Rafik Faruk Ismete Nizarali, MEng Civil Engineering

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

Edinburgh struck me as a beautiful city in which I could enjoy my degree and make amazing international friends. It was all true. The beauty of this city is very striking, it is truly a privilege to study here! Additionally, I’ve found that my department (Civil Engineering) and the academics here are very passionate about their fields and want to help their students become so, too. All the staff are invested in giving us an excellent education.

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

Engineering is known to be a difficult degree because it is essentially the art of solving problems using the application of science, mathematics and digital tools. At Edinburgh, that is taken very seriously, thus it is not an easy ride. But I don’t think it should be. Nearing the end of my degree I feel prepared to be thrown into the real world and use my engineering skill set to help solve problems. It is fascinating the breadth of fields within Civil Engineering, allowing students to specialise in the field they like the most!

Placements: Describe your experience of undertaking an industrial placement as part of your programme. What have you gained from this experience? 

I did a summer internship which turned into a part-time position. It was eye-opening to go into industry and see how highly regarded Edinburgh graduates are. I highly recommend having some type of industry experience, since at the end of the day it is where most of us will end up. It is very gratifying to be able to apply knowledge gained throughout my degree to help solving real-world engineering problems.

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

I have been mostly involved with the volleyball club as a player and as club secretary. It is great to be part of a group of people who share the same interest and passion as you do. University is the right place to do this and find such people.

I have also been active in the Civil Engineering Society and become part of the committee over the last two years. It’s been great to be part of a community of civil engineering students who are likely studying this degree for similar reasons to mine. A sense of community truly exists at Edinburgh and it is up to us students to find our own!

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

I lived in university catered accommodation in my first year. From then on I rented private flat with friends. The university facilities are amazing and I felt at home the minute I arrived in my room at Pollock Halls. The restaurant staff are impeccable and very friendly; they’ll make sure to feed you well throughout your stay! 

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

Go out there and meet new people. Don’t hold back! There is a world of people out there feeling shy and new to the city, just like yourself. Enrol in clubs and societies in which you’re interested in, take an active role and make good friends. Explore the city, it is beautiful! Go off the beaten path and discover new hidden gems spread all over Edinburgh.

What are you hoping to do after graduation?

I’ve just secured a job at my dream company in London! I’m going into structural engineering looking at special and complex structures. I’m very excited to use all the knowledge I’ve gained at Edinburgh and keep growing as an engineer. I will forever hold my friends and professors dear to me and I’m sure the connections I’ve made over the length of my degree will last a lifetime.

Rafik Faruk Ismete Nizarali profile photo