Name: Benedicte Brahic
Degrees: Politics degree, Institut d’Etudes Politiques, Lyon, France. Sociology PhD, Manchester Metropolitan University.
Describe your background before you started your studies in the UK.
I read Politics for my undergraduate degree in France. Eager to gain international experience and develop my language skills, I first started working as a research officer in Brussels, Belgium. I was then awarded a bursary to come and study in the UK. That is how it all started about six years ago!
Tell us about your course.
After completing a masters degree in Globalisation, I am currently studying for a PhD in Sociology at
Manchester Metropolitan University. My research is concerned with the negotiation of
trans-national private spaces across borders. In order to gain a better understanding of that
process, I have chosen to focus on European bi-national couples living in Manchester. After
spending the first two years of my PhD reading and carrying out fieldwork, I am currently in the process of writing up my thesis.
What do you enjoy the most about your course?
I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to carry out research on my
chosen topic. The fieldwork phase of my research has been thoroughly enjoyable. Beyond that, I really like the self-organisation and self-management aspects of the PhD programme. Exchanging ideas with supervisors, academic staff and fellow students is also an enriching part of the process. I feel lucky to have been able to meet new people and discover new places whilst studying.
How have you found adapting to life in the UK?
It has turned out to be relatively easy. Generally speaking, British universities provide a lot of support to their international students. From day one onwards, I have been given countless opportunities to join interest/activity groups, sport clubs, to meet new people, and make friends.
How do you think your postgraduate studies will benefit your career?
I hope my postgraduate studies will give me a competitive advantage when entering the labour market and enable me to progress steadily in my chosen career. I definitely think these studies have helped me develop transferable soft skills and more specialised competencies valued by employers. On a more personal note, I believe my postgraduate studies have had an invaluable impact as they have enabled me to become more self-aware and adaptable. This experience has been empowering.