Bondili Ekta Singh, VIT University, Semester Abroad student

“My decision to apply to the University of Plymouth for the exchange programme has been one of the best decisions of my life. Plymouth is a beautiful city by the ocean and I would say everyone must visit it once in their lifetime. I am thoroughly enjoying my time here in Plymouth.

As a city, Plymouth has got a very quaint, old world charm to it; it is unlike the other large, crowded and fast-paced cities I have been to. It has got a very calm and peaceful atmosphere associated with it and has stunning views, lots of small eateries and a climate that I personally prefer.

The University is like my second home here. Its multi-cultural environment makes it a really fun place to hang out and make new friends. The University is always bustling with students either running for their classes or simply enjoying the open spaces. It makes you feel welcome right away.

The lab I have been working in is an excellent place to work; it is well equipped, organised and provides a very comfortable and stress-free environment to work in and everyone who works there is so helpful and kind. Initially, I was new to a lot of the equipment and procedures but the staff and other students working alongside me made sure I didn’t have a difficult time.

My project is designing a lightweight GPS/GSM based tracking device which can be used to track pigeons. Though one might argue that there are plenty of tracking devices available in the market today, the challenge in designing the above-mentioned device lies in keeping the device as light and small as possible; this constraint acts as a limiting factor for almost all aspects of the design.

The project is very interesting and challenging. I have learnt a new programming language (Python), new software to create Printed Circuit Boards (Proteus), and a new set of commands to communicate with the GPS/GSM module (AT commands). This just emphasises all the new things I have been able to pick up while working on my project.

The four months that I have spent at the University of Plymouth will always be cherished by me. I will take back a lot of good memories and a very enriching experience with me to India. It has been a very beautiful journey that has helped me grow as an individual not only in terms of my profession but also personally. The cultural experience, the experience of interacting with people of different mindsets, the process of becoming more independent and responsible has definitely added to my growth as a student and as a person.

The reason I applied and chose the University of Plymouth for my final semester project is that it is one of the best universities in the UK. It has a very friendly international vibe to it and most importantly it is one of the top colleges academically in my field. I would definitely advise my juniors or my peers to apply to the University of Plymouth for a truly international experience. It has been a once in a lifetime experience for me.

To sum it up, I would say living in Plymouth and studying at the University of Plymouth has been a perfect balance of work and fun. So much so, that I am having second thoughts about leaving so soon to go back home."

Dr David Jenkins who was supervising Ekta added: “Ekta demonstrated an enthusiasm to learn and understand all aspects of the proposed project - to track racing pigeons using GSM/GPS. The project was a challenging one as it involved many new aspects, including a new programming language and pcb design with surface mount technology. Ekta was always keen to learn more and meet people to help with this.”