Usman Sikander is originally from Pakistan and moved to the UK to do a PhD in Advanced Composites (aerospace engineering) at the University of Bristol. He is currently writing up his thesis and working as a Teaching Assistant (TA) and a Chief Resident (C/SR) within the university.  

In this episode Usman shares his top tips for surviving your PhD – particularly as an international student but the information is certainly applicable to lots of home students too!

Usman talks about his experience of culture shock and how this relates to the embodied experience of learning.

We talk about the importance of a social circle and how you might make new friends.

Usman reflects on the importance of developing hobbies and activities outside his research.

We talk about looking after yourself more generally – from cooking to finances.

Usman finishes with a reminder about the PhD as a process – not only of intellectual development but personal development too!

The books that Usman recommends are:

‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear

‘Can’t Hurt Me’ by David Goggins

You can contact Usman here:

Twitter: @usmansikander_1

Instagram: usmansikander_1

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/usikander/

If you would like a useful weekly email to support you on your PhD journey you can sign up for ‘Notes from the Life Raft’ here:  https://mailchi.mp/f2dce91955c6/notes-from-the-life-raft

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