Hisham is currently pursuing his Master's degree in Nuclear Power Engineering at Warsaw University of Technology. He found this programme and enrolled via Studyportals. We asked Hisham about his experience of searching and applying to a university abroad.
Tell us a bit about yourself. What is your name? How old are you? Where are you from?
I am Hisham Lofty, I am 32 and I am from Egypt.
Where are/were you studying and what programme? What degree and how long is your programme?
I am studying a Master Degree in Nuclear Power Engineering, a two-years programme at Warsaw University of Technology, Poland.
Why did you want to study abroad?
Many reasons, first getting a better level of study, and more opportunities to test my skills and talents, second reason is about knowing more about other cultures, seeing more places, more information about countries and history.
Deciding for a university
What were your main priorities when choosing your university and your programme (e.g. academics, accommodation, university services & facilities, personal & professional development, city & culture, cost & funding, practicalities, social life)?
Most important things after finding the required programme of interest were the level of the university, in addition to the full cost of studies (fees + living expenses).
Was this your first study choice? What other universities did you consider? What was the main reason for your final choice?
Well, WUT was not my first choice, I was looking for Kiel university in Germany, but I was not accepted, usually, Germany is the target of most students due to the high level of education, and it is even for free, just the living expenses shall be considered (which is relatively high compared to Poland).
Did you know from the start that you wanted to study in that particular country and city? Why did you choose this particular location?
Studying in Poland was my second priority, I was in Poland before, and I know the place around, that’s in addition to a lot of friends I have here whom I knew they would take care of me once I reach the city, and they did.
Did you find your study programme on Studyportals? How did Studyportals help you in your decision process?
Studyportals was like a treasure for me, I was searching in other ways before I got to know Studyportals, and it was too hard for me to find the required study and compare it to other studies in other universities, but once I found Studyportals, I could search for more universities in a much easier way, saving so much time and do all services without me paying anything in return. And I was wondering how much time and effort this website took from the site managers and owners to reach such high level and to collect that big amount of information, I am really thankful to Studyportals.
Did you take a language test (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS) when applying for the programme? If yes, which one did you choose, why and how was your experience with it?
Yes, even if it was not required by the chosen university, I took IELTS exam, I choose it as it had more test dates than TOEFL and I had a tight schedule for applications. It was not an easy exam. I had to study for a week before to get my 6.5 total grade.
What would be your advice for students from your country that consider studying abroad?
If not Germany (the first priority), then Poland is a good option especially in terms of finance, and I fully recommend StudyPortals to everyone to save time and effort and make life easier.
How did you finance your stay abroad and what financial advice would you give to future students?
Well, I am a self-funding student, however, there is a chance to get a scholarship (fee exemption) if the first year grades are high.
Poland is not an expensive country, living expenses are really flexible such that it can be compressed to quite surprising amounts, and can expand as well, according to the living style you want.
Why would you (not) recommend this particular city / university? How would you rate your experience on a scale from zero to ten (0 – It was a total disaster, 10 – I had the time of my life)?
I recommend this city and university as a first step to start your journey to the highest level universities in Europe or the States. However, the level of study is a bit more than average, for students having same circumstances as myself, I would say that this university WUT would have 7 out of 10.
Is there anything that you would do differently if you could do it over again?
Regarding choosing the university and country, NO, I would do exactly the same again, just I would do it even earlier.
What was the biggest surprise in your study abroad adventure?
I thought that having a roommate is no good, and it would be better to have my own single room, but I was surprised that it is quite nice to have someone living with you from another country, you can find more information and have a nice company.
Were you inspired by Hisham's story?