Scholarship recipient Andrea Ferrao, from Goa, is hoping that studying at Derby will be her gateway to an exciting career at the forefront of sustainability practice.

After completing her first degree in general architecture, Andrea wanted to focus on sustainability; this was a subject that had been important to her from her childhood: “We were taught to live well within our means and respect every resource,” she explains.

Andrea chose to study our MSc in Sustainable Architecture and Healthy Buildings: “Sustainable architecture seeks to minimise the negative environmental impact of buildings through efficiency and moderation in the use of resources. I knew exactly what I wanted to study, and the University of Derby covered the most topics of interest to me in my subject.”

Warm welcome

This was Andrea’s first time outside India, and she had some initial concerns about how she would adapt to the people, place, weather and culture. However, she soon settled in to her new life: “This city has been very accommodating and the people here are very welcoming. Though it’s a small city there’s plenty to do. It offers a range of eateries, pubs and other leisure activities, so you can’t really get bored.”

She did notice some differences straight away: “The education system is so different in India; everything here is digital right from entering the campus to attendance and submitting projects. Back home all of this was done manually.”

Student Andrea Ferrao from Goa

World at her feet

Andrea is confident that studying this course will open up a world of opportunities for her: “I’m hoping to get an internship or job in the UK or Europe and add a couple of years’ international experience to my CV. Sustainability is a relatively new ideology in India, and by the time it catches up I am hoping to use my experience and knowledge to head an organisation that strives to bring about change through this professional field. I want to be able to contribute towards helping the underprivileged by providing them with affordable sustainable housing.”

Andrea has found moving continents to be ‘fulfilling and life-changing’. “I have learned so much – there’s a diverse group of students in my modules, and spending time with them has broadened my perspective of life in general.”