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.
Always push yourself a little bit out of your comfort zone.
Accept whom you are, but be willing to change.
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.