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    Hi there,

    I am in my fourth year of study at the University of Strathclyde doing Forensic and Analytical Chemistry. In one year I will hopefully finally be finished with my master’s degree.

    So it's then onto the next big stage a, PHD.

    I have spent a lot of time thinking about this and I am quite adament to undertake one. However the main question is where...

    I am currently studying at Strathclyde University in Glasgow, Scotland. In terms of reputation my university is widely renowned in the UK and is considered the "best for chemistry" in Scotland. - I say "best" as almost every university says they are the best in some way shape or form.

    The option for me to do a PHD in Strathclyde is possible but instead of staying at home for another 3-5 years, I want to expand. I understand that doing a PHD is no small order and I will probably work over several weekends to say the least.

    But, as part of my forth year studies it is compulsory for every student to spend a year on work placement. I took this opportunity and found myself in France despite the fact I didn't speak the language. In doing so this has given me both the confidence and ambition to potentially undertake a PHD abroad.

    I have always had an admiration for the USA and initially I had planned to go there for my work placement as well as Germany. But the plans for that faded away.

    Both of these countries are the countries I have highest on my list for a potential place for a PHD and I do understand that if I do want to do this, a good grade is essential (I am currently sitting at a middle 2,1) with more time in the library I "may" get a 1st if I focus.

    I have read a lot about the reason to go, the reason not to go but it’s hard to talk to a real person about their own personal experience and whether or not they would suggest it.

    Would you stay in your home city and do a PHD in your university that does have a renowned chemistry department? Or would you go abroad and experience a new challenge?
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    (Original post by Stevelee)
    Hi there,

    I am in my fourth year of study at the University of Strathclyde doing Forensic and Analytical Chemistry. In one year I will hopefully finally be finished with my master’s degree.

    So it's then onto the next big stage a, PHD.

    I have spent a lot of time thinking about this and I am quite adament to undertake one. However the main question is where...

    I am currently studying at Strathclyde University in Glasgow, Scotland. In terms of reputation my university is widely renowned in the UK and is considered the "best for chemistry" in Scotland. - I say "best" as almost every university says they are the best in some way shape or form.

    The option for me to do a PHD in Strathclyde is possible but instead of staying at home for another 3-5 years, I want to expand. I understand that doing a PHD is no small order and I will probably work over several weekends to say the least.

    But, as part of my forth year studies it is compulsory for every student to spend a year on work placement. I took this opportunity and found myself in France despite the fact I didn't speak the language. In doing so this has given me both the confidence and ambition to potentially undertake a PHD abroad.

    I have always had an admiration for the USA and initially I had planned to go there for my work placement as well as Germany. But the plans for that faded away.

    Both of these countries are the countries I have highest on my list for a potential place for a PHD and I do understand that if I do want to do this, a good grade is essential (I am currently sitting at a middle 2,1) with more time in the library I "may" get a 1st if I focus.

    I have read a lot about the reason to go, the reason not to go but it’s hard to talk to a real person about their own personal experience and whether or not they would suggest it.

    Would you stay in your home city and do a PHD in your university that does have a renowned chemistry department? Or would you go abroad and experience a new challenge?
    Hello! Whereabouts in France did you do your placement? I am strongly considering doing postgraduate study in France when I finish my Undergraduate. How did you find it in France considering you don't speak French?
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    You've already proved to yourself that you can do this - and you enjoyed the experience. Go for it.
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    (Original post by SophieSmall)
    Hello! Whereabouts in France did you do your placement? I am strongly considering doing postgraduate study in France when I finish my Undergraduate. How did you find it in France considering you don't speak French?
    I am currently in a small town called Orleans, an hour outside of Paris. I managed to get the placement through my university knowing someone at the company, one thing led to another and here I was.

    I got rather lucky, my department all speak english but i do try and speak French as much as i can. After all chemistry is the main language for chemistry... usually.
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    (Original post by Stevelee)
    I am currently in a small town called Orleans, an hour outside of Paris. I managed to get the placement through my university knowing someone at the company, one thing led to another and here I was.

    I got rather lucky, my department all speak english but i do try and speak French as much as i can. After all chemistry is the main language for chemistry... usually.
    That is true! I'm thinking about going to the University of Lyon for my postgraduate, have you thought about yours?
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    (Original post by SophieSmall)
    That is true! I'm thinking about going to the University of Lyon for my postgraduate, have you thought about yours?
    After spending a year here I don't think I could live here another 3-5 years. Don't get me wrong it is great and i have met alot of great people but France isn't a country i want to live in and i feel doing a PHD might lead onto that.

    P.S i visited Lyon on my travels around the country, it is my favourite place out of everywhere i have travelled! you will love it! they have a scottish pub there as well =)
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    (Original post by Stevelee)
    After spending a year here I don't think I could live here another 3-5 years. Don't get me wrong it is great and i have met alot of great people but France isn't a country i want to live in and i feel doing a PHD might lead onto that.

    P.S i visited Lyon on my travels around the country, it is my favourite place out of everywhere i have travelled! you will love it! they have a scottish pub there as well =)
    How long are the PhDs you plan to study?
    At the moment I'm only looking at doing a Masters in France, it is 2 years long which is unusual as they are often just a year long but the fees are so cheap! It's like 350 euro a year which is a massive difference to the UK.

    Oh I'm glad you think Lyon is awesome! And that's great I love pubs :P did you by any chance notice whether many people speak English while you were there?
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    (Original post by SophieSmall)
    How long are the PhDs you plan to study?
    At the moment I'm only looking at doing a Masters in France, it is 2 years long which is unusual as they are often just a year long but the fees are so cheap! It's like 350 euro a year which is a massive difference to the UK.

    Oh I'm glad you think Lyon is awesome! And that's great I love pubs :P did you by any chance notice whether many people speak English while you were there?
    Yeah it is quite weird that Masters takes two year in France, my colleagues did say it was because they have a masters 1 and masters 2, essentially masters 1 is the same as a honours degree.

    Lyon has a large university I believe so the younger generation of the city most likely speak English. I wouldn't worry to much about the language barrier, most people at least know some English and they are more friendly than paris. If not you can pick it up quite fast, my french sucked when i arrived 11 months ago, it still does but i can get by in conversations okay. If not, use hand gestures and point. Always works.
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    (Original post by Stevelee)
    Yeah it is quite weird that Masters takes two year in France, my colleagues did say it was because they have a masters 1 and masters 2, essentially masters 1 is the same as a honours degree.

    Lyon has a large university I believe so the younger generation of the city most likely speak English. I wouldn't worry to much about the language barrier, most people at least know some English and they are more friendly than paris. If not you can pick it up quite fast, my french sucked when i arrived 11 months ago, it still does but i can get by in conversations okay. If not, use hand gestures and point. Always works.
    an honours degree in year as masters 1? That's insane, couldn't possibly be on par.

    Yeah I think the university is split into I think it is 8 campuses across the city, I think the one that does my course is Lyon 7

    I used to be really good at French, was top of the class but I've forgotten nearly everything, I will be learning it again if I do choose to go to France though, just hoping I can get by.
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    You will be fine don't worry, another thing is that the cities get alot of language assistants that teach english and german. They are mostly from the UK and the states and since Lyon is one of the bigger sites you should meet them no problem. They normally ordered me dinner.

    Think there were about 20 of us going to bars and relaxing so you will enjoy it! I would highly recommend travelling if you get the chance, pick a city and go =)
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    (Original post by Stevelee)
    You will be fine don't worry, another thing is that the cities get alot of language assistants that teach english and german. They are mostly from the UK and the states and since Lyon is one of the bigger sites you should meet them no problem. They normally ordered me dinner.

    Think there were about 20 of us going to bars and relaxing so you will enjoy it! I would highly recommend travelling if you get the chance, pick a city and go =)
    Thanks man! I'm planning to backpack Europe with a friend next summer France is top of the list, hoping to visit Lyon at a push.
 
 
 
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