February 13, 2015, by International students
Student life in Nottingham – outside the library
Nottingham is the fourth destination of my academic life. After Athens, Amsterdam and Barcelona (where I did my bachelors, masters and research masters respectively) I took the decision to move here in order to pursue my PhD aspirations. Fortunately it wasn’t long until my concerns of whether this move was the right one (besides in alphabetical terms!) were reassured both in academic and social level. I will take this opportunity to talk a little bit about the latter, that is, life in Nottingham “outside the library”!
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration if I was to say that in terms of liveliness, Nottingham can match that of any of the aforementioned cities any day of the week! This is not as surprising if one considers the fact that The University of Nottingham enjoys one of the largest, most multicultural student-populations in the UK. You can see and hear happy young people enjoying their lives in literally every corner of the city.
Living in such a student-oriented city is a real treat for everyone who is (or/and more importantly feels) young. I have yet to come up with a sport that does not have an operating society in one of the many sport-centers situated in the several campuses of the university. Nightlife is very vivid with bars and clubs for all music tastes (and even a Royal Theatre for the more demanding ears). Lastly, despite what might seem as a pub-monopoly, the adventurous foodie can find restaurants and explore the flavors from every ethnic background imaginable.
In what follows, I will try to condense the “wisdom” obtained from my hitherto experience as an international student living for the first time in the UK -and in particular in Nottingham – in the form of three pieces of advice.
1) First thing you should do: Get a bike! This will definitely upgrade daily interaction with the city-university life (plus, you will save a lot of money from commuting!). I should probably specify though that in case you don’t know how to ride a bike, learning how to, should probably be the “First thing you should do”…
2) Don’t be intimidated by the weather! The typical image of UK cities being all gray and rainy (perhaps part of a propaganda, fabricated by the touristic services of the Mediterranean countries 🙂 ) does not apply here. Having said that, I must admit that I still plan to visit the island in the Aegean Sea (where I come from) during the summer!
3) Most importantly, life in Nottingham is full of small delights: from an evening stroll in the evergreen Wollaton Park after an intense day of shopping in Lace Market to a relaxed night in the Savoy cinema after a nice warm cup of tea from Lee Rosy’s. I have a suspicion that these seemingly small moments are the ones that count the most when one looks back and retrospectively evaluates his/her experience. From this perspective I already see myself reminiscing about my student years in Nottingham… Enjoy!
Orestis Kopsacheilis, an international student from Greece studying a PhD in Behavioural Economics at The University of Nottingham.
This post is also available in: Greek