Asala Zeenelabedeen

My journey to Plymouth

“I joined architectural engineering as a transfer student from the British University in Egypt. The wide-branching nature of my education in Egypt introduced me to many aspects of the construction industry and I decided mid-way through that I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of sustainability, energy, technology, innovation and BIM (Building Information Modeling). 

I felt those specialisations in the industry would trend well into the future. Looking at the modules offered at the University of Plymouth, I noticed they were current and relevant.

The process of transferring between universities was easy, based upon an evaluation of my academic university transcript. The modules I had taken in Egypt qualified me to transfer straight into the second year without repeating any years. 

My sister also moved with me, starting in first year Architectural Engineering direct from her sixth form upon completing her A levels. The year after, I recommended the course to a friend from my former university, who then joined me in the final year.

Asala Zeenelabedeen, BSc (Hons) Architectural Engineering

Now that I have graduated and secured a job specialising in energy and sustainability at a reputable consultancy firm in Kuwait, I feel the state-of-the-art knowledge and skillsets gained at the University of Plymouth have been the distinguishing factor in my employability. 

Employers look to fresh graduates to move their businesses forward.

A love for Plymouth

"Arriving in Plymouth was not as stressful as I thought it might be. It was much simpler to adapt and adjust my lifestyle.

It is easier to get around in Plymouth than in Egypt as almost everything you need is a short walking distance away. The city isn’t too big which is great for .

You have to expect there will be a massive change in your lifestyle when you move and you have to be prepared to accept change in a positive light. 

There are a lot of amazing aspects to being here - make sure homesickness doesn’t blind you!"

"I loved the look of the city and it seemed very homely. The University’s ranking and reviews were good and being by the sea was captivating."

Burgh Island, Bigbury beach. Getty Images
Bigbury, Burgh Island

Forests, films and fine weather

"I like going down to The Hoe when it’s sunny to have a walk by the sea, and going to Drake’s Circus for some shopping. When I’m feeling adventurous I go for a walk in a forest, or gardens and the islands around Plymouth are always beautiful. There are loads of things to do in Plymouth, but I like the more relaxed activities at the weekend to wind down. I definitely love the beaches, which are a 10–15 minute drive away. And the VUE cinema, theatre, bowling centre, and Adrenaline trampoline parks are awesome."

Here to help

"The meet and greet service helped me settle in and understand everything I needed to prepare, such as open a bank account and navigate around campus. I received a lot of useful advice that I ended up using throughout the years. The International Team helped apply for a Schengen Visa for the course field trip to Germany."
Student being shown around campus.

"My time studying at the University of Plymouth was an unforgettable, positive experience"

 High society 

"Joining in different societies meant that I made a diverse and incredible group of friends I would have never otherwise met. It was always fun being around them and we made so many exciting memories.

Being an international student is much more comfortable than I would have ever expected it to be. Being Muslim, I joined the , which made me feel at home.

I got to compete in large competitions in Bristol and London and to present and meet people from universities across England. It was an experience of a lifetime.

Even around campusand the city everyone is friendly and welcoming. There is also a university office for international studentswhere I could ask for anything I needed.

I never felt out of place or that I didn’t belong. You will always find people similar to you no matter what your background.

There is a night-life in Plymouth, with clubs and bars, but restaurants close much earlier in Plymouth than in Egypt.

My favourite places to eat are , and Royal William Yard [non-halal restaurants] and , , and [for halal places to eat]."

"The most beautiful place I have visited? Mount Edgcumbe"

Mount Edgcumbe 2
Architectural engineering international student 

European and international students

Architectural engineering is studied by students globally and we welcome European and international students from around the world to study with us. Our BSc (Hons) Architectural Engineering degree currently has students from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

We offer three routes for European and International students to study Architectural Engineering at our university: 

  • Join us in the first year and start your degree journey with us.
  • If you are already studying architectural engineering or a similar course, we can offer you a place directly in our second or final year.
  • A one-year exchange programme between your current university and us.
Find out about the options available to you