Post-graduate study at Bristol University is a stimulating and highly rewarding experience. Everyone I have met has proven to be friendly and supportive, always willing to provide advice and help out. The friendly nature of the department is also evident in its thriving post-graduate community, and is supported by representatives from the across the numerous labs, who do a fantastic job in organising events (last years Halloween party was particularly impressive!).
In terms of social and cultural activities Bristol caters for all. At Colston Hall and the Academy you'll find a packed schedule of world-famous artists; while moving closer to the riverside you'll discover a number of smaller venues, such as the Louisiana, which provide a stage for up-and-coming bands from Bristol and across the country.
Also situated at the riverside is the Arnolfini, a gallery that is firmly at the forefront of art in Bristol and continues to go from strength to strength. Their performance art weekends should not be missed- from 'Neil Armstrong on the Moon' (an alternative interpretation of the moon landing by Tim Attack) to the surreal life-affirming joy of 'These Horses'.
Bristol also offers excellent sporting activities, enhanced by the new Sports Centre on Tyndall Avenue. Within the university you'll quickly find leagues to join and more than likely people within your department who are already involved. Although I could try and list all of the reasons why I love living in Bristol, perhaps the easiest thing is to simply say that, whatever it is you look for in a city, it is more than likely to be here. I have found everything I need in Bristol, and yet I still find something new each time I head off the beaten track!
Jez Fordham, 1st year PhD student. January 2008
Jez went on to complete his PhD and as of April 2012 was working as a post-doc in the United States
I always remember the feeling when I first arrived in UK. Everything is new, interesting and a little scaring. To be honest, no matter how good at English you are, it still needs time to get yourself used to living in an English-speaking environment. Moreover, the UK is a country with a mix of cultures because of her world-leading industries, that are attractive to international students and people who want to get work experience abroad. It is wonderful to interact with people from the UK as well as those coming from different countries. Thus, it is important that people around you are friendly. I have been lucky and made many nice friends. And surprisingly, British people are much more enthusiastic than I imagined before I came to the UK. I believe everyone can enjoy living in the UK without too much culture shock, as long as they have an open mind.
Studying at the University of Bristol is also enjoyable. High research quality provides a good and stable environment which allows me to concentrate on what I'm interested in. Moreover, encouragement and respect for original ideas can stimulate students interests and help them feel fulfilled with what they are doing, especially in scientific study, which always needs patience and positive thinking to solve problems encountered. All together, according to my experience, I would recommend doing research in UK, for students who are looking for a really good study environment. From my point of view, it is completely different from studying in Taiwan, where people are usually too busy to really think about what they are looking for.
In addition, changeable weather, western food and different social cultures are also special experiences for most Asian people. Although not every Taiwanese will like all of these differences, my opinion is that it is always worth having the experience of living in different environment.
Wei-Kang Wu. 1st year PhD student. June 2008.
Wei-Kang finished his PhD in 2011 and stayed on as a post-doc. He is currently researching the control of angiogenesis by macrophages