October 11, 2017, by International students
My year in Nottingham
By Dwayne Tucker, a Chevening Scholar from Jamaica who recently completed an MSc Oncology degree at Nottingham.
And just like that, in a blink of an eye, the best, and arguably the most important year of my life has come and gone. Having decided that I was going to relocate to the UK to pursue a MSc in Oncology, I could not have foreseen the magnitude to which the experience would change my life, both academically and personally. It has been an amazing year filled with cultural exchange, endless learning, appreciation, humility and love. Prior to my Chevening journey to the University of Nottingham, a year away from friends and family seemed way too long for comfort. But, as soon as I arrived in the city I would call home for the next twelve months, I realised that a year in such a diverse city would not suffice. In other words, my love affair with the city of Nottingham began immediately.
The warmth of the locals was a breath of fresh air, very comforting to someone moving to a foreign country with no friends or family in sight. I would also describe the city as active but not too busy; the perfect balance for people like myself who seek the thrill of new adventures, whilst assuming life at a slower pace and enjoying the simpler things that surround us. Trust me when I say, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Nottingham.
Studying at one of the top universities in the world was an extraordinary privilege, but I was mostly fascinated by the look and feel that the University of Nottingham bequeaths through its preservation of the natural aspect of the campus grounds. One of my favourite pastimes to do was to take a stroll around the University Park campus, especially on a Sunday morning, to clear my mind and appreciate nature at its best. This was certainly an advantage of studying at one of the greenest university campuses in the UK – the natural atmosphere of the University was definitely one of the highlights for me. My favourite place from which to work was the Djanogly Learning Resource Centre at the Jubilee campus, where I had the view of swans and a lake to medicate those moments of writer’s block.
I truly believe a valuable academic experience is greatly dependent on those who bestow knowledge, and the University of Nottingham has clearly taken this seriously. My learning experience was most fulfilling primarily because I was taught by some of the most esteemed scientists in the field. It was nothing short of an honour to directly experience science at the feet of the people who are movers and shakers of a plethora of niches within cancer research. However, the most fulfilling academic experience was having been afforded the opportunity to partake in a robust cancer research project on acute myeloid leukaemia. The project sought to explore the parameters surrounding relapse in patients on a molecular level, hoping to identify new therapeutic targets. This particular exposure has allowed me to sharpen my skills as a scientist, and has fostered my passion and drive for cancer research even further.
As expected, the impact of the University of Nottingham has drastically changed me academically, but what was unexpected was the impact it had on other facets of my life. My Chevening journey at the University of Nottingham has allowed me to meet the most diverse group of people, from whom I have learnt so much. They have touched me in many ways allowing me to grow and evolve into a better version of the person I was twelve months ago. I now view and perceive the world in a different light because of these wonderful individuals whom I gladly call my “Nottingham Family” even though we are all from different walks of life, not necessarily originating from the city. The tagline, “Britain’s global university” certainly is fitting, as studying at the University of Nottingham not only gave me an education in science, but also an education in compassion, life and humanity. My deepest gratitude goes out to the University of Nottingham and Chevening for the best year of my life. To future Chevening scholars and students in general, be prepared to be thrilled and inspired.