Sunday, October 3, 2010

MSc Program Thus Far...

I have been a student in the Sustainable Aquaculture MSc program at the University of Stirling for 3 weeks now, and I couldn’t be happier with my experiences here!

First off, Scotland is AMAZING! It is a beautiful country, rich with history, and the people here are a lot of fun. Stirling is located at the edge of the Scottish Highlands, just between Edinburgh and Glasgow, making it ideally situated for travel, yet far enough removed to avoid the distractions of a big city.

I am studying in the Institute of Aquaculture, a world-class teaching and research facility. The MSc program operates in 2-week modules: we take one class for two weeks, then move on to the next subject. We just concluded out first module, titled “Aquatic Animal Biology and Health”, which covered the fundamentals of physiology and disease for commercially-important aquaculture species.

Each module has its own assessment, allowing us to focus entirely on that specific subject during the two weeks. Once that assessment is submitted on the last day of the module, we have a much-needed break for the weekend before the next subject starts.

The program consists of 30 students, with a record-breaking 22 countries represented!! It is incredible to sit and speak with so many people from so many different countries because it is offering me a comprehensive, globalized view of aquaculture. Students talk about the species and operations in their home countries, as well as the successes and challenges that will face them when they return home after the program. And everyone has a different amount of experience: some students studied engineering and have never been to fish farm, while others are fish farm managers back home!

All in all it is an incredible opportunity for me to be studying here, and I am blown away by the high calibre of education that I am receiving. I am looking forward to continuing to work hard, and I hope that through my time here I will achieve the knowledge and skills necessary to make a positive impact in the field of aquaculture.

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