Student Stories

Lancaster University: a diverse and welcoming community

Emily Shim Yi Jie met many different people at Lancaster while settling into her new home. Read about her first year.

Emily Shim Yi Jie
Studied in Lancaster University MPhys (Hons) Physics

Lancaster University is a comfortable place away from the bustle of the city but conveniently located along a main bus route into town. It’s easy to settle into life here, whether the campus is a few hours away from home or halfway around the world. There’s nearly always something going on for those craving activity and participation, and numerous quiet spots tucked away for peace and relaxation. Most importantly, you can always find someone who shares the same culture, language, interests and home.

So far, I’ve been very pleasantly surprised by everyone I’ve met here at Lancaster. The people I have had the pleasure of meeting are outgoing and good-natured. When I arrived, I had flown in from Malaysia a day earlier than everyone, so the university was very nearly deserted when I arrived. Despite that, I was fortunate enough to meet a staff member who had been working with Malaysian colleges and was familiar with the school I was from! She went out of her way to bring me on a short campus tour, settle me into my flat, and even introduced me to my college International Welfare Officer. It was a delightful first impression, settling most of my first-day nerves instantly!

My flatmates have been friendly from the start – despite our differences in course and culture, there’s always an interesting conversation to be had. Additionally, there’s a huge international community here; there’s plenty of chances to meet someone from home, particularly as I joined the Malaysian society. Hearing the familiar slang is always a joy!

There is so much to explore on campus. But out of the places I have visited, the University library would probably top the list. Modern, spacious, and filled with thoughtfully arranged study areas and meeting rooms, it is the perfect place if you find yourself in need of some focused quiet. As someone who enjoys reading, the library has become a much beloved space.

Learning physics, to me, once seemed like an impossible juggle between theory, maths, practical experience and critical thinking. The physics course at Lancaster manages a careful balance between all the above and more, pushing us to give our best while taking care not to overwhelm us. It’s challenging, as a university course should be, but ensures that we’re well-equipped with a thorough understanding and a wide repertoire of valuable soft and hard skills for the future. In particular, I am extremely grateful for my academic supervisor, who has been a constant and excellent source of advice and encouragement from the start!

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