Nottingham-Adelaide PhD Student Sam Riley

November 13, 2019, by Joshua Hawkins

From Nottingham to Adelaide: Sam Riley’s first impressions

You would think that after willingly signing up for the University of Nottingham/University of Adelaide Joint Doctoral Training Program I would be more prepared to undertake the furthest move from home I have ever experienced. The date of the flight rapidly approached from 12 months, 6 months, 1 month, 2 weeks and before you know it you’re standing at the gate at Birmingham airport saying goodbye to your parents and promising to eat enough despite you now being 22. The flight over wasn’t an unpleasant experience and I actually sat between two people who had children starting at Nottingham that very week and they were quite happy for me to tell them how much I had enjoyed both the University and the City itself over the past 4 years.

Nottingham-Adelaide PhD Student Sam Riley

Dual PhD student Sam Riley using laboratory equipment

Upon touching down in Adelaide it was evening and actually rather chilly so I was pretty relived to have my friend James Cowley pick me up from the airport to take me to his house for the week. One of the advantages of being part of an established scheme like this one is the network of previous students you have to provide advice and support as we all go through similar stages of the program. The city of Adelaide itself has a population roughly four times the size of Nottingham’s and it shows. The Central Business District, home to north terrace campus where I study and not far from my apartment is dotted with skyscrapers and set out in such a way that everything is fairly within reach aligned in a very interesting grid system. Even before finding a flat and settling in properly I hadn’t slowed my enthusiasm to explore a new city, going on a full wine tour to the Maclaren Vale courtesy of my secondary supervisor Kerry Wilkinson and had explored both Heley, Glenelg and West Beach on new longboards accompanied by fellow Nottingham PhD Natasha Ivanova and Final year Brewing PhD student Arthur Gardon, even stopping to observe the largest halfpipe in the southern hemisphere which just happens to be nearby.

Only down the road from my house is the Adelaide Central Market which is an enormous melting pot of fresh local produce, delicacies from other cultures and a bustling mass of people hunting for something tasty. I’ve starting to understand that the food scene in Adelaide is very important to the city’s heritage with a lot of varying cuisines focused to particular areas of the Metropolitan area. You’re not going to be disappointed if you want authentic Italian, Greek, Lebanese or Asian cuisine on your doorstop that’s for sure. The University of Adelaide itself has some fantastic facilities and is roughly in line with the scale of University Park at Nottingham but so you can have lunch in the city centre which is only a stroll across the street. The similarities between the two universities despite being on opposite sides of the planet certainly makes the necessary transition of the University of Nottingham/University of Adelaide Joint PhD easier. Campus is beginning to liven up as undergraduates come back from their mid-term break, perfect timing as I go through basic inductions within the university and want to get my bearings in this wonderful city. 

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