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Shruti Iyer

MSc Cancer Pharmacology, 2014

Shruti Iyer
  • From Gujarat, India
  • Student ambassador
  • Green belt in Taekwondo

Shruti says her time at Bradford has changed the way she thinks and given her a whole new family.

"When I got on the MSc course here at Bradford I was really glad. The £2000 country scholarship also really helped," Shruti says.

"I looked at many universities online, and applied and I got several offers. But the thing that attracted me to the University of Bradford was my subject. The MSc in Cancer Pharmacology was unique."

The right choice

Shruti says moving to a new country was a daunting prospect, but speaking to academics and University staff helped put her mind at ease.

"I was so scared - this was to be my first time abroad. But I contacted my soon-to-be tutor through the website, and the reply from him was really motivating.

"He said, 'don't worry Shruti, you're not alone - there are many international students here'.

"When I arrived I met Sue Baker from the International Office, who is the most wonderful person I’ve ever met.

"The student ambassadors were really helpful and I went on trips in the first week, made new friends, and realised I had made the right choice.

"My lecturers were really really supportive, especially when it took me a bit of time at first to get used to the Yorkshire accents!"

Wonderful project

Shruti was impressed with the course, opportunities and teachers at Bradford.

Shruti Iyer graduating December 2014.

"On my course I have learnt a lot about pharmacology, which wasn't my area before as I did my Bachelor's degree in genetic engineering.

"The project I've been doing for my Master's is wonderful and very interesting.

"My course has been very hands on and meets industry requirements. It has given me the skills I need for certain jobs.

"I was also taught research training methods and how to write a thesis - something I will never forget."

The lecturers are a big part of why Shruti is so pleased with her choice of course and university.

"My teachers all have doctorates - every one of them is a researcher. My tutor had been here at the University for 25 years!

"They are all highly experienced and very knowledgeable. I feel blessed to live in this atmosphere surrounded by this knowledge.

"But they were all so down to earth and approachable."

Institute of Cancer Therapeutics.

ICT is my second home

The facilities available to Shruti have also been very important.

"I work in two labs - one in Richmond building and one in the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics (ICT).

"I really like working in ICT, it's my second home.

"The facilities are everything my research requires - the building from the outside looks like any other office building but inside it's full of labs and people in lab coats and equipment."

New skills and new people 

Shruti says the University of Bradford has "opened my eyes to other cultures".

"On my course there are many other students from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, China, and I was always surrounded by so many other people.

"When I came to the UK I knew no-one, and now I can say I have a whole family here. The friends I’ve made, we became like family."

And it's given her skills she never imagined she would have.

"I’ve been on University trips to York, Whitby, Scarborough, Edinburgh and Birmingham, and to Cardiff with the Taekwondo Society for a tournament.

"I was really impressed when I saw there was a Taekwondo Society as I’ve always wanted to learn a martial art, so I grabbed the opportunity.

"Our coach is fantastic, he gave me lots of confidence. Starting from nothing at all I am now a green belt!

"As well as improving my English I got to learn different languages from students here at the Language Centre. I learnt bits of Spanish, Korean and Japanese."

Shruti also worked as a student ambassador.

"It has helped with my employment prospects - I hadn't worked in my life before but coming here I got the opportunity to work as an ambassador, which I can put on my CV.

"As ambassador I was able to fit my work around my study schedule - though of course my studies always came first."

Students around a table in The Green.

Safe and secure

Shruti enjoyed living in the University's award-winning accommodation The Green so much, she wishes she could stay after graduation.

"The Green is fully secure and safe, that’s one of the best things about it.

"It was excellent - I wish I could live there now. There were six of us in the flat from all over the world, and whenever I cooked they all liked it - they were from the USA, Canada, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Manchester.

"We used to have have fun, play games. I was an accommodation ambassador and showed my room on visit days."

What's next?

"Graduation from the University of Bradford is one of my life's biggest achievements."

Shruti plans to go on to do a PhD. 

"I want to become a cancer researcher ultimately - I’ve wanted to do that since I was 13.

"I saw people around me suffering and dying in India and I wanted to help."