I'm trying to write a piece where it tells where a student came from but I keep using In under and at. Are there any other things to replace that? I looked up synonyms but it wasn't very helpful.

What I have is: They are a student at the University of X, Belgium under their School of Engineering, in the Department of Engineering and Computer Science, under their Communications and Technology program, interning at their 5g lab.

I have to have all the information but it just looks...heavy?

Thanks for the help!

Best regards, Nick

  • 3
    Some of your text is presumably contextually relevant, but most of it looks more like an address format. I can't see why anyone (except maybe a not-very-on-the-ball postman or college mailroom worker) would need to know that the university's School of Engineering is in fact part of their Department of Engineering and Computer Science, for example. Oct 7, 2019 at 17:32
  • @FumbleFingers I certainly can't imagine anybody caring about the 5g lab. Not unless that lab is famous for something in particular. But if it is, that's all that needs to be said, aside from the University of X. Oct 8, 2019 at 2:56

2 Answers 2


Complicated titles are mere matters of fact in the academic world. It only gets worse when it's an endowed program or chair. You'd be adding the John Smith School of Engineering Program of Engineering and Computer Science.

How you write this is a determined by how you need to present it.

If I were writing a novel or a long form description of someone, I'd break it into more than one sentence:

The student was interning at the 5G lab, at the Engineering School of the University of X in Belgium. The lab was a part of the Computer Science and Technology program, under the auspices of the Department of Engineering and Computer Science.

If I were writing someone's bio blurb where the flow was less important than the information I'd use a semi-colon or comma to delineate the divisions:

John Smith: Intern at the 5G lab, Computer Science and Technology program; Department of Engineering and Computer Science; Engineering School, University of X, Belgium.


Prepositions aren't entirely necessary.

They are a student at the University of X, Belgium School of Engineering, Department of Engineering and Computer Science, Communications and Technology program, 5g lab.

doesn't look too bad. You might also want to reverse the order:

They are interning at the 5g lab, Communications and Technology program, Department of Engineering and Computer Science, School of Engineering, the University of X, Belgium.

This is analogous to how addresses are given as most specific to least: Street, City, State, Country.

  • "They are a student? What happened to subject-verb agreement? Oct 7, 2019 at 19:44
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    @MarkHubbard What do you mean? The word "they" takes a plural verb regardless of whether it has a plural referent or a singular referent—just like the word "you." Oct 7, 2019 at 20:05
  • "He is a student." "She is a student." "You are a student." "They are students" (plural). All OK, right? But not "They are a student." I suspect I'm not calling it the right thing. Suggestions? Oct 7, 2019 at 20:45
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    @MarkHubbard "They" is the subject. "a student" is the subject complement. The subject and subject complement do no have to be the same grammatical number, e.g. "They are a family". Oct 8, 2019 at 0:29
  • @MarkHubbard But more importantly, they is being used as the singular gender-neutral pronoun here—and it takes a plural form. You cannot say this is in any standard form of English. Oct 8, 2019 at 2:59

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