Sunday, 2 October 2016

International Student: Settling In Nottingham


By now, you guys know I'm in the UK for a Masters programme at the University of Nottingham. For my previous post on my journey to UoN click here.

Arriving at Nottingham
First thing I noticed on arrival at Nottingham was the culture of hospitality. Everyone I asked for direction went out of their way to guide me. One saw me at the top of a staircase oneday and rushed up the stairs to help me carry my small box down the stairs. Another didn't know the way to where I had asked her but instead of dismissing me, she asked for my map and helped me to interpret it. How nice! It's a gross contrariety compared to what I experienced when I arrived Lagos in 2014. Everyone was so impatient. I wouldn't have finished saying "excuse me" before they walked out on me. They were all on their guard, reacting as if I were a beggar or a swindler. Lagosians were so hostile especially the bus conductors. In contrast, the customer service here is topnotch. 

Next thing that stood out was the efficiency of their transportation system. I don't find it difficult to cross the roads no matter how busy they are because there is always a pedestrian path on the road and once I hit the button and the traffic light turns green for me, I can walk majestically across the road knowing that all cars will be on halt till I've crossed. At the bus stops are the schedules for various buses. They are so efficient that if a bus is slated to arrive at 9:07pm, at 9:06 you may not see any sign of a bus, but as soon as it's 9:07, here comes your bus, right in front of you. The distances have been calculated to the second. It's amazing.

Welcome Programme
Freshers were given 2 days free accommodation in school during which they were expected to complete their registration, do other essentials like open a bank account, register with the National Health Service, and pack into their term time accommodation. That was really considerate of UoN and it saved so many students lots of money that would have been spent on hotel fees. The package included free breakfast and dinner for those 2 days. I located a Nigerian food stand called Item 7 where I had my meals. I wasn't yet ready to explore.


I got lots of stationery, flyers, and drinks from several student groups advertising at the welcome programme.


Settling In
I packed into my term time accommodation as soon as I vacated the free accommodation. I share a 4 bedroom apartment with 2 Nigerians and 1 Kenyan, all PHD students. My landlord is a very nice man.



Acclimating
I stepped out on Friday morning to go to school without my jacket because it's colour didn't match the dress I was putting on. I didn't need anybody to tell me to run back into the house to get my jacket and forget fashion when I saw myself freezing. It was 9°C then. 

Induction
We had our induction into Post Graduate School of Medicine on Friday. After the lectures hammering on what plagiarism is and is not, we were told there was free lunch. I walked enthusiastically to the cafeteria only for me to find this.


Can you imagine? This is the definition of lunch here. Thank God I came prepared to cook. And why is the bottle water here carbonated? It tastes really horrible.


Yesterday
Happy Independence Day Nigeria! I spent most of my day watching The Platform via live stream at channelstv.com and 
theplatformnigeria.com. If you missed it, please go back and watch it. It was phenomenal. To conclude my day, these 3 gentlemen came to visit me. 


From Left to Right- Timothy (Alhaji 4 Jesus), Dr. Ndubuisi Egwim, Dr. Sunday Ugwuoke

Today
I had a swell time at The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Rehoboth House, Beeston. It was a welcome service for the international students. We had academic, finance and career talks by current and past students, sermon by Pastor Sam inspiring us to aim for the best because there is a Spirit of intelligence in us (Job 32: 8 AMP) and then a proper Nigerian lunch to round it off. Lectures begin tomorrow. God help me!



Have you read my journey to UoN? If not, click hereRemember to leave your comments. More Nottingham tales to come. Ciao

 
©Radiant~ October 2016

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