December 15, 2017, by International students
My advice on making the most of your time, at the University of Nottingham
By Amna Sandhu from Pakistan, who recently completed an MSc Banking and Managerial Economics degree at Nottingham with a Business School scholarship.
I still remember the day I chose to study at the University of Nottingham. The idea of studying in a new country was exciting and thrilling but at the same time a little scary too. However, this year has turned out to be one of the best and most exhilarating years, filled with lifelong memories.
Living in a new country is a very learning experience but you have to be very accepting of the differences. I found the beauty of the University lies in its diverse student body. I was the only Pakistani in my class but my fellow classmates came from all over the world, from places such as India, China, America and Europe. The different backgrounds and cultural experiences made the class discussions very interesting and the earlier you realize that everyone has just come here and are all feeling what you are feeling, the better everything is. This makes you feel connected with everyone in a strange way and is one of the very reasons orientation and the first few weeks of classes are fascinating to attend.
One piece of advice that I would give to all prospective students would be to try everything, at least once. However, something worth remembering is not to try everything AT once. The university schedule usually provides a good balance between academic and social life. The modules are usually 14 weeks long with long breaks during Christmas and Easter, whilst the weekly timetable allows for short breaks during term time. I would recommend considering the course outline and criteria of assessment when choosing modules. The workload is almost the same, however, select according to where your strengths lie, either in coursework or exams. Though, make sure you’re still inspired by the course content.
Nottingham is located in the midlands, which is nicely connected to almost all cities through the train and bus network. It’s a good idea to plan in advance and book cheap tickets almost two weeks before the intended date of travel. The weekends provide a great opportunity to travel nearby and I was lucky to visit a lot of other cities, such as London, Manchester, Leeds, and Liverpool. During the longer breaks, it’s great to visit further north, like Scotland. There are numerous tours throughout the country that are very convenient and well organized.
Nottingham city is home to two universities, hence, provides a very good blend of social life for students. The city life has a lot to offer in terms of food, sightseeing and nightlife. My friends and I found many little cafes that were perfect for eating desserts and working at the same time. Being a Muslim, it was a blessing that most places in Nottingham offered vegetarian and halal options on their menus. This allowed me to experience different cuisines with my international friends.
It is also very exciting to attend the events and join in on the festivities, such as Halloween, the Goose fair, Bonfire night and Winter Wonderland. They all portray the diversity that Nottingham has to offer. Nottingham has become my second home and will always hold a special place in my heart. Thank you University of Nottingham for the degree, the mentors, the friends and an overall amazing year.