Carlos Jimenez, aged 25, from Mexico, has a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering and has worked for three and a half years in the automotive industry.
He is now studying for his MSc Operational Research and Applied Statistics at Cardiff University and will graduate in September 2018.
Name: Carlos Jimenez Santillan
Degree: MSc Operational Research and Applied Statistics
Year of study: 2018
Tell us about your course. How is it different from studying back home?
Studying at Cardiff University offers the possibility to improve your academic skills with very dynamic courses. Teaching in Cardiff University has a research approach, with self-study projects which encourage the investigation and development of your own ideas and give you the opportunity to generate critical thinking skills and more applicable knowledge for real working life.
Different than Mexico, courses only take a couple of days a week, with sessions lasting for up to 5-6 hours, called lectures. Taught by doctors and specialist academics in the topics, each lecture is normally given by a different professor making sure you receive the knowledge first-hand from a specialist in that specific field.
Some other coursework and workshops take place throughout the semester, allowing you to develop different skills in order to make the course more powerful and applicable for the industry of your interest.
What have you enjoyed most about studying at Cardiff University?
The wide-ranging and multicultural environment Cardiff University offers is the best thing about studying here. From cinema and theatre to visiting other UK cities like Birmingham or Stonehenge; Cardiff University is always pursuing culture within an international environment for its students.
Knowing different cultures changes your mind forever; makes you more tolerant, adaptable and most of all, prepared for this globalised society that day by day interconnects us more and more to every corner of the globe.
Everywhere you go within Cardiff University, you will see a different cultural activity to do; sometimes with food markets, conferences or even countries’ presentations that you wouldn’t even imagine you could be in contact with.
What is the best thing about living in Cardiff?
Cardiff is such an amazing city to live in. The city centre is full of shops and very nice restaurants; you don’t need to take a bus or train to move from one place to another, everything is just a couple of minutes walking. This is what I called a true student city; the nightlife is very exciting with all type of bars, pubs and nightclubs; and the best of all is that there’s something to do every day.
Cardiff has been named the cheapest city for students, and IT TRULY IS! Food, clothes and leisure are totally affordable. Local people are very nice with international students and you will feel safe all time.
Are you a member of any clubs or societies? If so, what’s it like to be part of a society?
I’m taking a course in Languages For All; currently, I am studying Italian. It’s amazing how Cardiff University encourages students to take extra courses for a global academic development.
Studying a new language is a great opportunity to meet new people and open your mind to new cultures. Your classes are with students from all over the world which makes the experience even more enriching. The professors are native speakers and the classes very dynamic. I feel this course is more like a hobby, learning a language in a very natural way.
How has the university supported you during your time here?
Cardiff University staff are very friendly and nice. They have helped me with the simplest things like providing me with a letter of enrolment, to more complex things like advising me to take my optional courses.
But there many other things that Cardiff University supports students with, like getting a part-time job if you need it, cab services when you don’t have the cash to pay a regular taxi, or even late- night call service if you’re feeling depressed or homesick and want to talk to somebody.
Cardiff University takes students well-being seriously and has many departments and facilities to accomplish this.
What would your advice be for prospective students thinking about coming to Cardiff?
Studying abroad will open your eyes to new cultures, experiences and knowledge, and if you’re willing to take this great opportunity why not to choose one of the best universities to study in UK?
Cardiff University has a very high academic prestige, with many courses and degrees which surely you will find one that fits your interests. Cardiff University, for me, is not just a place to come and study. It has become in a lifestyle, where now, even sometimes in my free time I spend it somewhere at any of Cardiff Uni’s facilities.
Coming to Cardiff is one of the best experiences of my life and I have no doubt you will enjoy your time here as well, where people are looking forward to giving you a very warm welcome to this amazing University.
What are your plans for the future?
After graduation, I am planning to work in the consultancy area. I would love to work for a healthcare or financial institution, and I am sure with the academic preparation I have received from Cardiff University I will achieve my goals.