Nottingham has a high number of international students that love to explore and are experiencing similar shocks in new environments. This makes it easier to blend in and learn a lot because we all tend to help each other out.
More about Efrance
Tell us a bit about yourself...
My name is Efrance Karungi, I come from Uganda (East Africa) a country known as the Pearl of Africa. My dad and mum studied in the UK as well so when it came to defining my adult life the UK was first in mind. One of the most defining moments in the start of my life was the experience I had as an undergraduate student at NTU. I developed a deeper understanding of being a marketer and this only piqued my interest and motivation to shape my career.
After starting a business and working as an administrative assistant in the marketing department at KPMG Uganda, I was determined to expand my knowledge and there was no better place for this than Nottingham Business School. Alongside a wider theoretical understanding, I am gaining a new worldview, new concepts, resources, employability assistance and an incredible network of friends spanning the globe.
Tell us about your course...
Besides the stunning recommendation from a close Ugandan friend about her experience at NTU, I was drawn by the amazing offers that were available beyond the course. I had no doubt when selecting Nottingham Trent University for my postgraduate degree because of the holistic experience I had during my undergraduate degree. My main requirements were focused on the MBA course content, the accreditation, the employability rate, and the financial aspect.
I definitely recommend this masters course for other students because of the practicality and the relevance it has to working in a real organisation. This course has answered a lot of the questions I had while working in marketing organisations and maintaining the right strategies for my business. As the world is digitalising more and the marketing world is constantly changing, NTU organises interactions with experienced and professional minds in the marketing arena.
As the year goes along, I am achieving personal development goals I set at the start of the year. NTU organises workshops, networking events, volunteering and so many other events to improve students personal and professional development. I am proud to say that I improved my ability to professionally network, a major goal I set to achieve. Despite the given challenges that come with studying, I have been challenged to effectively maximize my time and improve my efficiency and productivity.
How do you relax and have some ‘down time’ from your course?
During my second month in Nottingham, the global society organised meetings for other East Africans, and I felt at home. I attended a lot of the global lounge events, movie and game nights that introduced me to new friends that became family. I actively participated in different events organised by societies like the cocktail society and other NTSU events. The NTSU organised a load of activities like quiz nights and game nights that made it easy to unwind after long weeks of hard work.
Nottingham has amazing scenery, nature and architecture that is always worth taking a picture of. I picked up photography and videography as a hobby and it has grown into some paid opportunities especially for small businesses. NTSU has also organised trips to different cities with visits to significant tourist locations at a reasonable price for students.
What’s Nottingham like for students?
Nottingham is the ideal student society because of the loads of opportunities available to us. Nottingham is a cosmopolitan city providing cross cultural experiences with students who are studying to work in a global village. These interactions are good because they widen your perspective on a lot of things.
Nottingham also has several student discounts in retail stores, electronic stores and even restaurants, you get the best experiences at cheaper prices. There are plenty of places to enjoy days and nights out with friends but also spoiling yourself from time to time. I personally love going bowling with friends, Sunday brunches at Slug and Lettuce and movie days at savoy cinema.
Nottingham has a high number of international students that love to explore and are experiencing similar shocks in new environments. This makes it easier to blend in and learn a lot because we all tend to help each other out. It is very easy to find the traditional Ugandan food in supermarkets allowing me a piece of home and also sharing this with my new international friends.
How would you describe the support you got at NTU?
The employability team has been extremely helpful when it comes to improving my chance of being employed. From CV guidance to interview practice, the team is dedicated to ensuring you put your best foot forward for each and every interview. After my undergraduate degree, I was able to secure an amazing placement in South Africa after the employability team advised me on setting up my CV and writing a cover letter.
What are the living costs as a student here?
Nottingham is a student friendly city that offers a range of discounts throughout the year. From new household products to meal deals across the city, the living expenses are quite affordable. Nottingham has affordable transportation available that includes a price specifically for students that is lower than the regular price.
I live in a student accommodation, studio apartment, that ranges from £400 to £450 a month. My accommodation has a large supermarket 2 minutes away and bus stops all around. I spend roughly £40 a week on essential supplies and an extra £40 on extra activities with friends.
From your experience, how would you advise future international students? Any top tips?
My advice to prospective students is to allow yourself step out of your comfort zone because it will be one of the best things you ever do. Allowing yourself time to adjust to the culture shock and weather changes is very important during your first two months. Nottingham is a fairly small city compared to busier cities like London and this allows you to stay focused on your course. However, as you adjust, you will meet new people and have new experiences that will help you discover a lot about yourself. Coming to Nottingham has been one of the most transformative experiences of my life.
Describe NTU in 3 words...
Multi-cultural, memorable and transformative