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"Studying with a diverse community of people opened my eyes to new possibilities"

While studying for the MSc in Climate Change at Birkbeck, Chevening Scholar Presley Gitari discovered that London is a diverse and – surprisingly – green city.

A photo of Presley Gitari
Presley Gitari

Coming from a coastal city, London was a big cultural change

But Birkbeck’s central location and great transport links made it so much easier to get around and it was great to able to experience the hustle and bustle of London.

Studying with a diverse community of people was on my wish list
I was drawn to Birkbeck’s diverse and talented faculty and student base. I could interact with students who brought perspectives from their daytime jobs into the classroom, which was an enriching experience.

A scholarship enabled me to follow my dreams
The opportunity to study with the support of the Chevening Scholarship was an exhilarating prospect. I couldn’t have done it without the additional support.

Flexible learning was a new concept to me and really worked well
Birkbeck’s online learning allow me to interact with pre-recorded lectures and reading material on the university Moodle platform. I set aside 1-2 hours in the evening for our live session where we went over the material with our lecturers.

A typical day for me would start with a jog in the park
I love London’s many open spaces where I regularly go out for a jog or relax in the afternoons. I would then take my live sessions from home but sometimes use the library if I happened to have a book that I needed to collect or drop off.

One bike ride took me from Buckingham Palace to Canary Wharf!
A highlight of being in London was being able to cycle so easily around it. One day I hired a Santander bike and rode from Buckingham Palace, taking in the sights of London’s architecture, finally ending up at Canary Wharf. It was a healthy and environmentally friendly way of introducing myself to London.