I am a PhD student who recently spent a six months in Leicester. My last night I had a wonderful time with two PhD students, Brenda and Grace. Brenda asked me what was the best for me in Leicester, and I replied, “ILI”, without hesitation.
I came to the ILI on April 1st and left on September 25th. Although it was not my first time abroad, it was my first time abroad alone. Yet, I never felt lonely. At the ILI, it was just like home. The ILI building is lovely. For me it was more than a working place; it was a comfortable place to stay with friends and family. People at the ILI made me feel love in this “family”.
In the ILI, there are two nice traditions. The first one is to send birthday cards. Even though I didn’t receive any cards as my birthday is in January, it felt very nice to write my best wishes in birthday cards for others. The second tradition is to have lunch together regularly. It was a good opportunity to taste dishes from various countries as everyone brought dishes from their respective countries.
Beside the friendly and warm atmosphere, there is another reason for me to choose ILI as the best of Leicester. It was a very important period in my PhD project. I got opportunities to present my work in postgraduate research conferences (University of Leicester and University of London), to get feedback from peers, to participate in seminars and workshops (ILI, University of Birmingham, University of Loughborough), to enhance my research skills and to network with people. I can really see I “grew up” rapidly in this six-month period and gradually found a clear direction for my ongoing research.
I would like to thank everyone at ILI for making my stay in the UK a beautiful, memorable period. Many thanks to Grainne and Palitha, your support and advice were crucial for making this productive research period possible. Thanks to David; having a regular discussion with you was one of my most enjoyable moments. Thanks to Terese; I enjoyed working with you in the 7Cs learning design workshop; you made me realize how interesting and important is the job of a learning technologist in higher education. Thanks to Gabi; your input was really valuable to my study. Thanks to Ming; your advice had a direct impact on my PhD life. Thanks to Paul; now I know more about the British culture. Thanks to Ale; your suggestion makes a future collaboration possible. Thanks to Brenda, Grace, Bernard, Oznur, Nada, Natalia, Tina, Tony, Marion and Alison; I am quite happy to become a member of this PhD student group.
I wish you all the best!