November 19, 2018, by John

5 experiences you never knew you could have at the University of Nottingham

University is more than just lectures, seminars, and coursework. The range of experiences available are limitless. Here are 5 things that I was surprised that I actually got the chance to try here.

  1. Get free coffee, tea and cake every day!

The Chaplaincy is my favourite space on campus. Not just because I’m a thrifty person who doesn’t like spending money on coffee, but because of the friends and welcoming atmosphere you find there. At the Chaplaincy’s hospitality space, you get to meet other new friends, get free hot chocolate on a cold winter’s afternoon, and feel the warmth of a welcoming community. You can also get guidance on faith support.

They are conveniently located in the Portland Building, just beside Mooch. Come on in! You will not be disappointed with the experience.

  1. Teach a module

This year, I had the chance to teach students about Public Speaking, a module run by the Nottingham Advantage Award team. Whilst there are no accolades, money or prestige for running the module, I have learnt greatly from this experience. I have learnt how to engage students (not an easy job at all!), how to teach better, and how to make sure students actually apply what they learn. In fact, the National Training Laboratories Institute in Bethel, Maine, has found that teaching is the best way of retaining information.

So, if there is something you are really interested in, why not reach out to the NAA team and tell them that you would like to share your passion with others?

  1. Get paid to travel

Yes, you didn’t read that wrong. You actually can get paid by the University to travel overseas for work experience. Known as the International Work Experience Grant, the grant offers amounts up to £750 to fund your work experience. It’s a great way to make that dream of working internationally possible. This year, because of the grant offered, I had the chance to work in an orphanage for abandoned children in China. Without that money, I would never have seen that dream materialise.

  1. Organise Welcome!

If you had a great time at your Welcome Week, why not create an even better one for future students? The Welcome Week is one of the Students’ Union biggest events, bringing together more than 34 000 students to create a greater sense of community, family, and belonging. If you think you might not want to give 7 months of your time planning it, you can also join as a Welcome Mentor.

Remember the nice people who brought you home after your night out? Or the people who cleaned up your sick? It’s tiring, but yet rewarding to see those new relationships forming.

  1. Use your library!

I love the libraries here. Period. With inter-library loans, you get to request books not found in our libraries from any library in the UK, or even abroad! All for the cost of £1 (UK libraries), or £3 (libraries abroad)! You can even get inter-library loan vouchers from your department.

It’s an incredible way to have books you’ve been wanting, and to try books before you buy them.

You can also ask for more books. It’s been a great way for me to get new books beyond what I study, such as books on public speaking, vulnerability, and investing. So next time you are tempted to head to Amazon, know that there’s an incredible library waiting for you!

University is more than a degree. It is a life-changing experience. Have other experiences you would like to share? Share them below with us!

John writes regularly at

Posted in John