May 15, 2015, by International students
Enjoy learning and learn to enjoy yourself
How long does it take to travel 30 countries in a row? Or if I ask the same question in a different way, how often do you hear people saying, “I have friends from 30 countries” (I am talking about real people, not Facebook friends)? For me the answer to both questions is The University of Nottingham. Life after working hours is very colourful here. If you spend one hour in a campus social gathering place (and there are a lot of places for that), you will get to meet people from all over the world. One minute you are talking to an Indian guy who has his own milk delivery business and the next minute you are talking with a French girl who travelled the whole of Europe with £250 in her pocket! You will never guess that the shy Italian boy in your class becomes a Wing Chun fighter at night or the funniest Chinese girl is a gold medal winner sprinter.
A one year MSc programme can be comparable with a roller-coaster ride. Classes, coursework, group assignments and exams; lot of things are there to make your life run like clockwork, but then there is the other side of the coin. The best solution to avoid getting worried is to meet people and get involve with events and activities. At The University of Nottingham you really have a superstore of activities, there are hundreds of societies and clubs, practically covering almost every individual’s choice. In this age of knowledge it really doesn’t matter how much you know about your subject, it always comes down to how easily you can get along with a group and how open you are about diversified thoughts. Now, you have two ways to do that; one, you can spend hours in the library reading books on leadership skills or get out, mix in all these lively social events and learn from real people.
After winter madness you will love summer in Nottingham, though your dissertation will make you feel that you need to study 12 hours a day, but you will still end up having picnics at Nottingham Castle or Wollaton Hall (Batman’s house!). Don’t try to avoid those days because soon your degree will be over and you will be back home, but these are the days which will be alive in your memory forever.
There is another benefit of this multicultural environment, after solid study stress and long hours in the library you may feel that you are falling behind or you are struggling more than others because of studying in a foreign language, which can lead to a nervous breakdown. However if you spend some time with other international students then you will realise everyone is feeling the same and facing the same trouble. Through that discussion you will find some creative solutions from your friends to cope with stress, or if you are the creative one then you can help your friends to manage stress.
You will find so much energy around you that you will want to balance everything, first coursework submission, last coursework submission, last exam, last class, not to mention 20 birthday parties and 50 weekend gatherings (well there are only 52 weeks in a year). Moreover, eating out at your friend’s place will include a global tour of food from Chinese hotpot to Korean sushi and Spanish paella to Bangladeshi tandoori.
We get to know about countries, cultures and a different perspective on life, sometimes it turns out very funny and sometimes you learn for life. Moreover, it’s not just about knowing others, in these vibrant colours of life we also get the chance to discover ourselves and reinvent our own ability. We never know when which experience will become useful, so enjoy learning and learn to enjoy yourself.
Murtaza Faruquee, an international student from Bangladesh studying MSc Operations Management at The University of Nottingham Business School. See here to learn more about Murtaza’s experience of studying in the UK.