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The best part was the freedom to choose my own research area, which meant I got to learn exactly what I wanted. The tutors challenged and pushed me to always do better, and I feel like they got the best out of me.

More about Cara

Tell us a bit about yourself? Why did you choose to study at Nottingham Trent University?

One of the NTU staff visited Humber College and gave us a presentation on the International Fashion Business course when I was in my first year.  I thought it sounded really cool. In my second year I started thinking more seriously about what I was going to do, and after some more research on the course and the University, I decided NTU is where I wanted to go.

Tell us about your course. What was the best bit?

The best part was the freedom to choose my own research area, which meant I got to learn exactly what I wanted. The tutors challenged and pushed me to always do better, and I feel like they got the best out of me. The whole course has an atmosphere of everyone wanting you to succeed, and I found that to be a really positive learning environment.

What made it so unique is that everyone’s final year project was so different, because it catered to everyone’s own interests. This helped broaden what I learnt even more, as I feel I got lots out of hearing about what they were doing.

Did you join any societies or clubs at NTU?

I helped set up the NTU Fashion Revolution, which I’m really proud of. Unfortunately the COVID lockdown meant we weren’t able to do much during my time in Nottingham, but we got everything ready for the new academic year. So I’ll look forward to hearing how the next set of students have taken this forward.

Did you have any opportunities to travel while you were in the UK?

Myself and some friends spent our Christmas break visiting different countries in Europe. We went to Krakow, Budapest, Berlin and Prague. I also had the opportunity to visit Copenhagen as part of my course, which was great. I feel like I made the most of being so close to Europe and I treasure the memories I’ll take away with me from those trips.

What would you say about the facilities at NTU?

I loved having so many places to study. All across NTU there are areas where you can work alone, or group study. I particularly liked that our course had it’s own space, and we spent a lot of our time in the mac suite. I also loved all the different food outlets across the campus.

Did you enjoy Nottingham?

I’m originally from a small rural town in Canada, but then went to Humber College in Toronto. I found Nottingham to be a great in-between city. Small enough that it’s not overwhelming, but big enough that there’s still plenty to do. I also loved all the vegan options across the city. Even McDonalds had a vegan option I was able to eat.

Did you use any support teams at the University and did they make your experience easier?

Before arriving in the UK I was in touch with the International student support team a lot, and they really helped guide me through everything I needed to do in order to move to Nottingham. I also really valued the Academic Writing Support sessions we had each week.  I’d not received any coaching like this before, and having Walter there to help guide us every week was fantastic. He was really helpful and tailored each session so that it ran in parallel to what we were doing in our projects.

What advice would you give to future international students?

I think you need to be prepared for hard work. It’s not easy, and there will be no one telling you when you need to get your work done. So stay on top of everything, make sure you manage your time effectively, and use the formative feedback sessions as much as you can.

But I would also say to take time to explore. This is a big chunk of your life and it’s expensive, so make sure you work hard but that you balance it with some fun too.

Can you describe NTU in three words?

Challenging – expressive – supportive

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