent the university on different platforms. Lastly, a few of my classmates and I re-established the mechanical engineering society - ‘MECHSOC’ at the School of Engineering.     

How is your programme equipping you for your future career?

My programme has equipped me with knowledge outside the textbook. I believe I made a smart choice in choosing the University of Edinburgh. It has helped me gain valuable skills for my future. It has also opened doors to exciting opportunities.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of studying at the University of Edinburgh?

If you are thinking about Edinburgh, I would say it is a place where you will not only be working towards your degree but also towards becoming the best version of yourself and where you will grow holistically.

Student with hills in the background