Students' Viewpoints Project

Below are some edited highlights of an exhibition designed by students to raise awareness of the diversity that exists within the University of Stirling.

We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different, and yet the same
Anne Frank
I study law because whilst I grew up in a safe area the country was, and still is, very unjust. I wanted to learn about the issues, and I hope for social equality. There is a lot of corruption and there is no freedom of speech. Growing up in such a world made me want to change it. I want to be a voice for people who have no voices.
Tanaka Zimbabwe
When I was in high school I was selected for the national Mathematics Olympics team in Austria, where I studied. Sadly, I had to drop out of the team and concentrate on school, but I think I would have done well if I had pursued it. I want to do another degree in mathematics when I go back home.
Xuan Vietnam
The first time I saw Adel, his face was covered in blood. It was during recess in elementary school, and he was walking towards me in the corridor. I asked him if he was okay. Apparently, a girl threw something in his face. Soon, we became best friends.
Christopher
My Dad was a one out of thirteen Children. My Grandfather had two wives you see ... Growing up we moved to London and opened a take-away…
Ho Yee
My mom re-married, and we came over here to start a new life. I was sad leaving my country at the time, because I was so attached to my friends, and felt homesick. I couldn’t speak English, and found it really hard to fit in. Eventually I got a job, and spoke to the locals. This was the best way for me to learn the culture and language.
Wipha Thailand
I am a member of the Football Manager Society. It’s a very addictive game…
Akhil India
My country adopted strict Sharia law last year ... What I miss the most though, are the Christmas trees …
Michael Brunei Darussalam
When I was nineteen, I decided that I had to move, because I couldn’t find any work in Sicilia. I came to London with €400 in my pocket, and didn’t know what to expect. A hostel was my home for quite a while, until I started working. I worked day and night, but I knew that I couldn’t give up, because better days would come.
Carmela Italy
I used to play street basketball, but one day a coach asked me to join their team. Last year, I was in Bosnia, playing on the under twenties national team in the Euro Cup. It really doesn’t matter where I end up, as long as I am the best player I can be. It sounds quite cliché, but I believe in striving for greatness.
Adam Austria
I came here to play American football, it’s very complex and there are a lot of rules you need to study. We watch film and analyse how we play, go to the gym a lot, as well as training hard with the team every week. I love competition though; we played against Staffordshire in London in the BUCS final, which we won.
Andres Spain
One of my greatest passions is ethical investment. It may not sound like much of a passion, but its currently helping people across the whole world. Using micro-finance to help businesses grow can make a real impact on the life of the entrepreneur. I am aiming to set up my own social enterprise in the near future.
Martin Czech Republic
When I was younger, I used to do gymnastics. I did it for 11 years of my life. It took me to World championships and European championships. I was travelling the world to places like Japan and Azerbaijan. When I turned seventeen, I injured my back, and had to leave gymnastics behind. That’s when I decided to study sports.
Egle Lithuania
I started to care about privacy and data collection mainly due to the Snowden revelations. At that point, I was in the states, and none of my friends and professors seemed to care at all. I got really upset; I guess I have a German perspective on data privacy. This lead to my undergraduate thesis in cyber security awareness programmes.
Julia Germany
I am from a small village in the south-west of Hungary, however I moved to Stirling to be able to follow my passion of playing American football. I work hard at it, and I would love to play for a professional team when I leave university. Perhaps playing somewhere in America, and maybe even California.
Bence Hungary
When I started learning about biology in the first year of university, I thought it was cool to know how everything in your body is connected. If you can change one tiny thing in the DNA, that will change how a person become, or even the cellular process in your body, and this can affect a lot.
Silje Norway
When I was fourteen I went to Edinburgh on vacation with my parents, and really loved it. When I got back home, I realised that I could study here for free, because Denmark is in the EU. I decided to make the move to Scotland. One day, I hope that my degree can benefit someone, as I want to work in financial regulation.
Matilde Denmark
My family stay in Bethlehem, but a couple of years ago I went to the Gaza strip ... That’s when I really started to feel the war, tension and fear that people talk about.
Mikaella Palestine
I love hip-hop dancing, but the dancing that I am used to was very different to that done in the university society, so I didn’t join. I think I was dancing before I could even walk, and had a great dancing performance in high school. I made my dad video record me for as long as I can remember. Michael Jackson has to be my dancing idol.
Angeliene Namibia
The proudest achievement of my life is moving to Scotland, it was such a big adjustment, but now that I have met some great people I love it. The biggest difference was how people greet each other, at home you can just meet random people and have a casual conversation, which doesn’t happen quite as often here.
Bonita Tanzania
Right after I arrived in Stirling, I got injured and that has really restricted me a lot. I am in and out of the hospital, but I have also learned a lot of discipline. I’m learning to walk again, and I know that I will get through it eventually. Sometimes you underestimate yourself, and I finally realise how blessed I am in life.
Abigail Botswana
My mom used to live in Italy, but I came to London from Nigeria alone when I was thirteen, to meet up with my family again. Sometimes when I saw other kids with their parents, I felt the pain, and I wanted to be with them as well, but it made me who I am today. I am an independent woman, and I am proud of it.
Toluwalope Nigeria
Although I grew up outside Johannesburg, we moved to England when I was twelve years old. I can only remember the great things about South Africa, and I don’t see it as what you hear in the news all the time. There are definitely problems there, but I didn’t get to the age where I was exposed to all the negative issues.
Calum South Africa
Everybody loves reggae, reggae is in everything; church, school, adverts. Life in Jamaica is very relaxed and slow, but in business it is very fast. It robs us from what comes naturally. I have a marketing research business, but I want to go into retail consultancy and was told to come here, because it is one of the best retail institutions.
Nigel Jamaica
I really miss the sun, as Scotland lacks in this area. Although there isn’t a lot to do on the small islands I come from, I really do miss the carnivals. My favourites are pirate’s week. There are pirates and pirates ships, and I love watching the parades and the street dances, but I never participate in them myself, because I am quite shy.
Rashana Cayman Islands
I am launching the first think-tank at the University of Stirling this year. Stirling Symposium aims at enhancing the student’s career prospects and future planning through bringing together both professionals and students. I want to demonstrate that the university is a world class and innovative institution.
Robert Isle of Man
I have a keen interest in wealth inequality, especially with regards to welfare problems and wealth distribution. I want to learn why these disparities happen and how to change them. I now have my own apparel clothing brand called Young Bull, which is part of the bigger picture for my future entrepreneurial plans.
Jordan USA
I don’t smoke or drink, because I want to lead by example. My sister is my very best friend ...
Matthew England
My faith is my identity. If something doesn’t coincide with what I stand for then I don’t have too much time for it. People think that Christians live by a specific set of rules. However, I believe that Jesus Christ has bought my freedom. I feel free to be myself as a result.
Jonny Northern Ireland
I have lived all over the world. I was born in Paris, but when I was a week old we moved to Taiwan, followed by Dublin, Toulouse, New Delhi, Malaysia and now Scotland. I love that it has made me more open minded, as I have been willing to try everything and make the most out of my wonderful experiences.
Lysiane France
St. Patricks day is a good way to celebrate the Irish culture, and it’s nice to feel at home when I am away. If I was back home, I would hang out with my friends and go to the pub. There is usually schools cup rugby on, so we always watch it on the TV. I really like sports, and that’s why I came to the University of Stirling.
Patrick Republic of Ireland
I have been interested in helping people who have been in war. In particular, helping those with post-traumatic stress disorder. My family inspired me because of their military background in the Gulf Wars. They came out unharmed, but it was still intense. It was though growing up in a military family, and I was the family rebel.
Anuraag Nepal
At the weekend that’s just gone, we ended up winning five trophies in Liverpool. It was brilliant! I am on the dance society committee, but when I graduate I think I will have to be more driven in my work life. I really want to keep on dancing as long as I can though. It is a great way to meet people, keep fit, and its just fun!
Georgia Ghana
There are a lot of different things between here and Malawi. There are some things that are better here, including free healthcare and education. I’ve always had a passion for helping people and nursing was a way to be able to make people’s lives better. Both my mum and aunt are nurses, and they have always inspired me in life.
Tapiwa Malawi
I moved to Canada when I was young, so I don’t really remember my friends in Taiwan. We don’t have that much contact with my family either, but my sister is here in Scotland. Most of all, I really miss the food back home. It tastes better, it’s convenient, it’s cheap, although it’s not always very healthy for you!
Cheng Taiwan
I started playing golf when I was eight years old. It has taken me across the world; Argentina, California, Ireland, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia, Italy, Japan, Australia, United Emirates and South-Africa. I am sure there is more, but I cannot remember the rest right now.
Mathias Liechtenstein
Its in the past now, but when I was younger I won the national championship for Karate two times. I look back, and am proud of what I achieved, but I don’t let it define me as a person. I picked up on music, learned the drums, and that really changed my life. Until then, my life was only about school and karate.
Simo Finland
I wanted to study theatre, but my parents weren’t happy with the idea. I like the backstage stuff such as production and directing, so we compromised with film and media. Dance has been my life this whole time though. I’ve been dancing since I was seven, and started of with disco. Now I do contemporary jazz and other styles.
Olga Poland
I started studying in Stirling by chance. I had moved to Scotland nine years ago with my mother. Some of my family now work here, and when I was offered to study at the University of Stirling, I took the opportunity. I used to love playing the violin, but now studying takes up most of my time, and I don’t get the chance to play anymore.
On Macau
Scotland is so much more relaxed compared to Hong Kong, which is just so fast paced. I came to Scotland to study psychology, but I discovered I wasn’t interested in it after first year, so I changed my degree to accountancy and economics. The subjects are very different, but I was influenced by my father, as he is an accountant.
Connie
I moved to Stirling for two main reasons; the first of which was too improve my English. However, I also wanted to study a reputable program in an area that was of interest to me. I want to be involved in media management as opposed to journalism, and therefore this was the perfect course for my future career.
Jiay China
I moved to the UK when I was nine years old, so I don’t really remember Canada too well. I wanted a degree to fall back on, as I really want to be a fireman. My brother in law is a fireman, and I respect him a lot. I still have to apply and go through the course though; I want to save cats, children and old people, but mainly cats.
Cameron Canada
The toughest moment of my life was having to repeat my fourth year of high school because I wasn’t studying hard enough, and just had no interest in school. I was 15 or 16 at the time, and when I found out I failed it was like a slap in the face. On reflection it has pushed me to work harder and has made me more ambitious.
Tomas Belgium
I am the captain of the netball team. In the four years I have studied, we never made it to the final, but this year we finally got it. We played our bums off, and won. It was excellent, and it was the last game I will ever play with the team. Honestly, it was such a high, and a great way to finish off university.
Melissa Scotland
I mainly came for the campus and I really wanted to study in an English speaking country to become fluent. Obviously, my country has a lot of economic problems, so I really want to help improve the financial situation. If I get the chance to work in Greece or within the EU in the future, I could help improve youth unemployment.
Stefanie Greece
We have a really good golf programme here at the University of Stirling. I have evolved my game both technically and mentally. When I finish here I think I will be ready to take the next step and turn professional. The dream is to win a major championship, and get established on the European tour or the PGA tour.
Marco Switzerland
Getting into university in Japan is very difficult, and you have to study really hard. I had four months to prepare for exams, and I ended up studying sixteen hours a day. Fortunately, I got accepted! I am really interested in sports, and I knew that Stirling was good for this, and choose to come here on exchange for these reasons.
Takuya Japan
I have done many things, such as making films, being an actor and I even wrote a book. Film brought me to Germany, and now Scotland, where I am training to become a professor of film. I am living my dream, as I am most proud of where I have come from, and how successful and established I have become in the later years.
Bubacarr Gambia
I get irritated when people think that because I look Eastern European it means that I am a trickster or a criminal. I get it a lot, but I’m not that type of person, it’s weird but it’s all just stereotypes. Bulgaria and its people are so much more than that; there are so many beautiful things. The city I’m from is famous for its poets.
Boris Bulgaria
We knew we where both coming to Stirling, and met over Facebook. Surprisingly, we even went to the same university back home, but never met and had no friends in common. We are the very first exchange students in Stirling that are from Argentina.
Arantxa and Sofia Argentina
I love running, and I have run the New York City marathon. You cannot conciliate running marathons and doing a PhD at the same time, because it’s quite demanding and require a lot of work. My ultimate dream is to run in Luxemburg. It’s called the marathon of Europe. Until then, I only run half marathons.
Bernardo Brazil
I might drop education in favour of graduating this semester. If I study one more year, I will be a teacher. I had a good history teacher in high school that inspired me to pursue it. I like 20th century history the best. It is fun to do because it’s obviously relevant today. There is so much going on in the world, and I want to learn more about it.
Andrew Australia
My best friend Omar studies in Canada and runs a fraternity there. I saw him post about it often and became more and more interested in it. I approached him for collaboration, and we finally set up the only European version of Alfa Sigma Phi here in the UK. Hopefully we can have a fraternity house next year!
Markus Turkey
Some people ask me if I’m from the North, but that is not possible! I moved to Indonesia when I was young, and later to Hong Kong. I love cooking, and think it’s an important life skill. I’ve tried many world cuisines and they have all influenced my style. If you don’t know how to cook for yourself, you can’t manage your own health.
Hye South Korea
I was a lecturer in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. I came to the UK on a scholarship to do a PhD in private law. I applied to over twenty universities, until the University of Stirling finally accepted me. I didn’t speak a word of English when I first got here, and my biggest dream was always to be fluent. I am quite proud of how much I have learnt.
Nazar Iraq
My mum has her own business back in Zambia, producing food and exporting it to different countries. They expect me to become a part of the family business. Fashion was always a big passion of mine, but I didn’t get into art school. I came to Stirling instead, and learned about business. One day I can set up my own fashion company.
Rudo Zambia
I want to be my own boss! I am very business minded and I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I simply love fashion. I don’t just take inspiration from one person, but from casual people on the street as well as famous clothing designers. My next step is to set up my own YouTube channel for make-up tutorials.
Bridget Uganda
I was always interested in Religion. I have wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember, and when I passed my final placement I was so happy. Getting that confirmation was an amazing feeling. As a teacher, I hope to make a significant difference to students.
Emna Tunisia
I am always happy to represent my country abroad; I love nature and I am glad that most of the people turn to be more environmentally friendly. I also like football, stats and football stats. I follow it all; English leagues, German leagues, you name it. I also spend my free time by playing the guitar and chess.
Sabyr Kazakhstan
I love painting, I think I was born to paint, and consider myself to be quite a good artist. I started at the age of four or five by painting faces. In my childhood I drew cartoons from television, and later on I became more interested in human faces. The aesthetic is what attracted me to this. Sadly, these days, I don’t get enough time.
Aatif Oman

This exhibition is a student-run project about raising awareness of the diversity that exists within the University of Stirling.

Studying in such an international environment teaches us tolerance and understanding of different cultures and this exhibition captures the similarities between students, regardless of their nationality.

Overall, there are about 120 nationalities represented at the University. This exhibition captures photographs and stories of 66 of them.

We invite you to experience a glimpse into each personal life.

Thanks to everyone who participated in this exhibition.

Thea Brønlund

Photographer Thea Brønlund
Contributors
  • Andrew Mehaffy
  • Jennifer Ann
  • Ryan Taylor
  • Mhairi McKay
  • Sophie Quin

In recognition of the need to equip our students with academic and employability skills, the Professional Development and Practice module, delivered by Stirling Management School, helps students to articulate the skills they have already gained through-out their academic career as well as to develop their understanding of self through an articulation of their personal strengths, their goals and their preferences. 

With an appreciation that students benefit from practicing their employability skills, students were asked to plan, develop and implement an ‘Event’ which met the criteria ‘Raising Awareness at the University of Stirling’. 

Students of Stirling is the result of one group’s interpretation of the remit. 

The success of this beautifully photographed, insightful exhibition is to the credit of Thea, Andrew, Jennifer, Ryan, Mhairi and Sophie. We are all very proud of their achievement.

Dr Carol Marshall, Module Coordinator

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