Why I Chose Chemical Engineering at Birmingham

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Hello, welcome to my first blog! I’m An Tong (that’s my first name, to avoid any confusion). I am currently a second year Chemical Engineering student at the University of Birmingham. Being a Malaysian with Chinese ethnicity, I am excited to share about my undergraduate life as an international student. I’d like to start off with some background story about how I came to this university.

It has always been one of my dreams to pursue my studies abroad. Since I studied in an international school when I was younger, English had a great influence on me and I was keen to learn more about the Western culture. I actively sought for an opportunity to come to the UK as it has one of the most advanced education systems in the world. Not to mention the outstanding ranking of the University of Birmingham on league tables, it also has a great reputation in Chemical Engineering. They offer lots of opportunities to the students, such as industrial visits, innovative projects, career network, and so much more! Along with the support of my parents, I decided to start my academic life here in Birmingham.

Honestly, choosing a university course was not an easy decision since I did not know what I was particularly interested in. I decided to choose Chemical Engineering as chemistry and physics were two of my favourite subjects. In comparison to pure sciences, the engineering courses seemed to be more appealing to me because it involves practical applications. Engineers are like translators; they help to convert the ideas of a scientist to products that can solve real life situations. Chemical Engineering is also a diverse course. It ranges from healthy food formulation to carbon dioxide utilisation to oil and gas refinery. Even though I am still unsure of which industrial area I am interested in, I believe that this bachelor’s degree can bring me anywhere in the bright future.

A little bit more of an insight into Chemical Engineering after I was successfully enrolled into this university. I was lucky enough to be part of the year group that got to use the brand new facilities of the Collaborative Teaching Laboratory. The laboratory equipment gave us a hands on experience apart from the theory that were delivered in the lectures. Furthermore, through our feedback to the Student Rep, the module structures are always striving to change so that it can fit the needs of the students more effectively.

I am glad to be in such a pleasant student community in the University of Birmingham. Applying for the university was a long process, but believe me, arriving to a new country alone can be even more challenging at the very beginning. In my next blog, I will share my experience of settling into the country, and some helpful tips especially if you are an underage student like me!


Image of Lab work in the CTL Building
Practical work in the CTL
Image of Old Joe Clock Tower
Image of the famous Old Joe