International student profile: Joseph Udo

"Before choosing Plymouth University, I had two years’ experience in computer engineering from EPAL Technologies Nigeria. In order to further my education I joined Westerfield College (in Nigeria) to study computing and it was during the presentation of many schools here in the UK that I saw a presentation by a lecturer from Plymouth about the University. I originally wanted to go to another university, but with the presentation I saw that day, I changed my mind and chose to continue my studies at Plymouth University.

I chose to study my degree because of the meaning I see in computers as not just a machine but as an intellectual machine. Since computers have moved to an advanced and more utilised age, it becomes more appreciated in society because of what it is used for.

As a computer and information security (CIS) student my motive is to understand phishing, cybercrime, malicious software and intruders advance more. Now I am able to understand and identify legitimate mails sent from banks, companies and also illegitimate mails which intruders (hackers) use to acquire a user’s personal details. As a CIS student I now appreciate that even if a hard disk in a computer is formatted, there is still more data from the previous windows being stored.

I enjoy the software tools available to me which I have used in the labs to learn how forensic investigators use these tools for investigation; I also appreciate the software tools available to me for network monitoring, programming software, etc.

I learn from both the lecturers and my fellow students. There are times when we (the students) form a group to learn and work together on group projects and assignments. The lectures are all of good quality and when issuing an assignment they ensure it is understood by all. The lecturers also make time in their schedule for students to go to see them in their office for further feedback.

As noted, Plymouth was the first university in the world to receive the Social Enterprise Mark in Higher Education Award and the school is also the Centre for Security, Communications and Network Research (CSCAN). Everything from the Wi-Fi, the timetable arrangements, the support desk, the library, the international office, the students union (UPSU) to the cleaning department, the staff and the students - these all contribute to the great satisfactory and smooth running of the University.  

The city of Plymouth is very alluring: Smeaton’s Tower, the Aquarium, Dartmoor Zoo, Central Park, the marine ships and the Barbican Theatre etc - all this attracts the beauty of the city.

When I first arrived I received help from both the staff and the students who assisted me in the search for suitable accommodation (which is much cheaper than other university cities) and they helped familiarise me with the campus and where I would be studying.  

I would say spending less money but acquiring the same quality of education is what everyone needs. I place my mind more on my words which I normally say to my friends that ‘the minds of each and everyone always function according to what we see, hear, want and study’.

Hence ‘resting one’s mind in where you want to be and adapting to the qualities there is worth more than perturbing the mind in where you think everyone is going and you wish to follow may give the mind unrest. And it would be inappropriate’. So it’s good for all to ‘plan, focus and succeed’.

People have their own views for choices. But considering a choice at Plymouth University, I would say is achievable. Just like the proverb that says ‘first impressions count’, it really shows in Plymouth University that it is not just a university but a home away from home."