Norio Kubo, MSc Sound and Vibration, 2002
What made you select the University of Southampton?
I have been a Formula 1 enthusiast since I was a high school student. A long time ago I read an article that said F1 teams like Tyrell visited the wind tunnel at the University for aerodynamic testing and it made a great impression on me. After starting my career as tyre noise engineer, an ex-colleague who graduated from the University suggested that I take a master’s degree at Southampton.
What is Southampton like as a place to study?
Southampton is a very international place. It is also very quiet, which helped me concentrate on studying. Another benefit is that it is not far from London.
What did you enjoy about your course?
I enjoyed chatting with people from different countries and different backgrounds. Of course, meeting specialists was great experience and through the course I found a way to become an acoustical specialist.
How did you find studying in another country in a foreign language?
It was a lot easier than I had expected because the teachers were very professional. My only problem was with the exam system, which differs greatly from my country. Over here you have to focus on one or two topics for each exam. The system is designed so you do not need to understand a large number of topics lightly but to master a deeper understanding of a smaller range of topics.
What were the biggest differences you found between your home country and the UK?
1 pint beer! (Only joking!) The biggest difference was that being in the UK gave me the freedom to concentrate on my life. The pace of life in Southampton felt slower than it was in Japan, especially in the evenings.
What are your best memories of living and studying in Southampton?
Short trips to Brighton and the Isle of Wight. The atmosphere in those places was so different it allowed me to escape from life at Southampton and relax my mind. I visited Brighton again 15 years later and reminded myself what a great place it is, especially the pier.
What do you miss about Southampton and the University?
I miss studying and meeting people in such an international atmosphere.
Have you been back to visit? What was it like?
Yes, I visited in April this year. I was surprised to see so many new buildings in Southampton. But after I talked to the landlord at my B&B, my taxi driver, the people in the shops in West Quay and of course people in the University, I realized that the atmosphere is almost the same as before.
Tell us about your current role and how your course has helped you in it.
I am currently an acoustic consultant. The MSc course at the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research gave me a “true” overview of acoustical engineering and it was an important in developing my career.
What advice would you give to a student starting their degree at Southampton?
Concentrate on your own life in Southampton. Forget your life before you came and do not worry about the future afterwards. Great times will come and great times you have had already.