Shreya has just finished studying MSc in Forensic Archaeology and Crime Scene Investigation here at the University of Bradford. She gives us five reasons to study in Yorkshire.
Shreya Pandey, MSc Forensic Archaeology and Crime Scene Investigation.
My academic choices brought me to the UK. Pursuing postgraduate studies in a very niche field came with an interesting set of challenges; one of the bigger ones being that I had to be quite careful in my choice of university.
After completing two Bachelors’ programmes and multiple field schools, I had a definitive idea of what I wanted to get out of my next academic experience. I wanted to get practical knowledge from lecturers that were still active in the field and that could help me network and pursue my own career goals. I wanted placement and volunteer opportunities that catered to my future prospects.
The opportunities available to students
The UK has a myriad of universities offering a host of different opportunities to students, and a centrally organised system for students to get the information they need through UCAS.
I feel very fortunate that I was able to attend one of these universities, The University of Bradford and complete a successful and fulfilling year as a postgraduate student.
Additionally, my academic experience has not been limited to the university campus. As a student, I have had the opportunity to attend and volunteer at conferences all around the country, network with academics in the field, go behind-the-scenes to museums and relevant exhibits and volunteer in multiple laboratories to gain practical experience.
The sense of belonging and community spirit
I began my adventure in Yorkshire living through local generosity. A local generously invited me into their house and community in Dewsbury for almost an entire week as I navigated my way around my future living space.
My host helped me find a place to live, aided me in acquiring and transporting household essentials and provided me with useful information regarding the area. But perhaps most importantly, he gave me a sense of belonging and eased any tensions I may have had about finding my way as a foreigner in a tight-knit local community.
This was the first of many different forms of welcoming and inclusive gestures that I have had the privilege of becoming accustomed to in the past year.
Hiking in West Yorkshire has been a wonderful way to get to know the geographical façade of the countryside while taking in the natural scenery and local history. The area boasts various hiking trails just a short drive or transit ride out of the city centre and it a wonderful way to spend a day outdoors. Whether you are an experienced hiker or just a beginner, there is something for everyone!
The University of Bradford has its own hiking club that takes groups out regularly into the West Yorkshire countryside on weekends. I found it to be a wonderful introduction to exploring the area and meeting new people. One of my favourite trails took me from Shipley through Bingley, Harden Moor, Cottingley and Saltaire along creeks and through wooded areas on a rare cloud-free weekend.
The wonderful cities
For days when the sun doesn’t quite decide to shine, there are multiple wonderful cities to explore just a short distance away. Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool and York are all extremely easy to get to and get lost in. These cities boast picturesque historical architecture, museums, vibrant city vibes and numerous options for food, drink and activities.
Between them, I’ve explored underground speakeasy bars, music festivals, international cuisines and food trucks, escape rooms and arcade bars, chocolate factories and armoury museums, and so much more! I’ve even stumbled across one of my favourite bands busking in Liverpool town centre (despite having signed a record deal in California, USA)!
Endless travel options
And finally, but perhaps not least importantly, I have found the UK to be an excellent jumping point to various European and North African destinations. The south of France, the Andalucian countryside in Spain, the Bavarian pubs of Germany, the blue waters of Croatia, the delectable food of Morocco, the ornamental skyline of Budapest are all a short and affordable plane ride away. Go onto Skyscanner, type ‘anywhere’ as your destination and you’ll have a host of wonderful options to choose from!