James Weir building from Rottenrow Gardens

Design, Manufacturing & Engineering Management Minghan Li

Hello!

Hi everyone, I’m Minghan, a Chinese student who is studying in DMEM, on the Product Design & Innovation programme and I’d love to tell you about my experience here in Strathclyde!

I finished my first two years of university in China at Sichuan University, and then came to DMEM (after attending the international summer school) and joined through a 2+2 programme.

Summer school

I would definitely recommend attending the summer school at DMEM, as I think it's a really good opportunity for international students to experience different education and the local life and culture here.

The classes are very interesting and useful, the time is optimised and you’ll learn many new things and come up with your own new ideas which will contribute to your development.

More than that, Strathclyde also provided students with many other fun activities like visiting castles and local manufacturing companies. The University also provided students with comfortable apartments to live in, so I’m sure all students attending the summer school would have a great experience.

Studying abroad

There are three main reasons why I chose to study internationally.

Firstly, I think it is really important for designers to experience different cultures, as we know that your surroundings will be helpful for people to come up with new ideas.

Secondly, I think the education in the UK pays more attention to helping students develop their practical ability and safe learning, and I want to improve these skills.

The last reason is that I believe this experience will contribute to my CV which will help me apply for a Masters degree later on.

Choosing DMEM

I chose DMEM because the courses within the department were focused on improving students' in practical skills. As you walk around the department you see there are many facilities and workshops, so I knew I would get more opportunities to manufacture products by myself instead of just designing on my computer.

I definitely prefer the teaching style at Strathclyde because I think it is a better way for students to learn new things and the result will always surprise you.

Benefits

I think international experience can improve a CV in many ways, for example, you will improve your English level very quickly, so you don’t need to worry about your level of language anymore. You'll also have a better chance to meet managers from different companies through the programme's guest speakers and networking, and you can apply for a part-time job to gain work experience internationally while you are studying.

Differences in teaching-style

As I mentioned before, the teaching style in DMEM develops students' practical skills and safe learning skills. In China teachers give many examples and show the students many theories, but at Strathclyde the teachers prefer to give simple guidance for students and allow them to explore this by themselves. I definitely prefer the teaching style at Strathclyde because I think it is a better way for students to learn new things and the result will always surprise you.

Moving to Scotland

I was very excited before I moved to Glasgow. Last year I attended the summer school at DMEM, and I really missed the fresh air once I got back home.

When I visited Glasgow for the first time, the buskers on the street and the gothic architecture made it an amazing experience for me.

When I visited Glasgow for the first time, the buskers on the street and the gothic architecture made it an amazing experience for me. And I was surprised by the paintings on the walls, I like them very much. I think Glasgow is a great city of art and freedom. I also have to mention I don’t miss my country or my family yet, as I have so much to keep me busy, I think that is a good thing!

Costs

The costs differ a lot depending on preferences of different people. As for me, there are three main things I have to pay for. Firstly, there is my education, and the second one is my living apartment, fortunately the price of my apartment also includes water, Wi-Fi and electricity, so I don’t need to pay additionally for those. Lastly, I have to pay for my food, but because I cook food for myself, it doesn’t cost me too much.

DMEM community

The community here is great – the staff and students I have met here are very friendly and kind. They will always answer your questions patiently and try their best to help you solve your own problems. I'm very glad to have met them.

Facilities

There are many facilities for us to use. For example, there is a studio room on floor 7 of our department. Many of my classmates will come here to study, so I can ask them some questions if I don’t understand.

You can also discuss your project together in a group, which is quite different from China. In China the people you meet in the classroom maybe don’t share the same project or other classes with you, so if you have any questions you can’t find anyone to help.

There are many other facilities you can use, equipment such as the 3D printers in the workshop, which you can access if you are in a class or even outside of a class, which is exciting because I get more access to manufacture products by myself.

Advice to other students

Firstly, try your best to improve your English level before coming to Strathclyde, so you can integrate into the life here quickly. The most important thing I can suggest for someone coming to study here is to learn how to manage your time reasonably. Compared with the courses in China the courses in Strathclyde provide you with more independent study so you'll have more free time to do research and finish your projects by yourself. So the most difficult part for Chinese students is learning to use your time valuably instead of wasting it.

I recommend to all students that they should come and join the DMEM family!

Minghan Li