Doug started studying with us in 2012 and six years later he’s still here. After completing his undergraduate and Masters degrees, he’s moved on to studying a PhD with us. He tells us why Bradford is his new home and why he can’t leave.
Doug Schulz, PhD Sociology.
My name is Douglas Schulz and I am from Frankfurt (Oder), Germany. I completed my undergraduate degree in Sociology and Psychology; my Master’s in Peace Studies, and I’m currently doing a PhD in Sociology.
When I applied to university in late-2012, I wanted to go somewhere English-speaking, England was my country of choice – it’s also close enough to Germany for me to go home for a long weekend if I want to, but far enough for my parents to not bother me and plan a surprise visit.
While still in school, I was torn between studying psychology and sociology. I came across The University of Bradford and it was one of the few universities that offered a combined degree in sociology and psychology.
On my course, I learned about popular culture, identity, mental health, research methods, inter-group behaviour, and all the other things that involve society and the mind.
On my first day of class, I was really worried about making friends, but all of my course mates were in the same position, and we quickly formed a friendship group based on our interests in and outside of the course.
After receiving my degree in Sociology and Psychology, I decided to stay in Bradford to do a Master’s in Peace Studies. Having the oldest Peace Studies department in the UK, and lecturers that do research and work that has real-life implications and impact, staying in Bradford was a bit of a no-brainer.
After my Master’s, I realised that my true passion lied within research and writing about the findings. I am now doing a PhD in Sociology, looking at how fans of heavy metal music construct and exhibit their individual identity and how a sense of community is negotiated when they come together in a social setting.
Besides from studying, I am part of Ramair Radio, the universities’ own student radio, Amnesty International Society, the Music Society, and part of the Bradford Sabres Ice Hockey Club.
Through all the different societies, I have met so many people with similar interests to me. The thing I love the most about sports teams and societies is that it doesn’t matter how good you are, or how often you show up, you are considered as part of the team.
The Music Society in particular is something I thoroughly enjoy being a part of. We organise jam sessions out in the sun, raise money for charity, play Christmas songs in town, and perform at different university events.
What I like about Bradford is the mix of the different cultures that come together and live in one place. Every summer, the city hosts the ‘Bradford Festival’ which brings the entire community together and celebrates the diversity that Bradford has to offer.
If you like food, Bradford is the place – it’s been voted curry capital for a number of years recently, and there are so many good curry houses and other restaurants in town that you’ll always be finding something new.
It’s really convenient to get to other cities like Leeds, Manchester, and London by train and bus/coach. Additionally, Bradford is one of the cheapest student cities to live in. For example, you could go for a night out with £20 and that would get you drinks and a cheeky take-away when you go home.
I would recommend the University of Bradford because of the variety of courses and the emphasis on work experience while you study. No matter which course you choose, it’s likely to involve placements so that when you graduate, you’re ready for the world with experience of the job already.
A lot of the courses are top in their respective field, and you will be taught by people who conduct research that is groundbreaking and important.
Besides from that, the friendships that you gain will last forever. Moving to university is a big step and a big decision. All I can say that for me, coming to Bradford was the best decision I have made as I have had the opportunities to meet new friends, new lecturers, and not learn from them; but with them.