July 15, 2016, by International students
Meet our Student Callers: Magda from Poland
If you hold an offer to study at The University of Nottingham, you might be lucky enough to receive a call from one of our international students. Polish student Magda has been speaking to students all over Europe to let them know what life at Nottingham is really like.
Hi! My name is Magda and I’ve just finished my first year of Biology MSci at the University of Nottingham. I am from Poland and I’m really happy to share my experience with you!
Why did you choose to study at Nottingham?
The University of Nottingham is among a few universities that have the course I was initially interested in – Human Genetics. Then I had a look at all the rankings, and pleased with the results, I started reading about the University and the city. I fell in love with the campus (though photos don’t really show how beautiful it is), the city architecture (bless you google street view) and how international the University is. I hadn’t actually visited Nottingham at any of the open days, so it was quite risky, but it was definitely a great choice.
What is your favourite thing about living in Nottingham?
I like the fact that the city is quite small. This means that it’s not a problem to walk or cycle around the city (in many places the cycle paths/lanes are really decent). The nightlife is very vibrant, so there’s always something to do in the evenings. There are plenty of clubs, pubs and restaurants occupied by students. Also, if you get on the bus in 10 minutes you can either be in the city centre or, for example, in Wollaton Park enjoying the nature. There is something for everyone!
Where is your favourite place in Nottingham, and why?
My favourite places in Nottingham are the University Park, Wollaton Park and the canal side. Also, I really enjoy the path along the river Trent on the way to West Bridgford. They are perfect places to relax, chill or do some sport. Also, the most surprising thing for me were the deer in the Wollaton Park. I wasn’t expecting this, and seeing all the herds just walking around the park grounds was amazing. You can come quite close to them too!
Are you part of any societies?
I’m the treasurer of Yoga Society and an active member of Polish Society. Also, I took part in many other societies meetings and sessions, but after a couple of months, I devoted myself to Yoga Society. I started practising at the end of the Autumn semester on my first year and I fell in love! I’ve never been flexible or into gymnastics, so I’m really glad that my friend made me come to one of the classes. I would never expect that I’ll end being a committee member. It’s a great fun and being involved is very rewarding.
What’s the most frequently asked question students ask you, and what advice do you give them?
When I was calling offer holders from outside the UK, they usually asked me about accommodation. My advice for the most of them was to choose self-catered halls. It gives you the opportunity to be independent whilst still enjoying the halls environment. If you have never lived on your own – hey, learning how to cook in the first year is a better idea than being malnourished during the second year, when you need to eat well to study more efficiently! A huge advantage for me was the fact that I didn’t need to move out from my room during Christmas and Easter holidays. I could just wait a couple of days for a better flight, or come back earlier to work before the semester starts. It is possible to pay and stay over holidays in catered halls, but you’re usually alone and there are problems with getting your meals.
What’s your number one tip for international/EU students coming to Nottingham?
Get involved! The first weeks of Autumn semester give you a beautiful opportunity to try billions of new things and make new friends. Do you like board games? Go to the board games society session! Want to learn how to meditate? Join Buddhist & meditation society! Want to meet people from your country? Nothing easier! Or if you are into sports, you can do literally everything. Even quidditch. Seriously! The first few weeks are great to get into something new, as many societies have taster sessions and you won’t be broken after trying everything out.
Societies are the best way of making new friends and expanding your horizons. Don’t limit yourself to your course, there are so many things that are waiting to be discovered by you!
A pro tip before you arrive: find the Facebook group of society with people from your country. Introduce yourself, talk to people. They may give you some useful tips and you’ll make friends before you even arrive! I’ve done that and it helped me a lot. You can find all the societies on the SU website.