I am Weihao Sun, a CSC PhD candidate in Professor Wuzong Zhou’s group. Although I am in the first year of my PhD, this is actually my second year at St Andrews as I did an MSc by research programme here last year. Living and studying at the University of St Andrews is very satisfying and delightful, which is the main reason I have chosen to pursue a PhD here. I would like to share my life in St Andrews to express my gratitude to the University as well as to give other applicants an idea of what life is like here.
I moved to St Andrews to do my MSc by research programme under the supervision of Professor Wuzong Zhou in September 2017. My MSc research project involved using electron microscopes to study the growth mechanism of calcium oxalate crystals. As my first degree is in Chemical Engineering, I knew very little about Electron Microscopy and Crystallography at the start of the programme. However, St Andrews provided an excellent programme of training to facilitate my research. I received detailed experimental training from Professor Zhou and our group members. The modules I took in the School of Chemistry encompassed fundamental knowledge and cutting-edge technologies. Although I was totally new to my research area, the resources that St Andrews provided were very helpful so that my research went on smoothly. My interest in electron microscopes soon became clear after I realised that Electron Microscopy is microscale photography – I was a keen photographer when I was at school. As a result, I decided to pursue a PhD degree in the same research group and started to work on my PhD application.
Living in St Andrews is really an enjoyment as it is such a beautiful town. One of my favorite activities here is just to hang out in town with my camera. Beautiful scenery can always make my days beautiful. The University organizes various recreational events and activities, which enable us students to have wonderful lives on campus. So far, I have been enjoying Ceilidh dancing, golf and basketball. I am pleased that I can continue to study and live in St Andrews for another four years.
As I am now starting my PhD, I am grateful to those who have offered me help. The academic staff in the School of Chemistry and the University are warm-hearted. They have not only given me practical advice but have also helped me solve research challenges. The English teaching course helped me to write up my research more systematically and fluently. Senior PhD candidates have been academically professional and friendly – I received help from them both inside and outside the laboratory. From my experience, I can totally understand why the University of St Andrews is top in the UK for student satisfaction.
Again, I would like to thank the University of St Andrews for the kindnesses and academic resources I have received. For those thinking about applying to St Andrews, do not hesitate to submit your application! I hope we can meet each other one day in this lovely town!