July 18, 2014, by International students
Falling in love with the UK
One of the best things about life as a student at The University of Nottingham is the surprising variety of societies, clubs and volunteering opportunities it has to offer. You can find all the common sports and hobbies, but you can also be amazed by finding groups such as the Magic Society, the Massage Society, or the Hacking Society. There is something for everyone.
We all know that the main reason we are at university is to do our degree. However I truly believe that by not concentrating only on your degree you can do better at it. Every new experience teaches you something different and as much as you learn from your degree there are things you can only understand outside of it. Forming part of a club, society or volunteering activity allows you to develop new skills, enjoy yourself and meet people with different interests and points of view, which is always enriching.
One of the best experiences I’ve had with one such activity has been Ramsoc, the hiking and hillwalking club. I joined in my first year and instantly liked it because of its friendly and welcoming atmosphere. I loved how each Sunday was a chance to escape to the hills for a bit and forget about everything except the scenery and the nice people with whom I was hiking. Through Ramsoc I was able to discover the stunning landscapes Britain has to offer, and getting to know the UK better has helped me to fall in love with it.
Another thing I love about Ramsoc is the leadership and navigation learning opportunities it provides. Anyone can do training to become a leader for walks and I think the group management, leadership and decision making abilities you learn by doing this are invaluable and unquestionably transferable to your professional life.
During the last year I have formed part of Ramsoc’s committee because I hoped to help make new students feel as welcome as I felt in this society. The opportunity of being in a committee teaches you a lot about group work, time management and organization. All of these are very important life and professional skills.
Another great thing about clubs and societies is that because they are non-profit they offer lower prices than normal. This means that more students are able to afford them and try a wider range of activities.
I think arriving to university can by quite scary and societies and clubs are a way letting students find friends and activities they enjoy, making their university experience better. The main thing I can say about this is that I highly recommend finding one (or a few) activities outside of your degree that you enjoy. It is a way of surprising yourself by the exciting things you learn when trying something new and meeting different people.