I had a really great time and loved everything about my course, which is why in 2020 I decided to advance my skills and knowledge with a Masters.
More about Andra
Tell us a bit about yourself? Why did you choose to study at Nottingham Trent University?
I came to the UK in 2015 to study for a BA in Fashion Design. At that time I chose NTU due to the interest they showed in my application, the student satisfaction rating and the graduation prospects.
I graduated from my BA in 2018. I had a really great time and loved everything about my course, which is why in 2020 I decided to advance my skills and knowledge with an MA.
I could not imagine a better place that would encourage my creativity and support me in developing my design identity, therefore I came back to NTU. It was a great decision as all the staff has been very supportive, especially with the current situation.
Did you come to NTU through an agent? If so how did that help you? How was your experience?
When I applied for my BA, I applied through Edmundo, whom I met at RIUF Bucharest. I had a good experience working with them, they were very professional and supportive. When I applied for the MA, I applied myself.
Tell us about your course. What is the best bit? Would you recommend your course to other students?
The best part about the Fashion Design courses at NTU, and one of the main reasons why I came back for the MA, is the staff. Not only do they have amazing industry experience and a lot to teach us, but they do so in a very kind manner. They are always ready to help and no question is ever too small or silly. They support us to enter design competitions and even when we apply for jobs because they want us to succeed in finding the place in industry that is right for us.
Have you had any opportunities to work or volunteer whilst at NTU?
During both my BA and MA, I took part in a lot of great activities and had a variety of roles within NTU.
From 2016 to 2018 I had the amazing opportunity to be an International Student Ambassador and an Art and Design Student Ambassador. Those roles really helped me grow and gain some great interpersonal skills, while also supporting new applicants and sharing my experience with them.
In 2018 I also volunteered for the Global Week organised by the Global Lounge. It was a life-changing experience because I was given the chance to meet fellow Romanian students, to share my culture with others, to bond with people of different nationalities, to find out more about their own cultural backgrounds and beautiful places I have never heard of before.
From 2016 to 2018 and from September 2020 to present, I have also been working as a Residence Assistant for the NTU Student Accommodation Services. This role comes with a lot of responsibility, but it is amazing in terms of the skills you can get out of it. You get to work in a team, to support fellow students living in halls, to do welfare checks and the most exciting part is that you get to create and to run events such as video games tournaments, quiz and film nights, craft tutorials and cooking demos, etc., whatever your passion or interest you can share it with others.
The University does offer a lot of opportunities to work or to volunteer. There is something for everyone and I would encourage any new students to make the most of it!
Do you enjoy Nottingham? What do you think are the best things about Nottingham for an international student?
I believe that moving to a different city and living on your own can be a bit scary for a lot of international students, but Nottingham is a really great place. I like to describe it as “the right amount of city”. It has a lot of amazing clubs, pubs and restaurants for those who like to go out and meet people, but it also has nice parks and museums for those who enjoy a quiet time in nature or exploring. I personally love how the university is right in the centre of the city and it is so easy and fast to get to your favourite place, whatever that might be.
Have you used any support teams at the University (visa team, student support, tutors)? Have they made your experience easier?
In addition to the tutors on the fashion design course, who have always been amazing, I have also been using the services provided by the library. While the fashion course already comes with language support lessons for international students, I often need help with my writing and presentations. The library staff is amazing in that respect, they provide a lot of information on academic writing and they also offer bookable appointments which you can use to meet a member of staff to help you with structuring presentations or proofreading. I find those very useful.
Were your parents/family worried about anything before you came to NTU?
As an only child, my parents are always worried, but the University has been amazing. Everyone is really proud of my achievements and happy for the opportunities NTU has provided me with.
Have you learnt anything from your experiences that you would advise future international students?
I know moving to a different country can be scary, but do not let that hold you back! Be brave and embrace every opportunity, run towards challenges and make the most out of what the university has to offer!
Has any project you’ve worked on at the University stood out and can you describe why?
One of the most amazing projects/competitions I had the chance to work on was the Linda Leaver Adaptive Clothing Competition for people with mobility impairments. I believe many people think of fashion as frivolous, but this project is proof that clothes can truly impact people’s lives. During this project I had the chance to research in great depth and understand the struggles of people with different disabilities and design clothing that can help them in their every day lives, while also making them feel confident and fashionable.
A project that I am currently working on as part of my MA is the Redress Design Award Competition for sustainable fashion. While my MA project revolves around the idea of designing clothing that is as sustainable as possible, the Redress Award Brief challenged me to use waste materials and deadstock to create an eco-friendly capsule collection. In order to source waste materials for this project, I reached out to Paul Smith, a company whose legacy is strongly connected to Nottingham. Paul Smith granted me a sponsorship in the form of deadstock fabrics and remnants, which shows the great opportunities for industry collaboration available at NTU.
Can you describe NTU in three words?