More about Mariana
“Since a very young age I knew I wanted to work in an exotic animal environment. As my country doesn’t offer the opportunity of a course as specialised as Zoo Biology, I knew I would have to go abroad. The standard of the UK regarding animal laws, animal welfare and higher education were almost ideal in my opinion, and so it was an obvious choice.
“Nottingham Trent University stood out amongst other universities that provided a zoology course because of the Brackenhurst Campus which is dedicated to animal and environmental sciences, as well as an Animal Unit on campus with a considerable number of species available for interaction with students.
“The BSc (Hons) Zoo Biology course is focused on exotic species biology and zoo industry, as well as conservation. On this course we learn not only the basic biology of animals, their behaviour, the relation between the two and also a series of management techniques within captive environments. We also learn conservation strategies, basic ecology and biodiversity, and research methods and techniques.
“Nottingham is a lovely city- not too big with plenty of beautiful and historical sites to visit. Also, it has one of the best and most environmentally friendly bus networks.
“Brackenhurst is, in my opinion, the best campus. It is a working farm with wildlife around and because it is smaller than other campuses, it has a sense of community to it.
“You easily get to know most people and everyone knows you in case you need anything, which I personally find very helpful. There is good access to the city centre and plenty of on campus social events - I love it here!
“Settling in was quite easy for me. I would say it didn’t take longer than three weeks. The people of the shared house where I spent my first year have remained my friends for life and everyone was really welcoming.
“Outside of my studies I am part of the Conservation Society as well as the Portuguese Society. They were both great ways of socialising, learning, and meeting amazing people.
“When I moved to the UK I found that a lot of things were different and even to this day I am still learning how things work. The lecturers were helpful in explaining things and allowed me to translate terms I didn’t understand in class using personal devices. The fact that most lectures are recorded and available to rehear is also very helpful.
“When I graduate I would like to pursue my career within animal nutrition or animal-related research. I know that my course provides sufficient experience and knowledge to go into this field. However, this course will also allow you to go into fields such as an animal technician, conservation team members, education, any position within a zoo setting and most other animal-related industries. There are many transferable skills to learnt in this course.”