June 6, 2014, by International students
Finding my ‘home away from home’ in Nottingham
One may wonder how you can possibly be safe, comfortable and in one’s own comfort zone 5500 miles away. Being the baby of the family, it was a hard decision, but it had to be made if I wanted to further pursue my interest in Economics. Eventually, after a lot of warm hugs and few tears from my family and friends (I did not cry I promise!), I was on board my 12 hour flight from Colombo to London begin a new chapter in my life!
My journey here at Nottingham began when I arrived during freshers week. Having seen University Park only through the pictures on the prospectus, I instantly fell in love with the beautiful gardens. Having lived with my parents throughout my life, I was a bit skeptical at first about having to live with four other strangers. It was really awkward to begin with! But each of us had a story to share and over the course of the year it is safe to say they have become my family here, we pretty much do everything together, whether it being going for varsity games, night outs or cooking! I was a terrible cook, and I did not know how to even boil pasta, but thanks to my flatmates’ expertise and culinary skills, my mother would now be proud of me!
Coming from South Asia, your taste buds get accustomed to a variety of spices and curry. You crave for Sri Lankan food on and off, but luckily at Nottingham we have an active Sri Lankan Society which organizes ‘kotthu nights’ to satisfy your cravings. Kotthu is a Sri Lankan specialty dish. It is a must try if you fancy spicy food!
Having done Model United Nations (MUN) in high school, I joined the MUN society here during freshers’ fair. It was one of the best decisions after coming to university as it has opened up a lot of opportunities and networks. I went with the society to France recently to attend an MUN conference and it was a fantastic experience. If you love politics, public speaking, UN and travelling, then you must join NottsMUN! Don’t be surprised if your MUN buddies goes onto become future diplomats or politicians!
My first Lecture was in Keighton Auditorium and it was really intimidating compared to the classrooms I had been in before. I could not hear my lectures properly during the first few weeks as I was a victim of freshers’ flu, and so was everyone else! As time went on and everyone settled, I met some really interesting and super smart people on my course. From snap chatting during long lectures to helping each other out with tutorial assignments or complaining about how much reading we have to do, we have helped each other get through the year!
The British weather caught us this year and we did not see snowfall, so our plans of building a snowman were thrown away! Having never experienced snowfall it was a bit of a let down for me. Nevertheless, it is summer now and it’s very warm and pleasant (not the daddy long legs!), but it also means it’s time for us to leave university and enjoy summer. My first year here went too soon, but the memories and friends I have made will be with me for a long time. I never thought I would find my ‘home away from home’ 5500 miles away here at Nottingham.
It is going to be weird when I go home and don’t have to do my own laundry or cook my next meal!
Ismail Sadurdeen, first year Economics undergraduate from Sri Lanka.