Settling in as an international student

By Dj Maroo a BA International Business NTU Alumni

I was an international student at NTU studying BA International Business from 2008 to 2011. I arrived in Nottingham from India and this was my first time alone in another country. Not only did I have to adapt to life in a new country but I also had to adapt to a whole new system of teaching and learning.

Some of the challenges I faced academically at the start included academic writing and Harvard referencing. I was directed to workshops on these through NTU libraries which were extremely helpful and soon I was able to overcome these challenges.

On the personal front, at the start I was not finding it easy to adapt to the culture in the UK. I made an effort to interact with the people on my course and made some friends with my course mates. I did this through joining the 10 pin bowling society in the NTSU. This group meet every week and with the bowling society I was able to participate in the BUCS tournament which was being hosted in Nottingham at that time. We also participated in the varsity 10 pin bowling against University of Nottingham. Both experiences were good fun as we also got to interact with students from other universities as well. I was also a fresher rep at the start of Academic Year 2010-11. This was tiring but fun and another great way to meet new people and make some new friends.

Being an international student I also got to attend specific events for international students during Welcome Week. These events are dedicated to international students only so you get to meet, interact and befriend other students who are in the same boat as yourself. Additionally there is freshers week, a great way to get acquainted with the people staying in your residence halls. There is also a one week course induction held before the start of your course where you get to interact with course mates and your course leader. I was lucky enough to get on really well with my course leader, in fact even though it has been 10 years since I completed my graduation I still keep in touch with them. When I was in first year at NTU, I was not used to the system of taking an appointment to go meet your lecturers and course leaders. On many occasions I would visit my course leader unannounced and she always let me in with a smile on her face and always made me feel comfortable. A very small gesture on her part but it did go a long way in making me feel at home. My course leader was a major reason I left NTU with so many happy memories and I will always regret the fact that she was not at the university during my final year.

Home sickness was also a challenge at the start, but the only way to really overcome that was to be in regular contact with my friends and family back home while making new friends at university.

Another resource I made good use of was the careers centre, they were a huge help when it comes to CV’s and cover letters. I made numerous visits to their office to help with preparing my CV and cover letter. My friends and I would make use of the group study rooms as well. Makes studying less boring and more interactive. There are also groups at NTU which organise day trips for those that like to travel which is another great way of making most of your time at NTU.

Looking back at my time, I wish I had joined more clubs rather than just one and that I had taken advantage of the day trips organised by NTU. But on the whole I look back at my time at NTU as probably the best years of my life. I got to make friends from different parts of the world. Friends that I am still in contact with though it has been 10 years since my graduation. Friends that travelled from the UK and the US to attend my wedding back in 2019. University can become your home away from home and you may even make friends that become closer than family.

Here at NTU we also have International Student Support within our Student Support Services, for more information head over to the StudentHub

For help, advice and resources whilst studying at NTU, take a look at the following for sources of support.

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