Noorie currently lives in Heidelberg, Germany, doing her doctorate focusing on stem cell biology at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), which I got to see when I was visiting her in Heidelberg. She’s definitely one of the people I admire the most and one of my dearest friends. She shares her experiences with us, as part of the Leaving the Nest series.
So, tell us a bit more about yourself? What have been up to since you left college?
I went to study at the University of Birmingham for four years, got a Masters in Biochemistry. Then I embarked onto my PhD in stem cell biology at the EMBL in Heidelberg, Germany.
What led you to study this particular subject?
I have always been fascinated by the natural sciences in general. The ultimate decision to study biochemistry was thanks to the scholarship that the UoB offered me to cover my tuition fees for the duration of my degree.
Why did you choose to study in the UK?
UK HEIs are world-renowned for quality. However, the main decisive element was again the scholarship.
How was the adjustment from Mauritius to Birmingham?
I found it really exciting because it was my first time away from home. It was daunting at the beginning because I had to juggle household chores with learning. However I was very impressed by the standard of the academic environment at the university and this kept me going.
What did you wished you had known before the BIG move?
There are many misconceptions about foreigners within the insular realities of Mauritius. I wish I knew that those were misconceptions.
What was the hardest thing to get used to?
Learning to manage myself in a different culture altogether.
What is one thing that struck you about your time abroad?
How similar people from completely different cultures can be.
What do/did you miss the most from home?
The sea, sun and sand. Being with family.
What do you miss the most from Birmingham and what will you miss from Heidelberg?
UK: Student life. Living in halls and being shielded from the real world in some way.
Germany: The language. And the rich dense and delicious bread.
Heidelberg: The artsy and cultural aspect of the city, especially within the Old Town. Heidelberg was made the UNESCO city of literature in 2014, so you can imagine. J I will also miss living in the Old Town and walking along its pebbled alleyways.
What would be your advice to newly graduated college students?
Life begins now. J No matter where you end up, if you put in your best, only good things can come out in the end.
Leave me a message on Facebook or email me at themauritiangeographer[at]gmail[dot]com if you also want to share your experiences abroad.