Student name: Philip Ashon
Course title: MA International Journalism
Scholarship: Tullow Group Scholarship Scheme
Philip Ashon's story is one of perseverance and courage. After a failed attempt at applying for the Tullow Oil Scholarship in 2012, he tried again and prevailed in 2013.
He is now doing an MA in International Journalism, specialising in documentaries. Advocating hard work, research and clarity of purpose, he says that those were the ingredients to his success and hopes to be able to shape the socio-economic landscape of his country one day.
Philip also tells us about a typical week in his life here in Cardiff.
Settling into Cardiff University
The people in Cardiff are also very friendly and welcoming. I remember clearly on my first day here. I got lost and remembered how unfriendly the people in London were.
I honestly thought I was not going to find my way. All it took was to ask someone randomly and I was very impressed with how they took their time to show me around. One of them even drew me a mini-map.
The one thing that you need to get used to is the cold. Summer is always glorious but autumn and winter are not pleasant for a Ghanaian who is used to 23 degrees Celsius on a Tuesday afternoon.
The academic lifestyle
The academic atmosphere in Cardiff is very different from what I was accustomed to in Ghana. The quality of the tutelage, coming from practicing professionals with years of experience, is incomparable. They are always available and very accessible as well (though referring to them on first name basis takes a bit of getting used to).
The cultural diversity in my class is phenomenal and is one of the main advantages of this course. I especially like the debates we often get engaged in during sessions because in thirty minutes, you are able to consume knowledge from perspectives that some scholarly works could possibly not give you.
The manner in which technology is also used to communicate the material being taught is great. Books are always just a click away and the seamless coordination between departments and units make life a real pleasure. This is one of the major things I found very different especially from the situation in Ghana.
The adherence to time is one of the major things you would have to get used to very quickly. Your assignment cannot be ten minutes late and you will likely miss a class if you are five minutes late. The training has helped me with time management very well.
Social activities and extra-curriculars
I currently host a radio show on the campus radio station known as Xpress Radio called Rhythms on which I play hipline, highlife, Afro pop, Afro beat and Afro Caribbean tunes. I was also elected the course representative by my colleagues and have regular meetings with the leadership of the course on the welfare of my colleagues.