February 14, 2018, by International students
International Student Ambassadors: Valeriu-Radu from Romania
Our International Student Ambassadors provide campus tours, telephone calls and social media for international students preparing to study at Nottingham. Valeriu-Radu is from Romania and is studying BSc Biochemistry and Genetics. Here are his thoughts on life at Nottingham.
Why did you choose the University of Nottingham?
The choice I made was mostly based on the course I was offered, but besides that, I chose The University of Nottingham because of its accommodation range, offering rooms within my budget, wonderful campus and reputability.
What is your favourite thing about the University of Nottingham?
There are many great things about the University of Nottingham, but what I enjoy the most, and what makes this university so unique is its campuses. I was based in University Park campus, and it is indeed a self-contained small village with all the essentials in place. This campus is a joy to explore and if you like photography, you can get some amazing shots by just walking and exploring. From the wonderful lake, to the secret gardens, the campus has wonderful scenery that will enrich your time at university.
What is the best thing about your course?
My course is based in the school of Life Sciences, which offers endless opportunities and it is very flexible around its students needs. The degree I was originally applying for required a scientific background that I did not have so the University suggested I enrol onto a foundation year in science. During the foundation year I explored different branches of the life sciences, and I ultimately decided to continue my academic path by studying Biochemistry and Genetics. Furthermore, the school of Life Sciences allows its students to change between the courses they offer at the end of the first year. This course gave me the flexibility I needed to decide on my career and I couldn’t have made a better choice.
What is your experience so far of the University of Nottingham?
I am having a great time as a student at the University of Nottingham. I really enjoyed my first year, during which I had the opportunity to explore and embrace British culture and understand university life. Catered accommodation allowed me to form friendships, however in the second year I had the opportunity to live off campus, which developed my independence and life skills. I was also able to find a part time job, which has given me valuable life experience.
What are you planning to do next with your career?
I am currently at a stage in my university life where I am still exploring the possible career paths I could take at the end of my degree. Right now I am focusing on getting a variety of work experience and insights into various job sectors such as teaching, clinical science and research. I am also very grateful for the fact that there are so many part time jobs opportunities that are not necessarily related to the degree I am doing, but which help me develop general working values and offer awareness of job sectors different than the scientific world.
What would be your top tips for a new international student starting at the University of Nottingham in their first year?
Your first days at the university will be the easiest period of time in your life to meet new people and make new friends. This is a period of time where starting a conversation with a stranger in a corridor, street, lecture theatre or bus stop is completely acceptable and expected. Making conversation is extremely easy and do not be afraid to talk to people. Everyone is in the same place as you are, everyone wants to integrate and everyone wants to make friends. An excellent way of starting your social life before arriving to Nottingham is talking to people online. Facebook’s’ freshers page is an excellent platform for that and it helped me find and get to know people on my course and from my accommodation even before getting to Nottingham.