March 11, 2019, by International students

International Student Ambassadors: Aya from Egypt


My name is Aya Garana, and I’m a first year law student. I’m from Egypt, and I lived there until I was about 10, then I moved to Riyadh, then Dubai and finally Nottingham. I’ve answered some questions about my experience here so far, I hope you find them useful!

Why did you choose to study your specific course and what are your favourite aspects of the course so far?

Throughout much of high school I knew I was going to go into this general area of humanities because that area interested me the most, but I hadn’t yet decided whether I would go into law, politics, or international relations. At school, I studied both politics and business at higher level on the IB, and while I really enjoyed both of them, I wanted to find a course that would encompass both of these subjects and more. I had been considering law, but what really solidified that this is the course I wanted to go into was the pre-university summer school I did in the summer before senior year. I had been exposed to several different areas of the law, and was extremely interested in it. The fact that there are so many levels of detail to the study also interested me, because you don’t only have to study the laws but also cases, understand reasoning, policy concerns, the impact of both politics and economics. I find that law is an all-encompassing subject, and that it opens so many doors for the future, and that’s why I love it. So far my favourite parts of the course are contract and tort law. Tort law is incredibly interesting because of the breadth of the covered ground – it’s the law of civil wrongs, and that can cover anything from getting into a car crash, to wrongful birth, to psychiatric harm, to defamation, and beyond. I also really enjoy contract law because you’re taken through the loopholes of contracts and how the courts have covered them. It’s also a very historically driven subject, as you have to understand context to understand why certain policies exist and in what circumstances they can be applied.

What was your experience of arriving in the UK/in Nottingham?

I came to the UK with my parents. We stayed in London for a few days and then took a coach to Nottingham. The biggest challenge was probably dealing with my bags, as I brought a lot of things with me. Although I didn’t use it, I know that the University offers a shuttle bus service from Heathrow, which may be easier for some people to use. I had signed up for the International Welcome event, and I would honestly recommend attending it. I made quite a few friends during that weekend, and it’s always good to have time to settle in and make your room your own. It’s also a chance to get to know where you’ll be living by exploring town, walking around and between campuses, etc.

How was your experience of finding accommodation – why did you choose to live where you live and what are the best aspects of it?

I applied for accommodation quite late, around June. By the time I was applying, the options left were en suite rooms on Jubilee campus or single study rooms on University Park. I decided to stay on Jubilee Campus, and I honestly don’t regret it. The people in my hall are amazing and they’re so fun and the room is larger than I expected. It is still a university accommodation, so it is small, but it is larger than other accommodation I had visited when looking at other universities. There are also several study rooms, both in my hall and in Newark, which is the hall across the road. I find these extremely useful because sometimes it’s better to study in a different environment as it helps you focus. There’s also a library on campus that, throughout points in the year, is open 24/7. I also really like the fact that the halls run several formals throughout the year, which are basically an opportunity to dress up and eat. They then host after-formal events where the majority of the hall goes. Overall, I’m really enjoying living in halls this year, and would personally recommend it to first year students, just because it’s so much easier than having to cook for yourself, there’s quite a family feel and it’s a great opportunity to make friends.

How have you adapted to the climate?

Adapting to the climate could possibly be one of the biggest challenges of moving to the UK, because the weather is so unpredictable and so cold. I moved here from Dubai, where it’s really warm all year round and barely rains. I found the best solution to adapting to the weather is layers and thermals, and a really thick, warm, waterproof coat. It will really come in handy during the November/December period. It is a bit difficult to bring all of this from abroad, and if you’re from a warm country like I am, you probably will have to buy a coat or two. I brought two coats with me, but they took a lot of space in my bags and weren’t warm enough, so I would suggest bringing a coat with you, but buying a heavier one here if you don’t already have one. I also found it extremely convenient for all my coats to be waterproof, so that I don’t really have to worry about them when it rains. I’d also suggest buying all your bags waterproof or water-resistant – especially the bag that you will be using for university and carrying your laptop in. Finally, umbrellas are lifesavers, but they do break easily when there is wind.

I hope you found my answers helpful, and hope to meet you soon!

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.

Posted in International Student Ambassadors