March 20, 2015, by International students

Why I #LoveNotts

merdita blog photo

Seeing this poster in bulletin boards all over Jubilee Campus, several things popped in my head. After six months living in Nottingham, I start to love this city. Although at first I got confused with the bus routes, had difficulties in getting my daily needs, had no idea what to do after 5 PM, and always compared this city with my home country, now I have adapted and adore this city even more.

The first thing that impresses me is Nottingham’s transportation system. It is seamless. I still remember during the first months, I was curious why there were so many buses running for a similar route. Now, I understand that several buses might have similar start and end points but they serve different routes to make it easy for the citizens to travel around the city.  The system is well defined and fixed. Additionally, accurate information about the arrival of the next bus services at the bus stop which is also available online and can be accessed using mobile phone make it easy for me to plan my trip. It gives confidence to passengers to make an informed and smart choice for an efficient and productive travel using public transports. Free Hopper bus between University of Nottingham campuses, the special discounted price for students and group-riders offered for weekends is another thing that makes me favour public transport even more here.

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The next thing is that there are a lot of public spaces – Old Market Square in the city centre, local parks – completed with beautiful architecture, and castles make me feel like I want to take pictures of every corner of the city. Not only that, there are a lot of festivals, activities, or other events that give unique and local experiences as well. At The University of Nottingham particularly, I felt like I want to tumble on the green grass in front of Portland building, sit and have lunch in the open area near Sir Colin Campbell and Amenities building, read and maybe take a quick nap under the tree near Hallward Library.

Besides well maintained public spaces, another thing that I notice is the city’s cleanliness. Arriving in the Autumn season, falling leaves in beautiful orange-yellow tones greeted me, but within two or three days they vanished from the pavement. Since then I noticed that I rarely spot litter in public areas, except animal waste. I also notice that I can easily spot litterbins all over the city within a short distance. No wonder Nottingham is recognised as the cleanest city in Britain

Although in the first months I often got annoyed when most of the stores closed at 5 PM, now I get used to it and have found alternative places to go after 5 PM. I love the ambiance of the city. It is not too crowded, not too quiet; just right. It offers a diverse environment, and I can find various kinds of food from all over the world. I had an experience eating in an Indian restaurant where the waiter is from Egypt.  What an unexpected combination! I also often passed by different ethnicities confidently wearing either their religious symbol or traditional costume that made me recognize that diversity is valued and people are treated equally.

Last thing, as a Muslim I think this city is very friendly. I can find faith spaces quite easily. Sometimes, even though it is not written in the directory, the area owners are willing to provide a clean private room for praying.  I also can find Halal Food easily, either in well-known supermarkets such as Tesco, Asda, or small local stores such as Sharif or Medina, which are just as easy to visit.

A famous quote said that home is where your heart is. Now I can say that Nottingham is where my heart is.

Meredita Susanty, an international student from Indonesia studying MSc Management in Information Technology at the University of Nottingham.

Posted in Cultural integrationFoodNottingham city