Most students are getting ready to say goodbye to their university on graduation day.
But for Ama Carmichael, her graduation from Northumbria University was also the first time she had set foot on campus.
The postgraduate student travelled all the way from her home in the Caribbean to graduate in Newcastle after studying for an MSc in Computing and Information Technology as a distance learner.
Accompanied by her proud mother, Ama was overwhelmed to finally meet the tutors who have taught her for the past three years through video, phone calls and email.
“Coming to Northumbria was a ‘wow’ experience for me,” said Ama, who lives in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
“Although this is my first time on campus, and in the UK, I have had a lot of contact with my lecturers through video and phone calls so it’s been fantastic to meet them in person.”
Tutors and examiners have praised Ama’s commitment and hard work. She earned a distinction for her dissertation project which investigated the implementation of Green ICT for the government ICT sector in her home country.
“I feel like all the hard work has paid off,” added Ama. “I’ve received a lot of support from my tutors, despite having to work around the time differences and my working hours.
“All the staff I’ve worked with have contacted me today to say congratulations. The ceremony was really special and I know I definitely made the right choice to study with Northumbria.”
Ama’s project supervisor, Rebecca Strachan, was delighted to finally meet her student on the day of graduation.
“It’s not an easy option to be a distance learning student and combine postgraduate study with a full-time job but Ama is an excellent exemplar of how students rise to this challenge,” she said.
After the ceremony, Ama and her mother had chance to explore Newcastle city centre for the first time.
“Spending time in a big city like Newcastle is an eye-opening experience,” she added, “Coming from a small island, it is very different. It’s been great to experience another culture and I’ve really enjoyed the sightseeing and shopping.
“I loved being on campus at Northumbria too – it’s a nice, modern environment and the staff throughout the day very helpful and courteous.”
Northumbria University, Newcastle has a limited number of places for students on Computing and Information Technology courses through this year’s Clearing. Full details can be found by visiting www.northumbria.ac.uk/clearing