Capt Kunal Narayan Uniyal is a Master Mariner by profession and presently pursuing an Msc in Maritime Policy and Shipping Management from Cardiff Business School.
As well as being a professional sailor for the last 12 years, he is also an accomplished creative writer and has been able to develop this outside his academic studies.
Student name: Kunal Uniyal
Course title: MSc Maritime Policy and Shipping Management
Year of graduation: 2017
Why did you choose Cardiff University?
I wanted to take a break from my professional life and go back to academia in order to enhance my theoretical knowledge and improve my prospects for shore management jobs. I searched for many universities regarding Marine courses and found Cardiff to be the best going by its reputation in the UK and the world over, and trust me I am not disappointed as Cardiff is living up to its expectations.
Tell us about your course. How is it different to classes back home?
I am doing Msc in Maritime Policy and Shipping Management, which is a PG course dealing with Maritime studies, ship management and port operations. It is a very unique course, one of its own kind and it helps us specialise in ship-related operations.
In India, the study structure and assessment level is completely different from the UK as it is exam based there. Here, emphasis is placed on reading various texts and enhancing our knowledge by amalgamating our ideas with past ones. No doubt, Cardiff ranks among the top research led universities in the world.
What makes the Business School at Cardiff University unique?
The vibrant, multinational culture definitely gives uniqueness to the School. While in other colleges we study with the same kinds of people, here we get the chance to enhance our knowledge and skills by intermixing with people from different countries. So after leaving the School, we not only carry enhanced ideas, but completely changed views about various countries and culture.
Secondly, the study materials, lecture delivery, and faculty knowledge are just perfect and are all ideal for Business students. Even the student-staff ratio is great which helps students clarify their doubts with staff quite easily and, in turn, for faculties to attend to students properly.
What you have enjoyed most about studying at Cardiff University?
As I have mentioned above, the multinational culture of Cardiff University is its unique selling point. I have made so many friends from so many countries and have learnt bits and pieces of so many languages. From day one when I arrived at the University, I never had any problem in settling down. Starting from freshers' events to various fairs, these events all helped me settle down in an entirely different environment so easily and so adequately. Even now, there is assistance for everything, if I face any problem regarding my academic study or personal issues, at any time of the day.
What is the best thing about living in Cardiff?
It is a very peaceful and a student friendly city. In fact, I like to call it city of students as you can see students at all nooks and corners of the city. You never find yourself lost or isolated in this environment as when you look around you can find someone like yourself. On the other hand, it's easy to budget your living here as everything is affordable in this city. I am a self-funded student and have never found myself with any financial problem at any time.
Completing a master’s course can often be a lot of hard work! Do you take part in activities outside of your degree to unwind, such as within a club/society?
Yes, you are right, it is no doubt difficult. But that has never stopped me from participating in other activities. I have joined the Taekwondo Club, Creative Writing Society and Literature Society which helps me in relieving my study-related stress. After all, this is what university life is all about, to enhance not only your academic skills but intellectual knowledge as well, and joining various societies/clubs is the best way of doing it.
How has the University supported you during your time here?
We have an International Student Support Centre at Cardiff, which helped me a lot in finding an ideal apartment for me to stay in and assisted me with getting my visa, as my family was joining me. I never had any issues with my study and finding the proper literature since the library supported me well. Since my family is already here, I participated in get-togethers with other students who have families, which the university organized and its gave us chance to meet other student families residing here.
What would be your advice for prospective students thinking about coming to Cardiff?
You don’t have to think about anything as Cardiff University does all the thinking and planning for you. You just need to apply with an open mind and heart and you will soon find yourself among the best faculties and best students in the world.
What are your plans for the future?
I am planning to pursue my PHD at Cardiff University after completing my masters, as after studying in Cardiff, I can’t see myself fitting in anywhere else. Secondly, with the kind of support provided by the institution, I believe my research will be best supported here, as we have state-of-the-art facilities!