February 26, 2019, by International students
International Student Ambassadors: Anna from the Czech Republic
Hi everyone! My name is Anna Siruckova and I am an international student from the Czech Republic. I am currently studying a Masters course in Bioengineering.
Why did you choose to study your specific course and what are your favourite aspects of the course so far?
I did my undergraduate studies in Biomedical technology and Bioinformatics and Biomedical Science. Choosing Bioengineering course was a logical step forward in my education. Bioengineering is a very complex area and it is very challenging for the Faculty of Engineering to build a course that will comprehend the main fields of bioengineering. I think that the Faculty does a great job of offering variety of modules and every student can follow their own interests.
All my modules are very interesting and valuable for my future career. I like that the professors always provide relevant practical examples and applications of the problematics.
Most of my course mates are international students and I enjoy it very much because it is very comforting to have people with the same experience of being in a foreign country next to you.
Describe your experience of the teaching on your course at the University of Nottingham
All teachers are professionals in their fields and they teach the learning objectives in a very understandable way. They provide enough material to study, they offer consultations and are willing to help and explain any ambiguity. Some modules consist of workshops, labs and excursions to support the topic which help you to understand and experience real applications.
What attracted you to the UK?
I studied at a university in the Czech Republic for 3 years, then I transferred to a university in the United States where I ended up living for 4 years. I had an amazing time there but the fact that I was only able to see my family once a year for Christmas made me to move back to Europe. I chose the UK because the education is on a very high level and there are many opportunities for research. I would also like to master my English and work for an international company. Moreover, I love travelling and exploring new cultures and I have never lived in the UK before, so I have accepted this challenge.
If you were awarded a scholarship, please give details of the scholarship and the impact it has had on your studies
I was very lucky to be awarded an athletic scholarship. The University of Nottingham is recognised for its sport success and the athletic department is very generous to support their student-athletes. Taking the financial burden partially allows me to focus on studies and sport and perform my best in both areas.
What has been your experience of making friends with people from other countries?
As I mentioned before, most of my course mates are international students and I love it. We plan socials, international dinners, we go to Christmas markets and travel together. When I talk to other international students, I usually find out that we all have very similar experience. Also, it is amazing to learn about different cultures, languages and people.
How have you adapted to the climate?
One would think that being from the Czech Republic, where we have four seasons as well, would prepare me for the British climate but I spent the last four years in Florida. Floridian winter reminds me early summer in the UK. Honestly, in the beginning, I was very excited for the colder climate but then winter came and I was surprised about the sun setting before 4pm. I have been told that it will last until February, therefore I can’t wait for March to see the sun again. On the other hand, I do not think that it is as rainy here as people say and autumn, spring and summer are really beautiful.
Travelling around Nottingham
As you already know, I love travelling and every free weekend I try to plan little trip and explore new places. Travelling can get expensive, therefore I have decided to give you some tips.
If you do not own a car then the train, bus and plane are probably the most popular transportation in the UK. There are variety of modes of transportation to pick from and it depends how much you are willing to spend, where you’re travelling, how much luggage you’re bringing and how fast you need to get there.
The UK has very dense railway coverage and you can get basically everywhere within a reasonable time. The only thing is that, unless you purchase the ticket weeks beforehand, trains are a bit expensive. You can lower the price by 33% by getting a one-year RailCard available for students aged 16-25 (also for mature students over 25 years). Also, the rates vary depending on what time of the day you travel so obviously, early mornings and late nights are usually the cheapest. The trains are clean and comfortable and sometimes provided with WiFi. Nottingham Train Station is right by the city centre and you can get to all the airports.
The bus is probably the cheapest alternative but it can take longer to get to your destination. There are different companies you can travel with. The most popular are National Express and MegaBus. Occasionally, you can save money by using discount codes from Unidays website. The buses are nice and comfortable. If you travel from/to London there is a high chance that the bus will be delayed due to heavy traffic in the city. The bus station in Nottingham is just across from the train station.
Traveling by plane around the UK and Europe is very affordable. The location of Nottingham gives you a good choice of airports, with East Midlands, Birmingham, Manchester, London Stansted, and London Luton all relatively close. When searching for flights, I would recommend the Ryanair, WizzAir or Jet2Go websites or search engines like kiwi.com, expedia.com, priceline.com etc. Most of the companies offer memberships and special deals thorough a year. You can find crazy cheap flights to popular European destinations but do not forget to check the baggage allowance because that can very easily become more expensive than the ticket itself.
If you have any questions about studying at the University of Nottingham as an international student, you can get in touch with our International Ambassadors via email.
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