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The University of Southampton
EngineeringPostgraduate study

Nathalie Almonacid MSc Energy and Sustainability, 2015

Consultant, Aquatera Ltd

Nathalie Almonacid's Photo

Studying at Southampton meant I that was able to expand my understanding of renewable energy and sustainability and tap in to the experience that the UK has in this field.

Southampton is a great university city with a real focus on students. There are plenty of facilities and leisure places for students and it is also close to other interesting cities. Studying at Southampton meant I was able to expand my understanding of renewable energy and sustainability and tap in to the experience that the UK has in this field. I came to the UK because its marine energy research and development has grown significantly in recent years. I ultimately want to take the experience I have gained in the UK to my home country to grow the marine energy sector there.

I initially chose the University of Southampton as it was one leading of the places to study renewable energy in the UK. The fact that it was one of the top 150 universities in the Shanghai rankings also enabled me to obtain a scholarship from my country's Government. When I got here I found that there were only 13 students on my course, which allowed me to have more time with tutors and professors than I would have expected. Most of my classmates were from other countries and continents, allowing me to learn about their cultures and share their traditions and experience, which I found incredibly enriching. There were also lots of places where I could study as well as plenty of open and green areas to share with my classmates.

My ambition when I graduated was to apply for a job in the UK related to the areas I studied. I am now working at Aquatera Ltd, an environmental services and products consultancy located in the Orkney Islands off the north coast of Scotland. I managed to secure an internship there after graduation, and after 3 months I was contracted into my current role as a consultant on renewables. As well as achieving my ambition I am immensely proud of living in another country with my husband and getting used to a new culture and ways of doing things. I am also proud that I have achieved a master’s degree in a language other than my native one.

To new students at Southampton, I would say it is worthwhile to mix leisure activities with your studies, creating links with other people and cultures and seeking out beautiful and historic places in your free time. In this way you can extract the most from Southampton while studying here. Additionally you have to be very organized as a degree requires a lot of personal work and study, especially if you are not from the UK.

My recommendation to non-English-speaking students without previous experience attending a course in UK would be to attend the English courses offered by the university. These lessons will enable you to understand your lessons better and will allow to you to express yourself from the very beginning of the course. I would recommend to all students to be very attentive to the news and relevant up to date information related with your sector, as this information can help you to better understand more of your lessons.


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