Yuejie Liu PhD English, due to graduate in 2019
Surely I would recommend Southampton. On the day of my arrival, the school coach stopped at the Glen Eyre Halls and many staffs were waiting there to welcome us, even it’s nearly 11pm. Two volunteer students helped me with my luggage and stayed with me until making sure I was properly settled and informed of all welcome events. It’s when I decided that I’ve come to the right place.
Why did you choose to study at the University of Southampton?
As a PhD applicant, I contacted my current supervisor Professor Mary Hammond and she was fully supportive about my project and the application process. Without her help, it could not be so quickly that I finished revisions of my proposal and looking for my second and third supervisors in time for the deadline. Now my supervision team works very closely and effectively, which helps me greatly with my project and research skills. I think this is the major reason that I have chosen Southampton.
What were your first impressions of the University of Southampton?
Southampton is a quiet place with a beautiful landscape and lively campuses. I base my study mainly on Avenue Campus and Hartley Library, both are perfect places for immersing in your research without worrying about disturbance. The Southampton Common beside Avenue Campus is so green and refreshing that you can always have a good relaxation after intense study there. So, quiet and perfect for study is my first impression about the university.
What do you enjoy the most about living in Southampton?
Southampton Common is definitely my favourite since it’s such a good place to have quality time after a day. I usually walk for 40 minutes there in the early evening and go for jogging on weekends. There will also be markets and music festivals, and parkrun takes place on every Saturday morning.
What is your favourite spot on campus?
On the third floor of Hartley Library when you turn right at the stairs and go by the round desks and study rooms, there will be three desks facing the big window—this is my favourite spot. I always find library comforting and sitting at this desk can bring me a great view of campus and fresh air. Plus, it’s quite a hidden place. I guess I have found a perfect office.
What has been your proudest accomplishment while you were in Southampton?
The PhD community here is a very friendly network and I can always find useful advice and information for both my research and life. The proudest thing for me is that I started my PhD directly from my undergraduate study, so the transition in between wasn’t easy, especially when I came from a totally different cultural and educational background, but through the first year I felt myself fit into the PhD family and ready for more expectations.
Would you recommend the University of Southampton to students from your home country?
Surely I would recommend Southampton. For PhD level study, the most important two things for me are the supervision team and the resources, and Southampton is good at both of them. Besides, this campus and city is exceedingly beautiful and friendly. On the day of my arrival, the school coach stopped at the Glen Eyre Halls and many staffs were waiting there to welcome us, even it’s nearly 11pm. Two volunteer students helped me with my luggage and stayed with me until making sure I was properly settled and informed of all welcome events. It’s when I decided that I’ve come to the right place.
What will you do with your degree after you have finished your studies?
I’ll go back to a Chinese university to teach after I finish my degree. Studying at Southampton helps me locate my specialised place in my research field and since I’m doing comparative literature research, the intercultural research background is essential and the opportunities to interact with other international researchers are enormous. All of these will help with my career.
Do you have any stories about your time in Southampton or a happy memory you want to share?
A PhD friend of mine and I took part in the Photography Competition for PhD researchers during the Doctoral Festival. The topic was ‘resilience’. We had a great time thinking about the meaning of this word in PhD careers and how to express it through image. We went to Common a lot for inspirations and had so many interesting talks. Our photos ended up as runner-ups and we enjoyed a good night at the final award reception where our works were displayed. It’s a huge encouragement. Still, what we enjoyed the most was our exploration and conversation.
Is there anything else you would like to say?
Another great thing about Southampton is that there will always be people listening to my opinions, no matter it is my supervisors, my colleagues, my friends, or other staffs. They are considerate and ready to offer their feedbacks. Such a good conversation system is more than precious.