Thoughts on masters study

These are some thoughts that PhD Research Student, Fan Xia shared with us at this time last year – Fan graduated from the Master of Design Programme in 2006 and worked and studied in the UK until returning to Shanghai earlier this year to write up her PhD.

  • If you don’t understand, ask.
  • It’s not always because of the linguistic reasons – knowledge takes time to consume.
  • Language is not just a way of communication, but also a kind of culture and a way of thinking. That is why we can’t always understand each other.
  • People are nice; they won’t tease at you if you make mistakes.  If you make a mistake, laugh about it and correct it.
  • Practice, practice and practice.
  • Be open-minded
  • Always push yourself a little bit out of your comfort zone.
  • Accept whom you are, but be willing to change.
  • Be independent.
  • Don’t reply on your supervisors too much. You are supposed to be the expert and teach them when you are approaching the end of your study.
  • Make your own decisions.
  • Learn from your classmates and learn from yourself.
  • Don’t apologise for your ideas, but be modest.
  • Caution on the racial /ethnic / political issues.
  • Work hard, you are not here to take a vacation.
  • But don’t be stressed.
  • Have fun. Don’t make yourself miserable, you are here to experience and enjoy.
  • It’s a process of self-discovery. It brings us face to face with ourselves.
  • You create the journey and the journey creates you at the same time.
  • Read, not just from the library, read from newspaper, listen to the radio, but be critical.
  • Don’t hide and be brave.
  • Talk with people around you
  • Collaborate with people
  • Have faith in yourself and be confident
  • Think big and be strategic.
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, because that’s how you learn.
  • Embrace the freedom, but know the boundary.
  • Or free yourself from the boundary and enjoy the freedom.
  • Getting lost is the most common thing. Don’t panic.
  • Don’t treat yourself differently just because you are not from the UK.
  • Get yourself out of the room. Go travel.
  • Get other people know about your home country­
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