Muratha Sottatipreedawong is among the first students to graduate from Sussex’s ‘2+2’ programme, which combines studying at both the University of Sussex and Mahidol University in Thailand.
I’m really happy that I was a ‘2+2 ‘student, which meant I spent the first two years of my biomedical undergraduate degree at Mahidol University and then came to Sussex for the next two years. This means I graduate from both universities, which is fantastic.
I come from Bangkok and had never been out of Asia until I came to Brighton. I was very lucky because I lived with a host family in Patcham and I experienced lots of British culture, including Christmas and Easter.
I was a little homesick for a while, but when I got through this I became more mature. The study programme encourages you to be independent and to manage your own time, but I was always able to approach my academic advisor Professor Michelle West. I felt there was a lot of support for international students.
The campus is beautiful and has a lot of cafes. I like the coffee in the Jubilee building café. Most of the time I spent in the Library. I was motivated to study with my friends. There was a room we could book to practise our presentations, which really helped me. My English improved a lot once I was here.
I really enjoyed having the opportunity to do the Junior Research Associate scheme, which meant I had an eight-week paid research role working tin the world-leading neuroscience laboratory of Dr Ruth Murrell-Lagnado before I started my final year. Ruth is working in neuroscience and drug discovery, looking at the P2X receptor ion channel in cell membranes.
I was mostly doing microscopy to look at live cell cultures. It was quite hard at the first, but it was great that I got that opportunity to do the summer lab. I had more time to continue working on my analysis and to discuss it with other researchers.
Brighton is a beautiful city with a beach. I didn’t go out much tin he first year, but then I got a part-time job in a restaurant, Sawadee Thai, in St James’ Street. I really enjoyed it, and had a great manager. I was a chef so I cooked the food in the restaurant.
I ran the Brighton half marathon in February. It was my first half marathon. I started to going to the gym last November because I thought being active would help me to study. I wanted to challenge myself. It was a very interesting moment in my life. I was thinking of doing the full marathon, but then Covid-19 happened and I returned to Thailand in March.
I’m so glad I did the 2+2 programme. It gave me an interesting undergraduate profile and helped me to get interviews for Masters degree courses at other top UK universities. I am now going to return to the UK to do a MRes in structural molecular biology at Imperial College in London.
This profile is part of our This Sussex Life series
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By: Jacqui Bealing
Last updated: Friday, 2 October 2020