Deborah Dixkens
By starting a new life in a different country, my self-confidence has definitely grown. The course here at NTU definitely gave me a deeper insight into the world of film and television productions, and has encouraged me to continue my work that I have started.

More about Deborah

Deborah came to NTU as an incoming exchange student from Fachhochschule Dortmund, Germany.

Why did you choose the UK for your exchange?
“I chose the UK because it was very important to me to live in a country where English is the native language. I have always enjoyed speaking English but have never felt confident enough to have a longer conversation, and I definitely wanted to change that. Besides the language, I also love British architecture, and I wanted to know what it would like to live in a British city.”

Why did you choose this programme?
“At my home university Fachhochschule Dortmund in Germany, I worked on some film productions but I wanted to deepen my knowledge even further. I had a look at almost every design university in the UK, and NTU was the only university with a course that really suited my interests in deepening my knowledge about film and television.”

What was your favourite class?
“My favourite project was designing our own light entertainment show which included designing a stage and the logo, thinking about the show’s theme, and so on. At the end of the project, each concept was presented as a real pitch with technical drawings, visuals, and the built model.”

What’s your best memory from your time at NTU / in the UK?
“My dearest memory is how I met my first friend in Nottingham. I enrolled for the campus tour during Welcome Week, hoping to meet new people. It turned out that someone on the tour was also trying to plan their stay in Nottingham, and so we met up for a cup of coffee and became really good friends!”

What was the greatest challenge you encountered during your time in the UK?
“My biggest challenge was definitely finding a room in Nottingham! I looked for a room online for several months before I arrived in Nottingham but could not find anything. Once I arrived, I contacted agencies on-site, and found a really nice home in the end. I'm glad I searched for it while I was here, because you get a much better impression of the areas when you are in the city itself.”

What’s your housing situation like?
“I live in a semi-detached house with a mother and her seven year old daughter. They are both really nice, we chat every day and even went on a trip together. Living in a British home feels like a dream come true, because I have always wanted to experience daily life in the UK.”

What advice would you give to other students who are thinking about studying abroad in the UK?
“The only thing I can say is, do it! Before I studied abroad, I met a lot of people who pushed me to study abroad, and I was always a bit irritated by their excitement. However, after my own experience of studying abroad, I’ve definitely turned into that kind of person too. It is just great to push yourself out of your comfort zone, experience a new country, and meet great people that broaden your mind.”

What do you like about studying and living in Nottingham?
“Nottingham is a vibrant and colourful city, perfect for student life. Basically, there is something for every interest; museums, concerts, shopping, gyms, bars and clubs, parks and above all, many cosy cafes with the best coffee. I like that I’m able to do everything within walking distance. If I want to relax at the weekend, I take a 20-minute bus ride to one of the green parks.”

How do you think studying abroad has helped you in terms of future career prospects?
“The course here at NTU definitely gave me a deeper insight into the world of film and television productions, and has encouraged me to continue my work that I have started.”

How did you find integrating into the classes here?
“The students on the course introduced themselves immediately and wanted to get to know me. It was very helpful to see how other people work on a project or use computer programs. On the other hand, I think my classmates learned something from me too. I told them a lot about our projects and the different approaches that we have, and what student life is like in Germany.”

What do you think you gained from studying abroad?
“By starting a new life in a different country, my self-confidence has definitely grown. There was a lot to organize, new hurdles to overcome, and above all, new people to meet. However, the most important lesson I learned is that no matter what problem you have, there is always a solution.”

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