Doing your PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) or EdD (Doctorate in Education) is a long hectic journey. Basically, you will face many ups and downs, and I believe as a student you should talk about these lows and highs, as it helps relieve stress.
Celebrate your accomplishments, as celebration helps you fuel your continued success. In a few words, I will talk about two things I have done during my first and second year of my EdD, which definitely helped me enjoy my journey.
The first thing is that I sometimes need to break and do something far away from studying. I was interested in meeting new people, having conversation with locals, and embarking on a new challenge. What I did was, I volunteered at Oxfam (https://onlineshop.oxfam.org.uk/shop).
Oxfam is a non-profit group, and you can see their stores across the UK. They sell books, DVDs, CDs, and many other gifts. Some of their items are secondhand, but they also sell ethical goods made by craftspeople from across the world.
Oxfam aims to fight poverty and injustice around the world, which something interested me. My main role at Oxfam was at the front desk. I had real opportunities to practice English with native speakers of English, in addition to practicing other skills related to accounting and finance.
Joining Oxfam was a great help to take a break from reading articles about research paradigms and Vygotsky! It also boosted my self-confidence and my overall psychological well-being has been much better.
The other thing that enriched my EdD journey was publishing articles, and now I have my own page at researchgate.net (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Saud_Albusaidi). As an international student, I had assumed that this would be impossible. What made it worse was that my first article was rejected from three different journals, not to mention the time and effort spent in editing the article to suit the framework and referencing system of each of those journals. Yet I did not give up. An editor at one of the journals recommended another journal where the scope matches my articles. That was a big push to achieve this goal.
It literally took me more than six months to publish the first article. However, the second article took me less time than that of the first. What made this experience greater is that you will meet people, and they, spontaneously or sarcastically, ask you what you have achieved during your ‘four years’ doctorate journey. It sounds an awkward situation, but it happened to me. I am telling you here that this is a great opportunity to talk about your accomplishments, and I do talk about publishing these articles.
Speaking about publishing articles, a list of ‘Predatory Journals’ was created by a librarian called Jeffrey Beall (https://beallslist.net/). However, you can argue what their definition of a predatory journal is. Think about it. One of my tutors suggested this website, stating that if the journal is mentioned then it should be good (https://www.scimagojr.com/). If they are reading this, I sincerely appreciate your guidance.
About the author
Saud Albusaidi is a lecturer at The University of Technology and Applied Sciences (previously Colleges of Technology) in Oman. He is currently doing his EdD at the School of Education at The University of Bristol. Saud is interested in the internationalisation of higher education (IoHE), internationalisation of the curriculum (IoC), and internationalisation at home (IaH).
To find out more about studying for an EdD at the School of Education, visit our website: https://www.bristol.ac.uk/education/study/doctoral/ where you can find out more about our programmes both in Bristol and Hong Kong.