19-year-old Seif is from Egypt and studies undergraduate MPharm Pharmacy at the University of Bradford.
Why do I have to be in my bubble in Egypt? I want to see the world
"When I finished school in Egypt, I knew I needed to get a better qualification. I’m always looking where I can be unique, and I knew the experience of studying abroad would set me apart. I thought ‘why do I have to be in my bubble in Egypt? I want to see the world!’
"Eventually, I want to work in my father’s business, and I knew that if I could get a degree in the UK, this would take myself and the family business to another level.
“I went to Unipal to explore my options. They helped me apply and I got acceptance from four UK universities. I chose Bradford because it was the best fit for me in terms of education, student life experience, finance, and relations. Luckily, I had met someone in Unipal who went to Bradford. He is now one of my tutors, so knowing someone at the University encouraged me to attend Bradford and confirm my choice.
"I came to Bradford in 2019 and I’ve now completed my foundation year and entered the 5-year MPharm course."
I wanted to study pharmacy because it’s in my family. It’s what I know and love
"My family own a company, Cornell Lab, in the pharmaceutical field in Egypt. Going to work with my parents as a child helped me learn many things in pharmacy and the business world.
"As a pharmacist with a degree from the UK, I will have the opportunity to grow the company and help it to be recognised globally."
I love travelling so it wasn’t too daunting coming over here
"Applying for a visa and saying goodbye to my family was pretty tough, but I’m a traveller so it wasn’t a big deal for me. I struggled in the first few months when I arrived, but my dad visited me and I became much more comfortable, and managed to make new friends from all over the world.
"The University of Bradford supported me from the very beginning, from the moment I was picked up from the airport upon my arrival, to the excellent induction process of getting to know my tutors, exploring the campus, and getting familiar with my modules."
The Accommodation is right beside the university
"In my first year I lived in The Green, before moving to IQ in my second year. When lockdown struck, I moved into Longside House to join a friend. Currently, I’m moving to a one bed apartment in the city to experience life that way."
I joined loads of societies when I arrived
"Archery, trampolining, football – you name it, I did it. It helped me meet new people and make friends in those early days. What I like about the city is that it’s not too big so it’s easy to get around, and the hiking around Yorkshire is amazing. I go on hiking trips to the Yorkshire Dales, all arranged through the Students' Union."
I like the way they teach in England
"I can study alone more. We are encouraged to think independently, which is different from my previous study approach. Every time I learn, I adapt, and the support is there at every stage from the Bradford team. When I ask anything from my tutors, they are always so helpful.
"The Careers Team have also been a support, helping me write my CV and apply for jobs. With their help, I’m joining Unipol as a part-time housing assistant, which will help me financially.
"I’ve also been working in an NHS vaccination centre, vaccinating people against Covid-19, which has been an amazing experience and I’ve enjoyed being part of the atmosphere at the centre."
I love working in a real-life pharmacy environment
"The labs on campus really look like the ones you see in the real world, with all the equipment you need and the chance to administer prescriptions. We work in teams of six students. You all become great friends and help each other."
I’ve learnt how to be a team leader
"I can now talk in front of many people, and my presenting skills have improved a lot. My learning focus has been on chemistry and biology so far, but I’m moving on to pharma this year so I can’t wait to develop my skills in this area of expertise. And online learning, accelerated by the pandemic, has definitely improved my technical IT skills."
Bradford is giving me the grounding and platform I need to succeed
"My plan is to work in the UK in my field for the next 7-10 years so that when I go back to Egypt, I can bring all my skills and experience and make a real difference, not only to my family’s business but to the pharma industry in Egypt.
"I want to graduate with a Master's and work in a company related to our field, but not a pharmacy, such as Thermo Fisher Scientific in Egypt. I think this approach will broaden my skillset the most, so I’ll need to do a Master's in Industrial Pharmacy.
"Being at Bradford has really helped me focus my vision."