Kathleen's student experience

A South African student talks about her studies at Edinburgh Napier.

Kathleen Painter, MSc Environmental Sustainability

"It’s amazing the amount of support Edinburgh Napier provides career-wise."

So far, I've really loved being a student at Edinburgh Napier, there have been so many opportunities to get involved in and the classes are challenging but very interesting. I was a bit worried about the difference in systems between South Africa and Scotland, but there is so much academic support offered by the University, that I know I’ve got someone to turn to if things get tough. It’s amazing the amount of support Edinburgh Napier provides career-wise. I’ve already had a meeting with a careers advisor who helped me with some interview skills - and I got the job! 

"I visited Edinburgh when I was 16 on an exchange to the U.K, where I fell in love with the city."

I visited Edinburgh when I was 16 on an exchange to the U.K, where I fell in love with the city. I had always wanted to do my undergraduate back home, but from then on I always dreamt of returning to Edinburgh to do my masters. I did my undergraduate in environmental science, but I have always wanted to get into the environmental engineering field, and Edinburgh Napier was one of the few Universities worldwide that accepted my science degree to turn it into an engineering qualification, focussing very practically on sustainable building. This semester we have a module on sustainable building design where we had to design two sustainable art studios in two very different parts of the world, which was very exciting!

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"I love how small and friendly the city feels, but big enough to have everything a student needs."

Since visiting Edinburgh in 2008 I have fallen in love with the city and couldn't wait to come back! I love how small and friendly the city feels, but big enough to have everything a student needs. I grew up in a village that wasn't big enough to even have a cinema. Edinburgh is so beautiful, there are so many picturesque streets and hidden treasures students can explore. I really enjoyed all the snow that hit Edinburgh in March 2018. Having never seen snow before, to have the whole city basically shut down because of the snow was a lot of fun.

I signed up with a temporary agency when I moved to Edinburgh and found part-time work very easily, which was a pleasant surprise as work is very hard to find back home. I also love how safe it is in Edinburgh, and how easy it is to get around using public transport.

"I am excited at the prospect of using my degree to work in Edinburgh once I graduate"

I have always been interested in environmental engineering and sustainable building. My dream is to one day build sustainable communities in remote rural areas so that people without access to resources can still thrive and have comfortable lives. The practical aspects of my degree will definitely help me with this, but I am also excited at the prospect of using my degree to work in Edinburgh once I graduate. I would love to get involved in sustainable building or retrofitting of buildings in Scotland, where there are a lot of exciting things happening.

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