February 26, 2018, by Words on Words

From China to UK: What to Expect

Hi, I’m Yangyang majoring in English Literature. It’s my first year here and a pleasure to share my blog with you.

My preparation for studying in the UK at the University of Nottingham started a year ago. Before that, living in the UK was just an abstract idea. I was barely prepared to fit into another culture 8 time zones away from home. My favorite writers are from Britain as well asthe debating style that I’m practicing, but being in the culture that I had only read or heard about was another world away. For those who are now preparing to study here this blog offers my bits and pieces on the 2+2 program majoring in English and hopefully this may help to portray the image.

The two years of study in UNNC under the same teaching schedule prepared me well for the study over here. The familiarity made studying a comforting experience especially when I was homesick or recovering from the culture shock. It is always good to have something solid to hold on to when the environment shifts significantly. The first lecture will make clear the assessments and instructions and the materials will always be on Moodle. I made the mistake of rushing through all reading lists a week before the module started but they were for the previous year’s course. It’s good to read extra things but my point is that one doesn’t have to be too anxious about the modules and assessments. It is common to have pressure about failing to catch up with the native speakers in modules focusing on their mother tongue. Studying literature does require more than looking up in dictionaries and google, which is time consuming. The modules in linguistics are more friendly to us. In some modules, being an ESL even helps me to have my own observation of the learning. I’ve also received help from the tutors by annoying them (hopefully not) with emails or in office hours. I prefer an email where I can paraphrase every sentence. Still, it won’t hurt to try ideas of an essay in a face-to-face appointment. Ideals and stammers are both respected in class. I may not talk much about it, or express myself outside the class, but I am glad of those small talks with my classmates, before seminar begins.

Even though negative feelings may build up when the worries, homesickness and culture shock strike all at once, help could always be found for those who seek for it. I especially appreciate the help offered by the staff in the School of English and the exchange officer Christina (Dr. Lee). She and other staff take the issue of negative emotion seriously. Though I haven’t asked for them, it is always good to know that there is a place where I can find people to talk to.

These are my thoughts about my first year in UNUK. Hopefully it helps give a rough idea of studying here. And I do appreciate any feedback or comments given. And a Happy Lunar New Year!

Image: Author’s own


Posted in Student WordsYear Abroad