April 23, 2018, by International students
My undergraduate time at the University of Nottingham
Cheryl Yijia Gong, from Beijing China, is a third year student in MSci Medicinal and Biological Chemistry.
The first day of studying and living at the University of Nottingham is still in my memory. It was exciting but a little bit scary being in a completely new environment as well as speaking in my second language. However, both professors and staff here were really nice and helpful. I don’t need to worry about not being from the UK as people at the university always treat international students as equally as local students, while you’ll meet students from across the globe.
I was allocated Sherwood Hall which is 3 minutes’ walk from the David Ross Sport Village and 15 minutes’ walk from the science teaching area. The resident hall contains almost anything I need, including library, study bar, canteen, laundry room and Junior Common Room where I completed group study and enjoyed my time with other students. I also had a Personal Tutor who helped me with anything I had a problem with. Formal dinners held three times a year gave me opportunities to experience traditional English culture. Moreover, hopper bus stop is right outside the hall on the University Park campus. This makes commuting to the Jubilee campus much easier. I chose to share wash facilities with students because it gave me a chance to meet people from all over the world so I could make a lot of friends and have different experiences. However, some students prefer to have their own private bathroom.
In terms of study, reading lists and lecture notes were normally provided in the first teaching week. Life was a bit tough when I had to absorb all the new things in a second language. Fortunately, all the professors were very friendly and they were willing to help me both in lectures and tutorials. As a science student, my favorite part of the course is working in the lab. Normally lab sessions last 11 hours per week and I am allowed to work individually and/or in a team throughout the year under supervision. Tutorials and workshops are held every other week so that I could ask questions that I came up with after lectures. These were really useful and can be closely related to my coursework, as well as final exams. For science students, the George Green library is the best place to study. In the library, we have individual study rooms and group study rooms too for a more relaxed study environment.
University also offers in-sessional (during your course) English support to all international students. During my first year of study, I attended a grammar course for 6 weeks and I found it truly helpful with my report writing. The Career Centre in the Portland building is another place I would recommend. The staff there helped me with my CV and even gave me advices on job interviews.
Life cannot be study 24/7. There are so many other things I could do in Nottingham: shopping from Zara to Topshop, from Lush to the Body Shop and from Sports Direct to Boots. Nottingham is a good place for both boys and girls. As for food, there are so many different restaurants, including one of the best Japanese sushi restaurants in the UK. I can choose from Mexican food to Chinese dim sum, from wraps to kebab. Takeaway also offered more choices during my time in Nottingham. Moreover, there are so many societies to get involved with. I chose to join archery (like Robin Hood!) club and A’Cappella and dancing societies. Sports is a big area of interest too, with basketball, table-tennis, badminton, climbing, football and so on. Country based societies are also available too.
Nottingham is almost in the centre of the UK, which means I can go to anywhere in the UK in a reasonable time. It takes less than 2 hours to London and just a little over 2 hours to Manchester by train. Every year I travel back and forth to China. There is also an airport in Nottingham from where I traveled to Europe for lovely holidays.
I really hope this blog gives you some help in picturing life at the University of Nottingham. I looking forward to seeing you somewhere in Nottingham one day!