#YourPlatform: My life as an international student

International

Nottingham Trent University offers a lot of things to its students; it is not only a University, but a place where you can make friends, have fun and, for those who come from overseas, experience the British culture in all its many aspects.

I moved to England from Italy in October 2013, without knowing where I was going to stay or what I was going to do.

I was initially looking for a job; I tried and applied for jobs in fast food places, restaurants and shops – with no success.

Then I found out about Universities in this country and the incredible amount of opportunities that they offer.

I found out about Trent and the fact that it is possible to do a Print Journalism degree there, and I decided that University was the path I wanted to take.

Unlike Italian and, I am ready to bet, most European Universities, British ones are places where young people can build a new life, discover new passions and hobbies and get to meet new people from many different places.

I would have never imagined that a University could have an entire building devoted to sports and leisure activities (the SU in Trent’s case), with proper Pubs and Cafés; nor was I aware of things such things as societies or Uni’s sport teams.

The fact that Trent has got at least one building dedicated to each subject of study, with a total amount of 11 different buildings, on city campus was totally amazing to me, and a proof of how much education is valued and supported in this country.

If you are an International Student and you’re afraid that you are going to encounter problems related to the level of your English speaking ability or perhaps cultural differences, you have to bear in mind that a lot of support will be offered to you, and you’ll be able to accept it or decline it depending on how you feel comfortable studying in England, and living with British people.

In case you want to meet up with other International Students, many meetings are organized every week – they’ll give you the opportunity to get to know people from around the world and become immersed in their culture.

I personally made friends by living with British students more than International  ones, and I am very happy of this choice I made as it helped me settle down and acquire a good level of English, which is having a positive impact on my studies.

However, anyone is free to choose how to experience their life at NTU, and if you are for example an Erasmus student interested in a very multicultural experience, no one will force you to hang out with Brits; – but bare in mind, despite the stereotypes  they are not all unfriendly as some of them might look!

Nottingham is a lovely place and so is Trent, and I can’t think of anything that would make me not recommend the city and the University.

The only thing I would like to say to those who are not native English speakers and who fancie coming to study in England is this: 90% of a place’s culture and life is based on the language that people speak there, and the more you try and improve your English the more your experience here will be wonderful and fulfilling.

Not only being able to speak English fluently will make you feel at home, but it will make you better understand British society, life and cultural references.

So if you want to enjoy your time in England, my advice is not to be afraid of linguistic or cultural barriers and to let yourself go and absorb knowledge, information and life experience as much as you can.

You won’t ever regret it.

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