China Fangzhu Yu, International student

PhD student Fangzhu Yu smiling at the camera

I’m Fangzhu Yu, a Year4 PhD student studying electronic & electrical engineering

Hi Fangzhu. Tell us a bit about your time at Strathclyde.

My experience at Strathclyde has been extremely valuable. It's helped me to open my mind by communicating with different people and giving me the opportunity to travel around Europe. I understand the importance of tolerance and understanding.

In terms of my study, my PhD (haven’t finished yet and fingers crossed!), is giving me a larger platform which will enable me to have more choices and possibility in my life. 

What are the main differences between studying in China and studying here in Scotland?

The teaching styles and the writing requirements. I think it's more mutual interactive here, but with rigorous logbook/writing style.

What was it like moving to Scotland?

There were so many culture shocks at first - the night clubs, the food (no offense but I still prefer Chinese cuisine!) and the accent. I started to get used to it though and it’s funny, I feel unaccomodated sometimes when I go back to China now.

PhD student Fangzhu Yu smiling at the camera
If you're coming from China to study at Strathclyde, get out of your comfort zone and explore the different cultures as much as possible. The experience here is unforgettable and beneficial to your future.
-Fangzhu

What's it like being a student in Glasgow?

Being a student in Glasgow is an excellent experience. Glasgow is an ideal city to live in. It's big enough that there are all the activities you would ever love to do, but it's small and convenient enough to get around to all the stores, restaurants, museums or galleries.

Shoppers on Buchanan Street with buskers entertaining

As a student here, I think the people in Glasgow - both at the uni and around the city - are very supportive and friendly.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

There's so much! There are so many things are happening here all the time. Before Strathclyde, I seldom did sports. But, now I love and have tried many kinds of sports, including fencing. I joined a private fencing club in Glasgow and ended up as an extra for a BBC TV series in London! I've tried snowboarding and horse riding too.

I also go to the gym regularly to keep fit and sometimes play badminton with some colleagues for fun. I joined the debating club at the Uni and won the first prize in one of the local competitions.

I've learned to enjoy myself and expanded my hobbies in my spare time.

University of Strathclyde students walk down Buchanan Street in the city centre of Glasgow.

What do you like most about the city?

That’s too hard to say – there are so many things. If I had to choose only one, I'd say the people in Glasgow. I'd heard and experienced myself that the smaller a city or town is, the more friendly the people can be. Glasgow, being a bigger city, is the exception - the people here are the most valuable part of the city.

What’s your favourite Scottish word/phrase, and why?

'Aye' or 'wee' I think! 'Aye' is the Scottish word for 'yes', and 'wee' means 'small'. I was reluctant to say them myself the first couple of years but I  use them every day now – it makes me feel like a Glaswegian!