An insight into the University of Brighton by a Greek student
I’m George Diamantopoulos, 25, coming from Corinth, Greece, and currently on my way to completing the second year of my undergraduate studies as a Mechanical Engineering MEng student.
Along with my studies, I’m highly involved in the University’s Scheme. I serve as an Inclusive Practice Partner, Student Ambassador, Student Residential Advisor, Course Representative and I’m a member of Brighton University’s Sustainable Technology and Engineering Projects (STEP) Laboratory team.
Before I came to Brighton in late 2019, I spent 2 years in Dresden, Germany as a student. I studied engineering at Dresden’s technical university and in June 2019 decided to become a transfer student and apply to a university in the UK.
Brighton University was on my radar from the first moment I decided to come to the UK. The reason being is the manageability of the city, the environment of support and acceptance that was advertised at Brighton, and the undergraduate/graduate opportunities that exist.
I chose Brighton University because of its’ advanced facilities and the companies that liaise with it. As far as engineering is concerned, the University of Brighton is actively influencing the industry through research and development projects that take place; newly built facilities also enhance the character of the University, and I couldn’t be indifferent about the numerous engineering teams that are formed by university students. The one which draw my attention was the Formula Student, which is student lead. There’s a rich opportunity for an undergraduate student to become part of real-life engineering projects, which is rare.
What I love about my course is the approachability and support that exists. In case a learning difficulty arises, I can book a face-to-face session with the respective lecturer and receive immediate help. The auditorium has a maximum amount of 100 people; this gives the classroom a rather intimate character. Lecturers can answer with more detail to students’ questions, remember our weaknesses, and give us solutions to our problems. I love what engineering is in the context of flexibility. As a professional I can basically switch from one industry to the other, thus I can gain professional multilevel experience and develop more and more skills as I elevate in my career.
When I initially came to Brighton, emphasis was placed by all lecturers on the supporting services that are provided by the University. One of them was the SSGT (Student Support and Guidance Tutor). As a student, you will encounter stress; that’s inevitable. But it doesn’t have to weigh you down. The SSGTs are here to be a helping hand, a listening ear if you wish. They will provide help and assistance and create and manage a plan of action so that the student obtains coping mechanisms and excels both educationally and most importantly mentally.
My favorite part about Brighton is the city’s diversity. I adore the beachside, Pier, I360, and seven sisters’ location. Especially during the summer months, the sunsets are mesmerizing! It empties the mind and calms the spirit down, there are also countless pubs and restaurants people can sit and enjoy a good conversation with a friend. I enjoy cycling along the beachside and taking all the beautiful scenery in. It just makes me step away from the demanding reality we all live in!
After I graduate, I would love to work in the industry and gain some valuable experience. I would like to travel the world and combine my quest for professional improvement with my desire to explore different cultures, people, and ways of life!
I can safely say that studying abroad has benefited me in so many ways! There’s no substitute for learning a new culture for me. You have to travel to the said country and live there. Studying at Brighton has developed my thinking capabilities. I must communicate, express myself and write in a language; different than mine. It makes me think critically, develops my social skills, rewires my brain to learn adaptation mechanisms, and makes me proud that I am improving every single day! I have met friends who gave me experiences of a lifetime and I have given myself a world of opportunities. Coming from a small city in Greece, Brighton is just a complete live network of people and endless opportunities.
The main difference to my home country is the support towards students and the facilities that Brighton University offers. Especially helpful for me are the available paid roles. As a full-time engineering student, I don’t have the ability to work 8-hour, 5-day shifts. This will hinder my studies. The roles, the University offers are flexible, and since the University is my employer, there’s an understanding of how much time I can invest. These roles are the best of both worlds for a student! Also, the facilities are very well developed and include the latest hardware and software, needed for a student to develop their projects and also practice learning new skills.
My top tip for people who want to join Brighton University coming from Greece or any other country is to try and explore the city as much as you can! Don’t just limit yourself around your main campus, take a hike to Falmer, explore the beautiful shops on London Road, take a ride on the I360, or take the bus to the 7 sisters during the sunset with your friends. Meet new people and say hi to strangers! Brighton is the city of acceptance!