August 5, 2016, by International students

Meet our Student Callers: Malathe from Sudan

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. Sudanese student Malathe has been speaking to students in the Middle East and Africa. She gives her advice about life in Nottingham, including studying, settling in and raising a family. 

Why did you choose to study at Nottingham?

After finishing my undergraduate studies at Khartoum University in my home country Sudan, I was appointed as a teaching assistant there. As a result of my new career, pursuing postgraduate studies was a necessity. As a fresh graduate, studying a postgraduate course abroad in itself seems like a big dream. However, from my staff colleagues I heard about Nottingham where they pursued their masters. When I looked it up, I found that the University is internationally recognized for its academic excellence, its exceptional facilities, courses and research programmes – especially in the area that I am interested in; Masters of Architecture in Design, so I applied and got the offer and started my masters in September 2013, being funded partially from my university.

During my masters, my supervisors encouraged me to complete my studies and pursue my PhD. They assisted me with my research proposal and getting the offer, and most importantly applying for the university scholarships. I applied for the Dean of Engineering scholarship during my masters but was not successful, only then I became more determined and developed my application for the following year. Successfully, I was awarded the scholarship with nine other colleagues from engineering, and started my PhD in October 2015. I am very thankful for the University for this outstanding opportunity.

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What is your favourite thing about living in Nottingham?

I live not far away from the university, in Beeston which is really a lovely place. I used to live in Dunkirk before, but I find Beeston more enjoyable, cheerful and convenient, especially for those who have families and kids, like me.

I find everything is close by for every single person in my family: all types of supermarkets for all our daily needs, cafes, natural reserve centre and Beeston marina for our leisure times and more specifically, kids’ centres, gardens with soft play areas and even a local library, all of which my little daughter really enjoys. We never feel bored in Beeston.

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Where is your favourite place in Nottingham, and why?

My favourite place is Highfields Park and the Lakeside. It is the only place that I really enjoy during all times of the year with my family, with friends and even with my colleagues; a place for all. And most importantly, I should add that it is the most suitable place to relieve the stress of my studies (by having a walk around).

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Where is your favourite place to eat out in Nottingham, and why?

I really love to eat at Tamatanga restaurant in the city centre.  It offers Indian food that I really like. Although, it is quite different from our normal traditional Sudanese food, but it is part of the experience; meeting different people from different cultures and trying different food.

Are you part of any societies?

Yes, I am part of the Sudanese Nile Society, of which I am actually appointed as its social secretary. My role is to organize social events for the Sudanese students and their families.

Moreover, I am part of the Islamic Society which organizes different social, cultural and entertainment activities and events for Muslim students throughout the year. Through these events, I got to know the wider Muslim community here in the University and their families.

What’s the most frequently asked question students ask you, and what advice do you give them?

The most frequently questions from students who I call in the Middle East revolves around accommodation, especially those with families. I tend to share with them my experience in living in both Dunkirk and Beeston with their accessibility to the University. Moreover, I also give them all the options inside the university, as being a hall tutor, or outside the university in student accommodations or shared houses, all in a form of the reflections I get from my friends and colleagues who already tried them.

What’s your number one tip for international/EU students coming to Nottingham?

Get into different experiences, share your thoughts, your culture, your traditions and even your research or project, engage as much as you can, it is a once in a lifetime experience.

What are you hoping to do after you finish your course?

There are certain research areas that I am eager to introduce to the architecture research in my country, which I believe that they have been ignored, and if considered, they will have a significant impact on the future of my country. Therefore, I intend to collaborate locally and worldwide with my research outcomes to strengthen these research areas.

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