Sami Meshal Ibn Shamsah: international student profile

Sami Meshal Ibn Shamsah came to The University of Manchester from Saudi Arabia to study for his master’s degree, before continuing on to his PhD study in Mechanical Engineering within our School of Engineering. He has felt well supported throughout his studies, having gained advice from not only his supervisor and fellow students, but also the University Centre for Academic English, free short courses, and the Students’ Union. He is now looking forward towards his future career after graduation next year.

Sami Meshal Ibn Shamsah

“I chose to study at The University of Manchester due to its outstanding reputation, but also due to the research area I was interested in, rotor dynamics, being offered by very few universities worldwide. During my time in my master’s degree I met my PhD supervisor, who has both academic and professional experience within the field – and so I felt that Manchester was the best choice for me in the world.

“I think I have the best supervisor ever, as well as really friendly fellow PhD students who like sharing their work and ideas. Seminars, in which PhD students present their work and get feedback from the academic staff, take place every two weeks – I’ve learnt a lot from these seminars. I also like taking the extra free courses, such as the MATLAB short course, academic writing, and the LAB view course.

“During my PhD studies I’ve attended conferences in other countries – including Slovenia and Poland – which gave me the chance to meet with and talk to other experts, and ask the questions I wanted to ask. I’ve also been able to deliver talks; detailing my research over the past few months in just a few minutes, which is of course a challenge! I’ve made contacts through attending conferences, and have a good network. I have friends from China, India, the US and of course the UK – as well as from my own country. I think meeting people from other countries means I won’t have any difficulties in the future in working successfully with people from all over the world.

“When I first arrived in Manchester, I was surprised by the extreme diversity of the student population, and the welcome in my first few weeks was great. There were many activities and quizzes to know the University and city, and there was always a member of staff answering my questions and helping me to settle. Also when I was walking in the campus the students with purple t-shirts were there whenever I had questions. The best thing of all? I always felt welcome, never a nuisance.

“The best thing about Manchester, aside from the safe and beautiful University campus, is that I get the advantage of easy access to city life – restaurants and shops are right next door and the city centre is a few minutes’ walking distance. Manchester has all I need: cinemas, restaurants, museums, coffeehouses etc, and as a football fan, Manchester is a great city for me as it has two of the best clubs in the world.

“After graduation, I plan to work in the oil and gas industry in my country. The University of Manchester is well recognised in my country, as many companies like Saudi ARAMCO and SABIC send many students to study here. As a graduate of Manchester, I feel it will not be difficult to get a good job as soon as I graduate!”