Claire Anak Richard, BEng Chemical Engineering

What do you like most about being a student at the University of Edinburgh?

Besides the ranking and the facilities available, I chose Edinburgh because of the sense of serenity and peace it gave me. It was important to me that I chose a place that I would enjoy being in and that I would feel safe in and Edinburgh ticked all the right boxes. The best part of Edinburgh is probably during Christmas time when the Christmas market opens its doors and the smell of mulled cider is everywhere and the Christmas lights go on almost everywhere making it feel very magical! My favourite moment was spending the last day of 2019 up on Arthur’s Seat and welcoming 2020 up on Carlton Hill with my friends and the fireworks!

How would you describe your programme of study to a prospective student? What is the most interesting thing about this programme?

Chemical Engineering concerns a lot on the study of processes and how to develop and design it for use in the industry. You learn Chemistry and Engineering Mathematics in your first year and an introductory course in chemical engineering which covers a wide range of topics such as process synthesis, heat transfer and material balances with some basic modules for Excel. This course does require you to be an independent learner meaning that the lecturer can only guide you but the work and effort is on your own hands. There are lectures, tutorials, workshops and labs scheduled in a week to help aid you in understanding the course. Lecture notes are given in advance so it’s pretty handy to have a look through beforehand and also recorded lectures are a big help in case you need to catch up or review a specific topic that you don’t understand. Surgery hours are also held in case you need to have a chat on the lecture with the lecturers.

University Clubs and Societies: Describe your involvement in any student clubs and societies. What have you gained from this experience?

I am a member of the Malaysian Society so far but I do want to join more societies in the future. It’s really nice to have a small piece of home away from home and I enjoy all the celebrations we have together such as Deepavali and Chinese New Year! Currently we are in the midst of preparing for the flagship event, Colours of Malaysia which I will be acting and dancing in! The list of societies are endless here, from what I heard the chocolate society did a chocolate crawl last Christmas and visited the Christmas market and cafes!

What sort of accommodation are you living in? What do you like about it?

I live in New Arthur Place, which is a university accommodation. My accommodation is very centrally located. Tesco/Lidl/Sainsbury’s is just a 5 minute walk from my place while the central campus and library, the Royal Mile, Princes Street is about a 10-15 minute walk making is very convenient for me to walk about. The accommodation overlooks Arthur’s Seat which is absolutely gorgeous and is a pretty peaceful environment. I live with 4 other people of different nationalities so it is pretty global in my flat! It’s very interesting to see the food we eat and how it’s so different and exchanging stories about our home countries to one another.

Is there any advice you could share with new students to help them make the most of their time at Edinburgh?

  • Time management is key
  • Keep your mental health in check
  • Budget and keep track of your finances

These are the three main tips that I think is important as a university student especially when being far away from home. Balancing things around and adjusting maybe hard at first but along the way it slowly becomes easier. The last word of advice is to seize every moment while you still can, join societies and save up to travel and visit places and make as many memories as possible!

What are you hoping to do after graduation?

I haven’t given much thought about my post-graduation plans, but I would definitely love to continue my studies and possibly work towards a Master’s degree or maybe even a PhD or start working in the industry to gain some experience and one day be able to contribute to the world through engineering. But either way, I’ d love to squeeze in some travelling and exploring before stepping into a new phase in life!

Claire Richard
Claire Richard