February 22, 2018, by International students
International Student Ambassador: Yulia from Russia
Our International Student Ambassadors provide campus tours, telephone calls and social media for international students preparing to study at Nottingham. Yulia is from Russia and is studying BSc Mathematics and Economics. Here are her thoughts on life at Nottingham.
Why did you choose the University of Nottingham?
To start with, as I wanted my particular degree, Nottingham was one of a few universities offering it. It had, and still has, great reputation and ranking both overall and in my discipline. The one thing that made Nottingham stand out at the first glance was its exceptional employability standards, as it was in top 3 for employability in the UK for the last number of years (and first the year I applied).
Then, after hearing from all of my universities, I started visiting ones that offered me a place. Nottingham was more welcoming and more supportive than I could possibly imagine. My main department, Maths, made me feel like I belong the time I entered the building: student ambassadors and staff were so happy about being a part of the UoN community themselves that all the visitors could feel it. And the campus… I couldn’t believe that this enormous park full of greenery and unique buildings was actually a university!
What is your favourite thing about the University of Nottingham?
You can never get tired of it! The campuses are huge, so every time you take a walk you discover new places and learn new facts about your university. The university and the Students’ Union provide a lot of opportunities to meet like-minded people, to enhance your skills and to try different things out. You can get involved in so many things I cannot list them all: societies, sports, open days, student-run projects, marketing for uni, peer-mentoring schemes, volunteering – those are just a few from the top of my head. There are so many exciting things happening at UoN, that you can never get bored.
What is the best thing about your course?
My course is a great mix of precise mathematical methods and subjective economic analysis for those enjoying a good challenge. It provides an amazing foundation in mathematics which is later applied in economic content. Deeper knowledge of basic concepts in maths assists better understanding of economic theory, and, conversely, application of maths in economics helps me to see how theory is used in different areas. Also, the disciplines concentrate on developing different skills: maths strengthens my analytical abilities whereas economics gives me a good practice of essay writing.
Did you receive a scholarship?
I received two scholarships. The first was Cambridge Tutors College High Achievers Award, which I got as an alumnus of Cambridge Tutors College joining the University of Nottingham after successful completion of A-levels. The second was International Orientation Scholarship from School of Mathematical Sciences. It is an annual payment to international students studying in the department subject to high performance.
What is your experience so far of the University of Nottingham?
I never regretted my choice. I have been traveling around UK quite a lot, meeting my friends from other universities, and all the time I keep convincing myself that Nottingham is indeed the best place for me. My first year run very smoothly as my main department pay a lot of attention to the transition of students from school to university. I received academic support in different forms: small group tutorials, small group peer mentoring sessions (that I’m currently involved in as a mentor and not a student), larger group drop-ins and problem classes, so I was never left to struggle. I also had a few chances to express myself: as someone who loves working with people and helping others, I was elected as a president of the Living Out Students Network, I got involved in Open Days, Welcome Week and many other exciting things! My experience of UoN has been amazing, and I am truly proud to be a student at the University of Nottingham!
What are you planning to do next with your career?
I came to university with a clear picture of future me working as an economist. I wasn’t particularly passionate about it, yet that seemed as the only reasonable choice. However, it struck me in the beginning of my second year that statistical analysis and research had become something I truly enjoyed. So now my plan is to complete a summer research project offered by the School of Mathematical Sciences to get a feel of real research, then do a Masters degree in Statistics and try my best to get a PhD, as that is the one way to become a researcher.
What would be your top tips for a new international student starting at the University of Nottingham in their first year?
1) Remember what is it you came here for. I know that the first year does not count towards your degree, so, yes, you have to enjoy it, but try to keep on top of your studies. The first year is there for you to settle down, get used to more independent life and different ways of learning, but don’t make your future life more difficult by leaving learning of fundamental things until your second year.
2) Meet as many people as possible, try as many things as you can: your life will get busier as you progress further in your degree, so don’t waste your time moaning about boredom of life! Keeping yourself busy also helps to feel less homesick and adapt quicker.
3) Don’t stick to just one society representing your origins. Try to make friends with people from other countries, as this is one of the greatest benefits of a global university! Surely it’s easier to chat in your mother tongue, but what’s the point of studying abroad then if you don’t make the most of it?