Evangelia Daskalaki is approaching the conclusion of her PhD studies in Metabolomics at the University of Strathclyde. She came to Glasgow in 2007 to study as an undergraduate and she hopes to stay here after she has completed her PhD. During her time at Strathclyde, Evangelia, who is half Greek and half Norwegian, has also linked up with the Strathclyde Entrepreneurial Network. She is not the first person from her family to have studied at Strathclyde, as she explains below.
Why did you choose to study at Strathclyde?
I came to Strathclyde to continue on a collaborative project within the area of Metabolomics, between Glasgow University and my current supervisor, Dr Dave Watson. He has the expertise, the instrumentation and the laboratory setting for me to conduct my research and train within my chosen discipline.
Has studying in Glasgow lived up to your expectations?
I wasn’t sure what to expect, as you never know what somewhere is going to be like until you’re there. Since coming here, seven years ago, I’ve found that there are plenty of opportunities to grow as a person and as an academic/researcher – if that is what you choose to do. Coming to Strathclyde has been like joining a community, you have the opportunity to explore any personal and/or professional opportunity you want, as long as you put in the effort.
What do you enjoy about studying and living in Glasgow?
Glasgow is a very enjoyable city to live in. It’s small but it has everything you would have in a larger city. For me, the commute (from the west end of the city) is very easy and the living expenses are very low. You also get the chance to mingle with international and local people, which has been very important.
Do you think living in Glasgow is affordable for international students?
In comparison to other areas, such as London, it is much better to stay here. You get the same type of city buzz here, too.
Have you had a lot of opportunities to meet other international students?
The Strathclyde International Society sends out a newsletter almost every week, updating people with what’s going on for international students. There are opportunities to join so many recreational clubs and meet people and find out more about what Glasgow and Scotland is all about.
What advice would you give to a prospective international student thinking of coming to Strathclyde?
The University gives you great opportunities to learn and to network. It is a great city to become independent and to grow as an individual. My cousin from Greece came here to study and I, myself, have come here, too. I know a lot of people who have chosen to study at Strathclyde in areas such as applied IT, engineering to pharmacy and biomedical sciences.
What do you hope to do when you finish your PhD?
Through our recent research, under the supervision of Dr Watson, we have been investigating the potential of identifying metabolic markers of physical activity and their application to the general population here is Scotland. We are applying for funding for me to stay here as a post-doctoral researcher and continue our efforts in the field of exercise metabolomics. I would love to stay in Glasgow, but will definitely find a way to stay in the UK
What’s been the best thing about coming to Strathclyde?
Two things have been the best part for me. Firstly, I feel like I have joined a community of people; it has been like coming home. The lecturers and staff are very understanding if you come from an international background.
Secondly, I have been able to focus not solely on research but have had the chance to go into entrepreneurship and business. Professionally, I have been able to do anything I have wanted – that’s the kind of university Strathclyde is.