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Our first term in the Department of Computer Science

In 2007 Bulgaria joined the European Union and since then a number of students have chosen to pursue higher education in countries such as the UK and Germany. This year the department of Computer Science has welcomed a number of these students including Milena Georgieva and Peter Ivanov both of whom are undertaking a combined course in computer science and management.

Tell us a little bit about why you choose Warwick University and specifically Computer Science..

With a background in Mathematics and some C++ experience, it was always the case that we wanted to study computer science, preferably in the UK; the only question was which university we would choose. By the time the literature had arrived from Warwick we had already searched Google and studied the league tables. Since the computer science departments of Imperial, Warwick and Sheffield were fairly close; the final decision lay with our overall impression of the university. In the end, the country side, self contained campus and recommendations from existing Bulgarian students made Warwick our number one choice. We were extremely pleased by how quickly our applications were processed, taking just under two weeks to receive an offer.

Looking back over the first term, how have you coped with living at Warwick?

Thankfully we have not had any real problems, although one student from Birmingham speaks quite fast with an accent that I find difficult to understand [Milena]. In terms of integrating with other students I would say that in the department the Bulgarian students tend to group together but in halls and in a social context it is very much divided [Peter]. In my halls the majority of the students are English and we all get on really well [Milena]. In Westwood the students tend to be more international and there is a strong sense of friendship and community.

Sharing a bathroom with 30 people requires precision planning but after a while you get use to running along the corridor to beat your neighbour to the last remaining shower [Peter].

What about sports and societies?

Naturally we have all joined the Bulgarian society and in terms of sports we have signed up for volleyball, 5 a side and 11 a side football. We have also joined Warwick Sport and try to swim and work out in the running bear fitness centre every day. Although we are aware of the computer society we have only been to one meeting. The focus tends to be on playing games which in contrast to the English and Chinese students is not really something that interests us. We would like to see more organised events such as guest speakers and academic visits.

Tell us a little bit about what you have got up to academically in this first term...

In mathematics for computer science we have just finished studying set theory. It is an interesting module but certainly very difficult. We have to complete an assignment every week and every week they have get progressively harder. Probably our favourite module so far is CS118 Programming for Computer Scientists. Dr Stephen Jarvis is a fantastic lecturer and although the first piece of coursework was relatively easy, the second piece, in which we have to write a homing robot, is proving to be much more challenging. The security module is also really interesting although the theory is quite complicated, the main reason is that there are so many different definitions for terms; in every book you can find a different definition, in the end you have to build your own understanding of the material.